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  • Writer's pictureSebastian Bluemer

Additive Manufacturing - Part Orientation

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

"Dimensional accuracy in L-PBF - How would you prepare the part for printing?

Today, I would like to focus on a process step, which has a significant influence on a first time right print. "Part orientation" is one of the crucial factors to increase your success rate. For Prototyping you can use tools from your process preparation software, like e.g. automated orientation to have a first guess in terms of orientation. But can you as a process engineer rely on that proposal? 🤔

What if subsequent post-processing of functional surfaces is planned? Is it a good strategy to still rely on these tools, or should you adjust the orientation strategy to include subsequent post-processing strategies, such as milling?

Tool shops has to rethink about there milling strategies, when it comes to additive parts. Internal stress and warpage is such a high influence, whereas conventional milling strategies are not applicable at all.

For that reason, orientation in printing is crucial, so that you can have influence on the level of internal stress directly from the beginning. Heat treatment is certainly one way to reduce residual stresses, but it is also a cost factor in your process chain.

So, how to find a orientation which is suitable for a successful print and guarantees a good milling afterwards?

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