Computer Numerically Controlled-Accumulation
Most current additive manufacturing (AM) processes are layer based and contain several drawbacks. For example, parts can only be printed with a range of motion limited to the X, Y, and Z axes. Therefore, Computer Numerically Controlled Accumulation (CNC-A) is created as an additive manufacturing method that does not print layer by layer. By converting a three-dimensional model into two-dimensional layers, the process planning can be dramatically simplified. By incorporating multi-axis tool motion, the CNC accumulation process can be beneficial for applications such as plastic part repairing, addition of new design features, and building around inserts.
The CNC-A method involves printing around inserts, which allows for the creation of more mobile and complex geometric shapes. This process resembles the CNC machining process, in which a machining tool removes the material that it touches. In the CNC-A process, a fiber optic-cable connected with an ultraviolet (UV) LED and related lens is served as an accumulation tool. The cable is then merged inside a tank that is filled with UV-curable liquid resin. By controlling the on/off state of the UV-LED and the multi-axis motion of the cable, a physical model can be built by selectively curing liquid resin into solid.