WO2017017941A1 - Laminate molding method and program for use in the same - Google Patents

Laminate molding method and program for use in the same Download PDF

Info

Publication number
WO2017017941A1
WO2017017941A1 PCT/JP2016/003426 JP2016003426W WO2017017941A1 WO 2017017941 A1 WO2017017941 A1 WO 2017017941A1 JP 2016003426 W JP2016003426 W JP 2016003426W WO 2017017941 A1 WO2017017941 A1 WO 2017017941A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
support
molding
material
support body
structural
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/JP2016/003426
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Shigehiko Sato
Original Assignee
Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B33ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY
    • B33YADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, i.e. MANUFACTURING OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL [3-D] OBJECTS BY ADDITIVE DEPOSITION, ADDITIVE AGGLOMERATION OR ADDITIVE LAYERING, e.g. BY 3-D PRINTING, STEREOLITHOGRAPHY OR SELECTIVE LASER SINTERING
    • B33Y50/00Data acquisition or data processing for additive manufacturing
    • B33Y50/02Data acquisition or data processing for additive manufacturing for controlling or regulating additive manufacturing processes
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C64/00Additive manufacturing, i.e. manufacturing of three-dimensional [3D] objects by additive deposition, additive agglomeration or additive layering, e.g. by 3D printing, stereolithography or selective laser sintering
    • B29C64/30Auxiliary operations or equipment
    • B29C64/386Data acquisition or data processing for additive manufacturing
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C64/00Additive manufacturing, i.e. manufacturing of three-dimensional [3D] objects by additive deposition, additive agglomeration or additive layering, e.g. by 3D printing, stereolithography or selective laser sintering
    • B29C64/40Structures for supporting 3D objects during manufacture and intended to be sacrificed after completion thereof
    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03GELECTROGRAPHY; ELECTROPHOTOGRAPHY; MAGNETOGRAPHY
    • G03G15/00Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern
    • G03G15/22Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern involving the combination of more than one step according to groups G03G13/02 - G03G13/20
    • G03G15/221Machines other than electrographic copiers, e.g. electrophotographic cameras, electrostatic typewriters
    • G03G15/224Machines for forming tactile or three dimensional images by electrographic means, e.g. braille, 3d printing
    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03GELECTROGRAPHY; ELECTROPHOTOGRAPHY; MAGNETOGRAPHY
    • G03G15/00Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern
    • G03G15/22Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern involving the combination of more than one step according to groups G03G13/02 - G03G13/20
    • G03G15/225Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern involving the combination of more than one step according to groups G03G13/02 - G03G13/20 using contact-printing

Abstract

A laminate molding method includes performing molding using a structural material (21a) configuring a molding target (403) and a support material (21b) to be used for molding of a support body (404) supporting the molding target, in which the support material (21b) is a material which dissolves in a solvent in which the structural material (21a) does not dissolve, and, when the structure of the support body (404) matches a predetermined condition, the support body is partially molded with the structural material (21a).

Description

LAMINATE MOLDING METHOD AND PROGRAM FOR USE IN THE SAME

The present invention relates to molding of a three-dimensional object using a laminate molding method.

In recent years, a technique of performing molding by successively laminating layers corresponding to cross sections (slices) obtained by cutting a molding target along one direction has been actively developed. This technique is referred to as a laminate molding method or AM (Additive Manufacturing) and various methods are known. This technique has been utilized for prototyping machine parts and products in many cases.

According to the laminate molding method, in order to maintain the shape of a structure configuring a molding target in a molding process, a support body supporting the structure is sometimes required. The lower side of a portion where the structure largely overhangs (overhang portion) is easily deformed due to the gravity or force applied in molding, and therefore the portion is a typical region where the support body is required.

The support body is a member which assists molding and is a member which finally becomes unnecessary. Therefore, after molding is completed, the support body is removed from the structure by manual removal or a method including melting by a solvent or heat, for example. Since the time required for the removal of the support body is included in the time required for molding of a final structure, a method for removing the support body in a short time has been demanded.

PTL 1 discloses a method including configuring a support body using a plurality of kinds of support materials, and disposing a support material having a good releasability from a molding target among the plurality of kinds of support materials along a boundary portion between the support body and the molding target. Such a method achieves easy removal of the support body from the structure.

Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2004-255839

However, according to the method of PTL 1, the kind of the required support materials increases, and thus a mechanism is required which supplies the support materials corresponding to the increased number of kinds of the support materials.

With an increase in the kind of the materials to be used for molding, the configuration of a molding device becomes further complicated or the size of the molding device further increases. It is more suitable to use a molding material supply mechanism of the molding device for increasing the kind of a molding material than for increasing the kind of the support material which finally becomes unnecessary because the degree of freedom of a producible molded article increases.

The present invention can achieve molding with few kinds of support materials and removal of a support body after molding in a short time. Specifically, the present invention provides a laminate molding method including performing molding using a structural material configuring a molding target and a support material to be used for molding of a support body supporting the molding target, in which the support material is a material which dissolves in a solvent in which the structural material does not dissolve, and, when the structure of the support body matches a predetermined condition, the support body is partially molded with the structural material.

Or, the present invention provides a program for use in laminate molding using a structural material configuring a molding target and a support material to be used for molding of a support body supporting the structural material, and the program includes processing of extracting a support region where the support body is disposed from structural data of the molding target, and generating position information, judging processing of judging whether or not the support region matches a predetermined condition, and processing of generating structural data of the support body to be molded in the support region, and, when the support region matches the predetermined condition in the judging processing, the processing of generating the structural data of the support body generates data for molding a part of the support region with the structural material.

The processing of generating the structural data of the support body includes acquiring the structural data of the molding target and the position information of the support region to generate data about arrangement of the structural material and the support material in the support region.

Further features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of exemplary embodiments with reference to the attached drawings.

Fig. 1 is a view illustrating the entire system of a molding system. Fig. 2 is a view illustrating an example of the configuration of software contained in the molding system. Fig. 3 is a view illustrating a processing flow diagram of support structure configuring processing. Fig. 4A is a view explaining a support structure according to Embodiment 1. Fig. 4B is a view explaining the support structure according to Embodiment 1. Fig. 4C is a view explaining the support structure according to Embodiment 1. Fig. 5A is a view explaining a support structure according to Embodiment 2. Fig. 5B is a view explaining the support structure according to Embodiment 2. Fig. 6A is a view explaining a support structure according to Embodiment 3. Fig. 6B is a view explaining the support structure according to Embodiment 3. Fig. 7A is a view explaining a support structure according to Embodiment 4. Fig. 7B is a view explaining the support structure according to Embodiment 4. Fig. 8 is a view illustrating an example of a molding device which can be suitably used in the present invention.

Before describing the present invention, the terms used in the present invention are first defined.

A "molding target" refers to a three-dimensional object to be molded. A material configuring the molding target is referred to as a "structural material". A portion configured with the structural material included in a molded article during a molding process is referred to as a "structure."

A region where a member for supporting the structure is disposed in order to assist molding of an overhang portion, a portion with a narrow width, and the like of the molding target is referred to as a "support region". A member formed in the support region is referred to as a "support body". A material used only for molding of the support body is referred to as a "support material". Hereinafter, the structural material and the support material are collectively referred to as a molding material.

A molded article configured with the structure and the support body, i.e., a molded article before the support body is removed, is simply referred to as a molded article. A structure obtained by removing the support body from the molded article after molding is completed serves as a molding target.

Next, molding materials are described. In the present invention, materials which can be selectively removed in a state where the structural material and the support material are mixed, such as materials which dissolve in a solvent in which the structural material does not dissolve and materials which dissolve at a temperature lower than the temperature at which the structure dissolves, are used as the support material. In particular, a water-soluble support material is particularly suitably from the viewpoint that the solvent is inexpensive and the environmental load is low. Since a support body molded with the water-soluble support material dissolves when brought into contact with a solvent containing water, the support body can be easily removed. Herein, the water solubility refers to a property that the solubility in water is 0.1 or more. The solubility in water refers to a numerical value indicating the mass of a material which melts in 100 g of pure water at a water temperature of 20°C at one atmospheric pressure by the unit of gram.

Specifically, as the water-soluble materials suitable for the support material, water-soluble inorganic materials, water-soluble dietary fibers, water-soluble carbohydrates, such as carbohydrates, polyalkylene oxide, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), and polyethylene glycol (PEG) are suitable. Specific examples of the water-soluble dietary fibers include polydextrose and inulin. Specific examples of the carbohydrates include sucrose, lactose, maltose, trehalose, melezitose, stachyose, and maltotetraose. Specific examples of the polyalkylene oxide include polyethylene glycol (PEG).

On the other hand, as the structural material, thermoplastic substances, such as ABS, PP (polypropylene), PE (polyethylene), PS (polystyrene), PMMA (acryl), PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PPE (polyphenyleneether), PA (nylon/polyamide), PC (polycarbonate), POM (polyacetal), PBT (polybutylene terephthalate), PPS (polyphenylene sulfide), PEEK (polyetheretherketone), LCP (liquid crystal polymer), fluororesin, urethane resin, elastomer, PVA (polyvinyl alcohol), and PEG (polyethylene glycol), are suitable, for example. In addition thereto, metals and inorganic substances are mentioned. These substances may be used alone or as a mixture.

Then, the present invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Fig. 1 is a schematic view illustrating the entire molding system according to the present invention. A molding device 101 is a device which receives structural data of a molding target as an input, and then produces a molded article using a laminate molding method. For the production of the molded article, at least the structural material is used, and the support material is used according to the shape of the molding target.

The structural data contains data about a three-dimensional shape. When the kind of molding materials can be selected, the structural data may further contain color information, material information, and the like. The data about the three-dimensional shape refers to the plane normal line vector and the coordinate values of the three vertices of a triangle in the case of a STL (Standard Triangulated Language) format, for example, but any format may be acceptable.

Structural data 201 of a molding target is transmitted to the molding device 101 from an information processing device 102 through a communication path 103. The communication path 103 may be any means insofar as the means allows transmission/reception of data among a plurality of devices, such as LAN (Local Area Network) and USB (Universal Serial Bus). The information processing devices 102 is a personal computer, a tablet device, or the like, for example, and is a device having a data processing mechanism and capable of transmitting data to the outside.

The molding device 101 has a ROM and a RAM and executes a molding program stored beforehand in the ROM to control each device relating to data processing and molding. Fig. 2 illustrates the outline of a processing portion relating to processing of configuring a support structure from the acquired structural data 201 of the molding target among processing executed by the molding program which is a part of the software configuration of the molding device 101. The molding program does not always need to be executed by the molding device 101 and may be executed anywhere insofar as the execution is performed in the molding system.

A series of processing by which slice data 208 for molding is generated from the acquired structural data 201 of the molding target in the molding program is described.

The structural data 201 of the molding target is first read into a support region extracting portion 202. In the support region extracting portion 202, processing of analyzing the structural data 201 of the molding target, and then extracting a support region where a support body is needed in molding is performed, so that support region information 203 is generated. Herein, the support region information 203 is position information of the portion extracted as the support region and refers to data represented by three-dimensional coordinate information.

The support region information 203 is transmitted to a support structure configuring portion 204. In the support structure configuring portion 204, the contents of setting information 205 or device information 206 are referred to together with the support region information 203, so that the structure of the support region is determined. The setting information 205 is information set beforehand by a user or an operator. The device information 206 is information which dynamically changes, such as specific information showing the operation specification of the molding device 101 or remaining amount information of various materials.

Then, support region configuring information 207 which is structural data of the support body to be disposed in the support region is generated. The support region configuring information 207 (structural data of the support body) of the present invention contains data about the classification (structural material or support material) of the materials configuring the support region and the arrangement thereof.

Next, slice data 208 is generated from the support region configuring information 207 and the structural data 201 of the molding target. The slice data 208 is data generated by slicing a molded article to be produced at predetermined intervals in the lamination direction and includes arrangement information of molding materials of each layer. When the structural data 201 of the molding target contains color information, material information, and the like, the slice data 208 also contains information of the kind of materials to be used for molding and arrangement information of various materials. The molding program controls each device of the molding device 101 to successively laminate layers on which the structural material and the support material are disposed based on the generated slice data 208 for molding.

Each of the structural data 201, the support region information 203, the setting information 205, the device information 206, and the support region configuring information 207 of the molding target is stored in storage portions, such as RAM and HDD, of the molding device 101 and the setting or the acquisition thereof is performed by reading/writing processing thereof.

Fig. 3 is a flow diagram illustrating in detail the processing of generating the support region configuring information (structural data of the support body) 207 in the support structure configuring portion 204. In Step S301, the support structure configuring portion 204 acquires the support region information 203. In Step S302, the support structure configuring portion 204 acquires the setting information 205 and the device information 206. Then, when the support structure configuring portion 204 generates the structural data of the support body to be provided in the support region in Step S303, judging processing of judging whether or not the support body is configured with only the support material is performed. In this step, when the judging processing is performed based on a condition set beforehand, and then the judging condition is matched, the process proceeds to Step S304. When the judging condition is not matched, the process proceeds to Step S305.

Examples of the judging condition include, for example, "whether or not the volume or the side length of the support region is equal to or higher than a prescribed value", "whether or not information permitting support by the structural material is contained in the setting information 205", "whether or not the remaining amount of the support material included in the device information 206 is equal to or lower than a prescribed amount", and the like. The judging processing may be performed based on one judging condition and may be performed based on the combination of a plurality of judging conditions.

As an example of setting "whether or not the volume or the side length of the support region is equal to or higher than a prescribed value" as the judging condition, when the prescribed value is set as 5 mm, it is judged whether or not the shortest side of the support region of the molding target is 5 mm or more. When the condition is matched, it is regarded that the condition for the process to proceed to Step S304 is matched. With respect to the prescribed value, a fixed value may be set as a parameter peculiar to the device or the prescribed value can be set and changed by a user.

As an example of setting the remaining amount of the support material as the judging condition, when the prescribed amount is defined as 1/10 of the charged amount of the support material contained in a material storage portion of the molding device 101, the remaining amount in molding is measured, and then it is judged whether the remaining amount is 1/10 or less of the total amount. When the measured remaining amount is 1/10 or less of the total amount, it is recognized that the condition for the process to proceed to Step S304 is matched. Alternatively, the volume of the support region of the molding target is calculated, and then comparison is performed whether or not a sufficient amount of the support material required for support remains. Then, when the remaining amount of the support material is not sufficient, it may be regarded that the condition for the process to proceed to Step S304 is matched.

The specific values of the prescribed amounts mentioned herein are examples and do not limit this example.

In Step S304, the support structure configuring portion 204 generates the support region configuring information 207 so that the support body is partially configured with the structural material. In this step, in order to easily remove the support body from the structure after the completion of molding, a boundary portion with the structure of the support body is molded with the support material to divide a region configured with the structural material from the structure of the support body. However, insofar as the division between the region configured with the structural material and the structure of the support body is not difficult to achieve, the region configured with the structural material of the support body and the structure may be partially connected to each other. The use ratio and the shape of the structural material and the support material to be used for molding of the support body to be formed in the support region may be determined according to the setting information 205 or the device information 206. For example, when the remaining amount of the support material or the structural material is detected to be slight by the acquisition of the device information 206, the support region configuring information 207 for forming a support body in which the use ratio of the material with a small remaining amount may be generated. Moreover, when information specifying the use ratio of the structural material in the support body is contained in the setting information 205, the support body may be configured based on the information. When the process proceeds to Step S305, the support structure configuring portion 204 generates the support region configuring information 207 for forming the support body only using the support material without using the structural material.

The structure and the configuration of the support region is sometimes dynamically changed during molding. For example, a case where the setting is changed by a user during molding, a case where a re-decision is made based on the remaining amount of the material, and the like are mentioned. When the remaining amount of the support material becomes smaller than the set amount, it is also suitable to recommend a user to configure a part of the support body with the structural material or to change the use ratio of the structural material to the support material for use in the support body, for example, by notification, to promote a user to perform resetting.

As described above, in the present invention, the structural data of a molding target and the setting information or the device information are acquired, and then the arrangement of the structural material and the support material in the support region is determined. Thus, according to situations, such as the remaining amount of the structural material or the support material and the user setting, a part of the support body is formed with the structural material. Thus, the amount of the support material dissolving in the removal of the support body is reduced without increasing the kind of the support material required for the formation of the support body, and the support body can be removed in a short time.

Next, the configuration of the support body determined by the support structure configuring portion 204 is described with reference to specific examples. The present invention is not limited to such embodiments.

First Embodiment

Fig. 4A is a view illustrating the shape of a molding target 401 with XYZ axes. In this embodiment, layers formed according to slice data created about planes parallel to the XY plane are laminated in the Z axis direction.

Fig. 4B is a XZ plan view illustrating a support region 402 and a structure 403 in a molded article to be produced in order to obtain the molding target 401. When molding is performed in a direction where the molding target 401 of an "H" shape is turned sideways, it is necessary to support an overhang portion. Therefore, the space below in the gravity direction the overhang portion is set as the support region 402. The structure 403 is a region equivalent to the molding target 401 and is formed with the structural material in principle. The coordinate information illustrating the positions of the support region 402 and the structure 403 is treated as the support region information 203 described above.

Fig. 4C is a view illustrating a case where the support body to be formed in the support region has a first region 404 formed with the support material and second regions 405 and 406 formed with the structural material. Information of the materials configuring each of the first region 404 and the second regions 405 and 406 or the position thereof is included in the support region configuring information 207. In the case of Fig. 4C, the support structure configuring portion 204 generates the support region configuring information 207 for providing the first region 404 along the interface between the structure 403 and the support region 402, and then generating the second regions 405 and 406 in the remaining support regions 402. The support body is formed based on the support region configuring information 207.

In the generation of the support region configuring information 207, the thickness and the shape of the first region 404 to be formed with the support material may be determined beforehand according to the physical properties of the material or may be determined according to user setting or the material remaining amount.

When the generated support region configuring information 207 and the structural data 201 of the molding target are combined, the structure of the molded article to be actually molded can be acquired. Therefore, the molded article which can be produced from the support region configuring information 207 and the structural data 201 of the molding target is sliced at fixed intervals in one direction (lamination direction), whereby slice data is generated.

The molding system successively laminates a plurality of layers obtained by disposing the structural material and the support material according to the generated slice data, whereby a molded article is produced.

Fig. 8 illustrates an example of a molding device 101 to which the laminate molding method or the program according to the present invention are suitably applied. The molding device 101 has a material layer forming portion 801, a molding portion 802, and a conveyance body 24 which connects the material layer forming portion 801 and the molding portion 802.

The material layer forming portion 801 has a material supply portion 21, a photoconductor 22, and a light source (not illustrated) according to the number of kinds of the molding material, and forms a material layer on the conveyance body 24. Fig. 8 illustrates a configuration in which one kind of structural material is used but the number of the set of the material supply portion 21, the photoconductor 22, and the light source to be provided in the material layer forming portion 801 can be increased according to the number of the kinds of structure particles to be used.

The layer configured with the structural material and the layer configured with the support material are individually formed on different photoconductors 22a and 22b. Laser light 23a ejected from the light source scans the photoconductor 22a and laser light 23b scans the photoconductor 22b, so that latent images are formed on the photoconductors 22a and 22b. Specifically, the latent image in the region formed with the structural material of the slice data is formed on the photoconductor 22a and the latent image in the region formed with the support material of the slice data is formed on the photoconductor 22b.

A material supply portion 21a stores a granular material of the structural material. A material supply portion 21b stores a granular material of the support material. The structural material is supplied to the photoconductor 22a from the material supply portion 21a, so that a layer containing the structural material is formed on the photoconductor 22a. From the material supply portion 21b, the support material is supplied to the photoconductor 22b, so that a layer containing the support material is formed on the photoconductor 22b. The layers formed on the photoconductors 22a and 22b are successively electrostatically transferred to the conveyance body 24, so that a material layer containing the structural material and the support material is formed. The order of transferring the material layers to the conveyance body 24 is not limited thereto. A layer containing one of the structural material and the support material may be transferred, and then a layer containing the other material may be transferred for the formation.

The material layer formed on the conveyance body 24 is heated, and then transferred and laminated on a molded article during molding on a stage 25. In the lamination, the molded article during molding and the heated material layer can be pressurized with a counter member 26 and the stage 25. The material layer may be heated by the counter member 26 containing a heater therein or may be heated by a heating unit different from the counter member 26. Thus, a molded article containing the structure 403 containing the structural material, the support body 404 containing the support material, and the support bodies 405 and 406 containing the structural material is formed. A molding device suitable for an electrophotographic system is not limited to the configuration of Fig. 8.

When the slice data is transmitted to the molding device of Fig. 8, the material layer forming portion 801 disposes the molding material and the support material of each layer according to the slice data, so that a material layer is formed on the conveyance body 24. The material layer is conveyed to the molding portion 802 by the conveyance body 24, and is laminated and molded on the stage 25. When the molding is completed, a molded article is obtained in which the first region 404 formed with the support material, the structure 403 formed with the structural material, and the second regions 405 and 406 are produced according to the data generated in the support structure configuring portion 204. In such a molded article, the second regions 405 and 406 can be simultaneously removed from the structure 403 by selectively dissolving the first region 404 by bringing the support body into contact with a solvent or by heating after molding.

According to this embodiment, the kind of the support material required for the configuration of the support body can be reduced as compared with PTL 1. Since most of the support body is molded with the structural material, the amount of the support material to be dissolved when removing the support body from the structure decreases, so that the removable of the support body can be achieved in a short time.

Second Embodiment

This embodiment describes a case of dividing the region formed with the structural material of the support body in the processing of generating the support region configuring information 207, i.e., the structural data of the support body, in order to more easily remove a support body. A molding target in this embodiment is the three-dimensional object illustrated in Fig. 4A similarly as in the case of First Embodiment, and a description of the same contents as those of First Embodiment is omitted.

Figs. 5A and 5B illustrate a case of configuring a support body with a first region 404 formed with the support material and a plurality of second regions 405A to 405C formed with the structural material in the support region 402 of Fig. 4B. Fig. 5A is a view illustrating the configuration of the support region 402 in the YZ cross section along the line VA-VA of Fig. 4A. The support body has the first region 404 formed with the support material and the plurality of second regions 405A to 405C divided by the first region 404 provided along the XZ plane. The XY cross section along the line VB-VB of Fig. 5A is illustrated in Fig. 5B. A region equivalent to the second region 406 in First Embodiment is also configured by a plurality of second regions 406A to 406C divided by the first region 404 provided along the XZ plane as in the region 405.

The support structure configuring portion 204 may determine the propriety of the division and the number of divisions based on whether or not the volume or the thickness of the support region 402 is equal to or higher than a prescribed value. Alternatively, the support structure configuring portion 204 may determine the propriety of the division and the number of divisions based on the remaining amount of various materials, the ratio of the materials to be used according to user setting, and the like. As an example, in a case where the prescribed value of the criterion for the division is set to 100 mm, when the result of calculating the length in the Y direction of the support region 402 is 250 mm, 3 is calculated as the number of divisions in the Y direction by performing the calculation in such a manner as to satisfy the criterion for the division by the minimum number of divisions. The prescribed value may be determined according to the characteristics of materials or devices or the setting of the prescribed value may be changed by a user. The division direction is not particularly limited. When the length is set as the criterion for division, the division may be performed so that the length of the support region 402 exceeds the prescribed value of the criterion for the division.

By configuring the support body as described above, the first region 404 easily dissolves in the removal process of the support body, so that the support body can be removed in a shorter time. As the prescribed value of the criterion for division is smaller, the removal time of the support body can be further reduced.

Third Embodiment

This example describes processing of subdividing a structure support region in order to achieve easy removal of a support member when the support body needs to be removed through a region of a limited size, e.g., a configuration in which a structure has closed space having an opening.

Fig. 6A is a view illustrating a molding target 601 having a shape in which an opening 606 is opened in the upper portion of a hollow box with XYZ axes. Molding is performed by laminating layers parallel to the XY plane in the Z axis direction.

Fig. 6B illustrates a molding target 603 corresponding to the molding target 601 and a support body containing a first region 604 formed with a support material and second regions 605A and 605B formed with a structural material in a cross section along the line VIB-VIB of Fig. 6A. Supposing that a support region inside the molding target 601 is formed with a second region in which the second regions 605A and 605B are connected into one region, the support member cannot be removed from the opening 606 in the upper portion of the molding target 601 after the completion of molding. In order to prevent the generation of such a problem, the support structure configuring portion 204 divides the second region formed with the structural material into a plurality of regions to generate structural data of the support body. The propriety of the division and the number of divisions are determined so that a portion configured with the structural material of the support body can pass through a removal path the support body based on the size (size of the opening 606) of the removal path of the support body estimated from analysis results of the structural data 201 of the molding target 601. Specifically, the size of the region configured with the structural material and the number of division are calculated so that at least one cross section of the region configured with the structural material is smaller than the size of the removal path of the support body, and then the second regions 605A and 605B are determined according to the calculation results. For example, when the lengths in the X direction and in the Y direction of the opening 606 are calculated to be 150 mm and 100 mm, respectively, the sizes of the upper surfaces of the second regions 605A and 605B are calculated to be 140 mm and 90 mm, respectively, which are values obtained by subtracting 10 mm as a margin from 150 mm and 100 mm. The number of divisions is determined by calculating the number of the second regions of the calculated size which can be contained in the first region 604. The margin value may be determined according to the characteristics of materials or devices or the setting of the margin value can be changed by a user.

By employing such a configuration, the support body can be formed using the structural material also in a molding process of a molding target in which the removal of the support body is difficult to achieve.

Fourth Embodiment

This embodiment describes a case of selecting the shape of a second region formed with a structural material. The same descriptions as those of First to Third Embodiments are omitted.

A description of this example is given taking a case of simultaneously producing three molding targets as an example. Fig. 7A is a view illustrating the arrangement in molding of three molding targets 701A, 701B, and 701C to be produced. As a result of extracting support regions of the molding targets 701A to 701C by the support region extracting portion 202, the internal hollow portions are extracted as the support regions. However, when the processing described in First Embodiment is carried out as it is, a second region formed with a structural material is formed to have a rectangular parallelepiped shape. In such a case, a user may confuse a structure 703C and the second region formed with the structural material which are to be separated from each other by the process of removing the support body. Then, in this embodiment, in order to prevent such confusion, a shape which is easily distinguished from a structure can be selected as the shape of the second region formed with the structural material.

Fig. 7B is a cross sectional view parallel to the XZ plane illustrating structures 703A, 703B, and 703C corresponding to the molding targets, first regions 704A and 704B containing support materials, and second regions 705A, 705B, and 705C containing structural materials. Herein, a support body in the case of performing lamination in the Z axis direction is illustrated.

The second regions 705A, 705B, and 705C containing structural materials each have a cylindrical shape. Since the cylindrical shape used as the shape of the second regions containing structural materials is different from the shapes of all the molding targets 701, 702, and 703, a user can be prevented from confusing the support body and the structure containing structural materials.

The support structure configuring portion 204 determines the shapes of the second regions 705A, 705B, and 705C formed with structural materials based on the user setting contained in the setting information 205. Examples of the shape selectable in this embodiment include shapes different from the shapes of the molding targets, such as a spherical shape and a rectangular parallelepiped shape, besides the cylindrical shape. The support structure configuring portion 204 generates the structural data 207 of the support body so that the size of the second regions 705A to 705C formed with structural materials and the arrangement thereof in a support region are determined according to the determined shape, and then the remaining support regions are compensated by the first regions 704A and 704B formed with support materials.

For the determination of the shapes and the sizes of the second regions formed with structural materials, automatic processing of determining the shape which is easily distinguished from the structure according to the shape of the molding target may be employed besides the processing of referring to the user setting.

Moreover, in the purpose of easily distinguishing the second regions from the structure, not only the shape but the surface color of the second regions formed with structural materials can be selected. In this case, besides determining the surface color referring to color selection information by a user, automatic processing may be employed which includes determining the surface color of the second regions formed with structural materials with colors other than the color to be used for the structure surface referring to the color information contained in the structural data. However, in this case, the molding system needs to have molding materials of a plurality of colors.

Moreover, the shape of the surfaces of the second regions formed with structural materials may be formed into a shape which can be distinguished from the structure or identification marks or characters for identification of the support may be formed by printing or provided with colors different from the color of the support body on the surface of the support body containing the structural material.

The processing described above can prevent the confusion between the structure and the portion formed with the structural material of the support body.

Embodiments of the present invention can also be realized by a computer of a system or apparatus that reads out and executes computer executable instructions (e.g., one or more programs) recorded on a storage medium (which may also be referred to more fully as a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium') to perform the functions of one or more of the above-described embodiments and/or that includes one or more circuits (e.g., application specific integrated circuit (ASIC)) for performing the functions of one or more of the above-described embodiments and by a method performed by the computer of the system or apparatus by, for example, reading out and executing the computer executable instructions from the storage medium to perform the functions of one or more of the above-described embodiments and/or controlling the one or more circuits to perform the functions of one or more of the above-described embodiments. The computer may comprise one or more processors (e.g., central processing unit (CPU), micro processing unit (MPU) and may include a network of separate computers or separate processors to read out and execute the computer executable instructions. The computer executable instructions may be provided to the computer, for example, from a network or the storage medium. The storage medium may include, for example, one or more of a hard disk, a random-access memory (RAM), a read only memory (ROM), a storage of distributed computing systems and an optical disk (such as a compact disc (CD), digital versatile disc (DVD), or Blu-ray Disc (BD)*), a flash memory device, a memory card, and the like.

As described above, the present invention can provide a molding method of a three-dimensional object capable of removing a support body in a short time without increasing the kind of the support material required for the formation of the support body.

While the present invention has been described with reference to exemplary embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed exemplary embodiments. The scope of the following claims is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structures and functions.

This application claims the benefit of Japanese Patent Application No. 2015-148154, filed July 27, 2015, and No. 2016-139790, filed July 14, 2016, which are hereby incorporated by reference herein in their entirety.

Claims (20)

  1. A laminate molding method comprising:
    performing molding using a structural material configuring a molding target and a support material to be used for molding of a support body supporting the structural material, wherein the support material is a material which dissolves in a solvent in which the structural material does not dissolve, and, when a structure of the support body matches a predetermined condition, the support body is partially molded with the structural material.
  2. The laminate molding method according to Claim 1, wherein a boundary portion with the molding target of the support body is molded with the support material.
  3. The laminate molding method according to Claim 1 or 2, wherein a water-soluble material is used as the support material.
  4. The laminate molding method according to Claim 3, wherein the molding target is obtained by bringing a molded article obtained by completing molding into contact with a solvent containing water to dissolve a portion molded with the support material.
  5. The laminate molding method according to Claim 1, wherein the predetermined condition is based on at least one of information of a device to be used for molding and setting information.
  6. The laminate molding method according to Claim 5, wherein the information of the device is remaining amount information of the structural material and the support material of the device.
  7. The laminate molding method according to Claim 6, wherein it is judged whether or not a part of a support body to be molded later is molded using the structural material referring to the remaining amount information during molding.
  8. The laminate molding method according to any one of Claims 1 to 7, wherein, when a volume or a side length of the support body is equal to or higher than a prescribed value, a region molded with the structure of the support body is divided into a plurality of regions in such a manner that a volume or a side length of the region molded with the structural material of the support body is lower than the prescribed value.
  9. The laminate molding method according to any one of Claims 1 to 7, wherein a size of a removal path of the support body estimated from the molding target is calculated, and then a size of the portion configured with the structural material of the support body is molded to be smaller than the size.
  10. The laminate molding method according to any one of Claims 1 to 9, wherein a shape of the region containing the structural material of the support body or a color of the structural material is set referring to a shape of the molding target, color information, or the setting information.
  11. The laminate molding method according to Claim 10, wherein molding is performed in such a manner that the shape of the region containing the structural material of the support body or a color of the structural material to be used for molding is different from a shape or a color of the molding target.
  12. The laminate molding method according to any one of Claims 1 to 11, wherein an identification mark or a character for identification of the support body is formed on a surface of the support body molded with the structural material.
  13. A program for use in laminate molding using a structural material configuring a molding target and a support material to be used for molding of a support body supporting the molding target, the program comprising:
    processing of extracting a support region where the support body is disposed from structural data of the molding target, and generating position information;
    judging processing of judging whether or not the support region matches a predetermined condition; and
    processing of generating structural data of a support body to be molded in the support region, wherein, when the support region matches the predetermined condition in the judging processing, the processing of generating the structural data of the support body generates data for molding a part of the support region with the structural material.
  14. The program according to Claim 13, wherein the processing of generating the structural data of the support body generates data for molding a boundary portion with the molding target of the support region with the support material.
  15. The program according to Claim 13 or 14, wherein the judging processing judges referring to remaining amount information of the structural material and the support material that the support region matches the predetermined condition when the remaining amount information is lower than an amount set beforehand.
  16. The program according to Claim 15, comprising:
    processing of, referring to the remaining amount information of the structural material and the support material in the judging processing, promoting a user to specify a use ratio of the structural material and the support material in the support region by notification when the remaining amount information is lower than the amount set beforehand.
  17. The program according to any one of Claims 13 to 16, wherein the processing of generating the structural data of the support body includes processing of calculating a volume of the support region, and then comparing the volume with a prescribed value, and, when the volume of the support region is equal to or higher than the prescribed value, a volume of a region formed with a structural material is made lower than the prescribed value.
  18. The program according to any one of Claims 13 to 16, wherein the processing of generating the structural data of the support body calculates a size of a removal path of the support body estimated from the structural data of the molding target, and then makes a size of a portion molded with the structural material smaller than the size of the removal path of the support body.
  19. The program according to any one of Claims 13 to 18, wherein the processing of generating the structural data of the support body determines a shape or a surface color of the portion molded with the structural material based on information set beforehand, or shape or color information of the molding target contained in the structural data.
  20. The program according to any one of Claims 13 to 19, comprising:
    processing of generating slice data including arrangement information of the structural material and the support material of each layer from the structural data of the molding target and the generated structural data of the support body.
PCT/JP2016/003426 2015-07-27 2016-07-22 Laminate molding method and program for use in the same WO2017017941A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP2015148154 2015-07-27
JP2015-148154 2015-07-27
JP2016139790A JP2017024410A (en) 2015-07-27 2016-07-14 Lamination molding device and program used therefor
JP2016-139790 2016-07-14

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2017017941A1 true true WO2017017941A1 (en) 2017-02-02

Family

ID=56787660

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/JP2016/003426 WO2017017941A1 (en) 2015-07-27 2016-07-22 Laminate molding method and program for use in the same

Country Status (1)

Country Link
WO (1) WO2017017941A1 (en)

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5503785A (en) * 1994-06-02 1996-04-02 Stratasys, Inc. Process of support removal for fused deposition modeling
JP2004255839A (en) 2003-02-28 2004-09-16 Hitachi Printing Solutions Ltd Ink jet three-dimensionally shaping device and shaping method
US20100096485A1 (en) * 2008-10-22 2010-04-22 Stratasys, Inc. Filament guide mechanism for filament spool container
US20140271221A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 United Technologies Corporation Usage of a witness mark to distinguish support structure from part

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5503785A (en) * 1994-06-02 1996-04-02 Stratasys, Inc. Process of support removal for fused deposition modeling
JP2004255839A (en) 2003-02-28 2004-09-16 Hitachi Printing Solutions Ltd Ink jet three-dimensionally shaping device and shaping method
US20100096485A1 (en) * 2008-10-22 2010-04-22 Stratasys, Inc. Filament guide mechanism for filament spool container
US20140271221A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 United Technologies Corporation Usage of a witness mark to distinguish support structure from part

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US20120105903A1 (en) Networked three-dimensional printing
US20120092724A1 (en) Networked three-dimensional printing
Priyadarshi et al. Geometric algorithms for automated design of multi-piece permanent molds
Brahnam et al. Local binary patterns: new variants and applications
US20140072347A1 (en) Developer accommodating container, process cartridge and image forming apparatus
Chen et al. RETRACTED: Obstacle avoidance design for a humanoid intelligent robot with ultrasonic sensors
Kim et al. Simulation study of seemingly fickian but heterogeneous dynamics of two dimensional colloids
US20160217617A1 (en) Augmented reality device interfacing
US8970884B2 (en) Image forming apparatus
CN103481515A (en) Three-dimensional (3D) printer
US20170091706A1 (en) System for monitoring the condition of packages throughout transit
US20160171775A1 (en) Information augmented product guide
US8786648B1 (en) Image erasing apparatus
US20080154750A1 (en) Order fulfillment and content management systems and methods
Zhou et al. LIDAR and vision-based real-time traffic sign detection and recognition algorithm for intelligent vehicle
US20120200874A1 (en) Electronic apparatus and information displaying method
WO2010041377A1 (en) Representative image display device and representative image selection method
Kashyap et al. Process parameter optimization of plastic injection molding: a review
US20090106749A1 (en) System, method, and computer software code for determining whether a change in a subsystem is compatible with a system
US20110315758A1 (en) Method and apparatus for storing and verifying serial numbers using smart labels in an image production device
US20080260395A1 (en) Image forming apparatus and misprint detection method
JPH11352848A (en) Image forming device and method for controlling paper ejection
Crockett et al. The Zynq Book
US20160219165A1 (en) Display System, Portable Display Device, Display Control Device, And Display Method
JP2005326779A (en) Image forming apparatus

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
121 Ep: the epo has been informed by wipo that ep was designated in this application

Ref document number: 16754569

Country of ref document: EP

Kind code of ref document: A1

NENP Non-entry into the national phase in:

Ref country code: DE

122 Ep: pct application non-entry in european phase

Ref document number: 16754569

Country of ref document: EP

Kind code of ref document: A1