Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide insights for understanding the relationship between rapid manufacturing process for rhenium components in jet nozzle fabrication using electron beam-physical vapor deposition (EB-PVD). Specifically, to develop a methodology to characterize and improve this new process through motion planning for maintaining uniformity in the deposition thickness. Design/methodology/approach This research first identifies several important objectives for the process, and then develops an optimized heuristic method based on a look-ahead approach to generate motion plans for uniform thickness objective. In this heuristic, the surface of the workpiece is modeled using finite element method and the accumulated thickness of each layer on each element is computed based on its location in the vapor plume using a ray casting algorithm. Findings Computational experiments show that the proposed algorithm can potentially provide significant improvements in the uniformity of the layers and cost savings in manufacturing compared to prevailing practice, especially for low-volume production such as aerospace applications. Research limitations/implications In this research, net-shaped jet nozzle has been fabricated using a graphite mandrel. Therefore, the mandrel-based approach can be limited to producing hollow components. Practical implications The proposed method is very generic and thus can be applied for multi-material manufacturing process identifying the sweet spot of the intersecting vapor plumes. Originality/value This research can help the EB-PVD process for rapid manufacturing which has been considered as financially expensive to be accepted in real practice by providing a relationship of the process-to-product transformation through the developed motion planning methods.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanical Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering