Campus Units

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Proceedings of the Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium

First Page


Last Page


Conference Title

2010 Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium

Conference Date

August 9-11, 2010


Austin, TX


This paper presents a Rapid Pattern Manufacturing system that involves both additive and subtractive techniques whereby slabs are sequentially bonded and milled using layered toolpaths. Patterns are grown in a bottom-up fashion, both eliminating the need for multi-axis operations and allowing small features in deep cavities. Similar approaches exist in the literature; however, this system is able to provide a larger range of both materials and sizes, from smaller conventional injection mold tooling to very large wood or urethane sand casting patterns. This method introduces a novel sacrificial support structure approach by integrating a flask into the pattern build process. The system has been implemented in an automated machine capable of producing patterns in excess of several thousand pounds in a build envelope over 1m3 . In this current research, a new layer bonding method using friction stir welding of aluminum plates is presented. In this manner, one can create seam-free laminated aluminum injection mold tooling using a unique combination of industrial adhesives and friction stir spot welding to secure the slab initially, then continuous friction stir welding of layer perimeters that are subsequently machined in a layer-wise process.


This is a proceeding from Solid Freeform Fabrication Proceedings (2010): 242. Posted with permission.

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Laboratory for Freeform Fabrication



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