Due to the varieties of available Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies, it is challenging to select appropriate processes to cost effectively build a part, especially when a user does not have in-depth knowledge about AM. In this paper, we introduce approximate models of build time and cost for AM processes that can be used for early stage process selection. Therefore, a user can identify and compare candidate manufacturing processes based on build time and cost estimates that are computed from approximate geometric information about the part, specifically the part’s bounding box and its estimated volume. The build time model is based on a generalized parameterization of AM processes that applies to laser-based scanning (Stereolithography, powder bed fusion), filament extrusion (fused-deposition modeling), ink-jet printing, and mask-projection processes. Build time estimates were tested by comparing them to the measured build time of parts in fabricated using Stereolithography, ink-jet printing, and fused deposition modeling processes.

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