Ultrasonic vibration is widely used in rapid prototyping process which creates solid joint from work pieces using high frequency and low amplitude. The quality of the joint is strongly related to operating parameters used, but the key operating parameters and their impacts on the quality of the joint are not well understood. A 3-D thermal-mechanical finite element model is developed to investigate the effects of control parameters of ultrasonic vibration (vibration amplitude, vibration cycle, applied force, preheating temperature) on the joint quality. Simulation results show that with the increase of each parameter, such as applied force, vibration amplitude, vibration cycle and preheating temperature, both average plastic deformation and joint temperature are increased. This temperature-strain map can help us find the optimum operating conditions in manufacturing.

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