A novel additive manufacturing algorithm was developed to increase the consistency of three-dimensional (3D) printed curvilinear or conformal patterns on freeform surfaces. The algorithm dynamically and locally compensates the nozzle location with respect to the pattern geometry, motion direction, and topology of the substrate to minimize lagging or leading during conformal printing. The printing algorithm was implemented in an existing 3D printing system that consists of an extrusion-based dispensing module and an XYZ-stage. A dispensing head is fixed on a Z-axis and moves vertically, while the substrate is installed on an XY-stage and moves in the x–y plane. The printing algorithm approximates the printed pattern using nonuniform rational B-spline (NURBS) curves translated directly from a 3D model. Results showed that the proposed printing algorithm increases the consistency in the width of the printed patterns. It is envisioned that the proposed algorithm can facilitate nonplanar 3D printing using common and commercially available Cartesian-type 3D printing systems.

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