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Research Papers

Additive Manufacturing of Transparent Soda-Lime Glass Using a Filament-Fed Process

[+] Author and Article Information
Junjie Luo

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
400 West 13th Street,
Rolla, MO 65401
e-mail: ljwtb@mst.edu

Luke J. Gilbert

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
400 West 13th Street,
Rolla, MO 65401
e-mail: ljgb79@mst.edu

Chuang Qu

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
400 West 13th Street,
Rolla, MO 65401
e-mail: cq3z5@mst.edu

Robert G. Landers

Fellow ASME
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
400 West 13th Street,
Rolla, MO 65401
e-mail: landersr@mst.edu

Douglas A. Bristow

Mem. ASME
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
400 West 13th Street,
Rolla, MO 65401
e-mail: dbristow@mst.edu

Edward C. Kinzel

Mem. ASME
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
400 West 13th Street,
Rolla, MO 65401
e-mail: kinzele@mst.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received October 12, 2015; final manuscript received November 1, 2016; published online January 25, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Yong Huang.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 139(6), 061006 (Jan 25, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: MANU-15-1512; doi: 10.1115/1.4035182 History: Received October 12, 2015; Revised November 01, 2016

There are many scientific and engineering applications of transparent glass including optics, communications, electronics, and hermetic seals. However, there has been minimal research toward the additive manufacturing (AM) of transparent glass parts. This paper describes and demonstrates a filament-fed technique for AM of transparent glass. A transparent glass filament is melted by a CO2 laser and solidifies as the workpiece is translated relative to the stationary laser beam. To prevent thermal shock, the workpiece rests on a heated build platform. In order to obtain optically transparent parts, several challenges must be overcome, notably producing index homogeneity and avoiding bubble formation. The effects of key process parameters on the morphology and transparency of the printed glass are explored experimentally. These results are compared to a low-order model relating the process parameters to the temperature of the molten region, which is critical to the quality of the deposited glass. At lower temperatures, the glass is not fully melted, resulting in index variations in the final part, while at higher temperatures, phase separation introduces bubbles and other defects into the part. The correct process avoids these issues and deposits optically transparent glass.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Filament-fed glass AM process: (a) schematic of the process, (b) photograph of a green glass wall being printed, and (c) photograph of experimental setup

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Fig. 2

Single-track cross-sectional geometry. Photographs of polished tracks deposited with (a) 20 W, (b) 35 W, and (c) 50 W for f = 1 mm/s and v = 0.5 mm/s, (d) track width, height, and contact angle, and (e) cross-sectional area as a function of laser power.

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Fig. 3

Morphology of single-track wide glass walls: (a) photographs of different wall types placed in front of university logo for better visualization—A: flat top, B: round top, and C: irregular shape. Parts are built from bottom to top with arrow in B indicating the build direction. (b)–(e) Process maps showing type of wall printed as a function of laser power and feed rate for different feed rate to scan speed ratios. (b) f/v = 0.5, (c) f/v = 1.0, (d) f/v = 2.0, and (e) f/v = 3.0.

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Fig. 4

Micrographs of glass wall cross sections: (a) f = 1 mm/s, v = 0.5 mm/s, and P = 20 W and (b) f = 1 mm/s, v = 0.5 mm/s, and P = 50 W

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Fig. 5

Measured extinction coefficient of glass walls as a function of processing parameters: (a)–(c) samples shown in Fig. 6

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Fig. 6

Photographs of samples under different conditions: in contact with background (left column), separated from the background (middle column), and dark-field (right column). (a) Low-power sample, (b) medium power sample, (c) high-power sample, and (d) furnace cast sample.

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Fig. 7

Ellipsometrically measured refractive index for specimens created with low-, medium-, and high-power samples

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Fig. 8

Mass and energy balance surrounding laser-heated region

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Fig. 9

Estimated molten region temperature using energy balance model for f = 2v

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Fig. 10

Convex shape made using filament-fed glass AM process

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