RPMI releases Build Time Estimator for Windows platforms

From: Giorgos Hatzilias (giorgos.hatzilias@marc.gatech.edu)
Date: Fri Apr 28 2000 - 22:57:51 EEST

Actually Ken, that is a beta release that is floating around. The latest
version also has various bug fixes.

RPML subscribers,


The Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute at Georgia Tech is now
releasing version 1.1 of the popular Build Time Estimator now for Windows
platforms (95,98,NT, and 2000!). Please visit http://rpmi.marc.gatech.edu/
and click "Activities->BTE" to download your new copy today!

We ask that you please take just a moment to feel out the feedback survey!


Giorgos Hatzilias
Laboratory Manager
Office 404.385.0894 ___ ___ ___ MARC 336
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Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute
http://rpmi.marc.gatech.edu/ mailto:giorgos.hatzilias@marc.gatech.edu



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The BTE uses .v and .r files generated from 3D Systems Lightyear and Maestro software to estimate build times on 3D Systems line of SLA250s, and has been found to be relatively accurate. Below is the abstract from Joel McClurkin's Thesis: Build Time Estimation for Stereolithography

Joel E. McClurkin and David W. Rosen, ported to Windows by Shiva Sambu

Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA 30332-0560


1 Abstract When building a part using the stereolithography apparatus (SLA), it is difficult to accurately predict how long that part will take to build. Since most service bureaus that use the SLA bill their customers by the hour, it is important to have an accurate estimate for quoting purposes. Build time estimation is also useful for research issues that involve the speed of the SLA. Rather than build test parts and timing how long they take to complete, the part could be prepared and then the build time could then be estimated. Build time estimation is also useful for managing the use of the SLA. Accurately estimating build time allows the operator to postpone long builds until the end of a work day to build overnight. In each of the previous cases, accurate build time estimation saves both time and money.

Currently, most build time estimation methods are based on information derived form the .STL file such as the part surface area, volume, and height. These methods require minimal processing of the .STL file and are good for quick estimates. However, they lack the flexibility to account for changes in hatch and recoat styles and also lack the accuracy needed for some applications. In this paper we propose a method for estimating SLA build times that is usually accurate to within 5% and often accurate within 3%. This method is based on the information contained in the files that result from slicing and processing the .STL file, specifically the range (.r) and vector (.v) files. By analyzing the information in these files, it is possible to very accurately guesss the time it will take an object to build. In this paper we describe how this information is used to generate an accurate build time estimate for the SLA and how it is implemented in a computer program.

> -----Original Message----- > From: Ken Zukley (by way of Reggie Ponder > <reginald.ponder@marc.gatech.edu>) [mailto:ken@interpro-rtc.com] > Sent: Friday, April 28, 2000 3:11 PM > To: giorgos.hatzilias@marc.gatech.edu > Subject: Build Time Estimator for NT > > > Hello List: > > It seems that some of you have been getting error messages from the > Georgia Tech address that I had sent earlier > > I have taken the liberty fo attaching a ZIP file containing the files > necessary to run the estimator. > > Once again, I wish to thank all those involved with the project at Georgia > Tech. > > Hope this helps. > > Ken Zukley > InterPRO Rapid Technologies >

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