Abstract

The present work aimed at investigating the feasibility of product mass customization according to consumers’ needs, making full use of advantages of both the selective laser melting (SLM) and injection molding. For this purpose, a new type of cylindrical injection mold core with a diameter of 30 mm was designed. In this core, ear structures for assembly purpose were designed with different inclined angles (i.e., 45, 60 and 75°). As the first stage of the goal, in this paper all ear structures were 3D printed separately using the SLM machine (SLM Solution 125), and the printed angle accuracy and surface quality of the inclined surfaces were evaluated. It’s found that the angle accuracy of the 3D printed inclined surface is directly proportional to the designed angle of the ear structures. Meanwhile, the fringe laser re-melting strategy gave the smoothest surface of the printed components. For example, the roughness values for the top and inclined surfaces are 8.831 and 7.212 μm, respectively. As fully integrating the individualization of SLM and the batch production capacity of injection molding, this work will provide theoretical and experimental data support for the mass customization.

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