Multi-axis slicing for solid freeform fabrication (SFF) manufacturing process can yield non-uniform thickness layers, or 3-D layers. Using the traditional parallel layer construction approach to build such a layer leads to a staircase which requires machining or other post processing to form the desired shape. This paper presents a direct 3-D layer deposition approach. This approach uses an empirical model to predict the layer thickness based on experimental data. The toolpath between layers is not parallel; instead, it follows the final shape of the designed geometry and the distance between the toolpath in the adjacent layers varies at different locations. Directly depositing a 3-D layer not only eliminates the staircase effect, but also improves the manufacturing efficiency by shortening the deposition and machining times. A single track deposition experiment has demonstrated these advantages. Thus, it is a beneficial addition to the traditional parallel deposition method.

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