Evaluation of 3D Printed tags for Direct Part Marking on Metal Castings




Sobrevilla Rosas, Nicte

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Direct Part Marking (DPM), or the marking of individual parts with an identifying marking, is becoming increasingly important as manufacturing leans into Industry 4.0. DPM, specifically in metal cast parts, has the potential to improve tracking from cradle to grave, starting from the moment a part is cast. Incorporating DPM allows engineers to narrow down defects for analysis and continuous improvement, and for costumers to have more precise and reliable access to information on their manufactured part. In this work we focus on the additive manufacturing of 3D printed tags to a cast part during the casting process. We performed two separate experiments to test the efficiency and viability of this technology. The first experiment tested the feasibility of printing tags in a resin printer and casting them. Through analyzing and comparing dimensions of designed tags, printed tags, and markings (cast tags) we learned that we could replicate designed tags with an accuracy of 93%. The accuracy of a marking being able to be measured was 65%. The main problem encountered when reading these markings for information was contrast. After identifying this problem, our following experiment addressed this issue by creating new tags with different patterns and after being cast, testing different ways of post processing the marking to increase contrast. We learned that the main key to having a marking read the alphanumeric contents accurately was by having contrast between the background of the tag and its largest ‘L shape defining feature, or base. There is potential for this technology to be implemented into industry and for it to be more automated with large contributions to current environmental efforts.



direct part marking, additive manufacturing, traceability, castings


Sobrevilla Rosas, N. (2023). Evaluation of 3D printed tags for direct part marking on metal castings (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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