Additive manufacturing promises to revolutionize manufacturing industries. However, 3D printing of novel build materials is currently limited by constraints inherent to printer designs. In this work, a bench-top powder melt extrusion (PME) 3D printer head was designed and fabricated to print parts directly from powder-based materials rather than filament. The final design of the PME printer head evolved from the Rich Rap Universal Pellet Extruder (RRUPE) design and was realized through an iterative approach. The PME printer was made possible by modifications to the funnel shape, pressure applied to the extrudate by the auger, and hot end structure. Through comparison of parts printed with the PME printer with those from a commercially available fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printer using common thermoplastics poly(lactide) (PLA), high impact poly(styrene) (HIPS), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) powders (< 1 mm in diameter), evaluation of the printer performance was performed. For each build material, the PME printed objects show comparable viscoelastic properties by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) to those of the FFF objects. However, due to a significant difference in printer resolution between PME (X–Y resolution of 0.8 mm and a Z-layer height calibrated to 0.1 mm) and FFF (X–Y resolution of 0.4 mm and a Z-layer heightmore »
Optimizing the Tensile Strength for 3D Printed PLA Parts
This research investigates on how extruder nozzle temperature, model infill rate (i.e. density) and number of shells affect the tensile strength of three-dimensional polylactic acid (PLA) products manufactured with the fused deposition model technology. Our goal is to enhance the quality of 3D printed products using the Makerbot Replicator. In the last thirty years, additive manufacturing has been increasingly commercialized, therefore, it is critical to understand properties of PLA products to broaden the use of 3D printing. We utilize a Universal Tensile Machine and Quality Engineering to comprehend tensile strength characteristics of PLA. Tensile strength tests are performed on PLA specimens to analyze their resistance to breakage. Statistical analysis of the experimental data collected shows that extruder temperature and model infill rate (i.e. density) affect tensile strength.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Solid Freeform Fabrication 2019: Proceedings of the 30th Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium - An Additive Manufacturing Conference
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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