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    It is widely known that the printing quality of fused filament fabrication (FFF) is heavily affected by environmental temperature and humidity, taking the form of warping and porosity. However, there is little understanding about the quantitative relations between environmental conditions, geometry, and the mechanical properties of printed parts. In this study, we systematically investigated those relations using bisphenol A polycarbonate as a model material system. For the environmental temperature, an in-situ infrared imaging analysis revealed the presence of an up to 5.4 °C/mm thermal gradient when printing using an open-chamber printer and a heated build plate. For the environmental humidity, an analysis of X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scans showed an up to 11.7% porosity that was brought by polymer water content absorbed from environmental moisture. Meanwhile, tensile tests showed a mechanical performance loss associated with those defects, but, surprisingly, the transverse direction ductility had the potential to increase at a higher porosity. Furthermore, the experimental results were combined with analytical and parametrical studies to elucidate quantitative relations between environmental conditions and printing quality. Based on the results, quantitative guidelines for the estimation of printing quality based on environmental conditions are provided that would also help users to obtain desired printing results with a better understanding of the effects of environmental conditions. 
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  4. Abstract

    3D printing is a popular fabrication technique because of its ability to produce complex architectures. Melt‐based 3D printing is widely used for thermoplastic polymers like poly(caprolactone) (PCL), poly(lactic acid) (PLA), and poly(lactic‐co‐glycolic acid) (PLGA) because of their low processing temperatures. However, traditional melt‐based techniques require processing temperatures and pressures high enough to achieve continuous flow, limiting the type of polymer that can be printed. Solvent‐cast printing (SCP) offers an alternative approach to print a wider range of polymers. Polymers are dissolved in a volatile solvent that evaporates during deposition to produce a solid polymer filament. SCP, therefore, requires optimizing polymer concentration in the ink, print pressure, and print speed to achieve desired print fidelity. Here, capillary flow analysis shows how print pressure affects the process‐apparent viscosity of PCL, PLA, and PLGA inks. Ink viscosity is also measured using rheology, which is used to link a specific ink viscosity to a predicted set of print pressure and print speed for all three polymers. These results demonstrate how this approach can be used to accelerate optimization by significantly reducing the number of parameter combinations. This strategy can be applied to other polymers to expand the library of polymers printable with SCP.

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