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  1. The mechanical properties of woven natural fiber reinforced polymers additively manufactured through Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) technology are investigated in this paper. The benefits of both the material and manufacturing process were combined into a sustainable practice, as a potential alternative to traditional synthetic composite materials made from nonrenewable crude oil with limited end-of-life alternatives. Woven jute fiber reinforcements are used to strengthen both synthetic and bio- thermoplastic polymers in creating highly biodegradable composite structures. Such materials, as one of the prospective alternatives for synthetic composites, can be used in many engineering fields such as automobile panels, construction materials, and commodity and recreational products including sports and musical instruments. A LOM 3D printer prototype was designed and built by the authors. All woven jute/polymer biocomposite test specimens made using the built prototype in this study had their mechanical (both tensile and flexural) properties assessed using ASTM test standards and then compared to similar values measured from pure polymer specimens. Improved mechanical characteristics were identified and analyzed. Finally, SEM imaging was performed to identify the polymer infusion and fibermatrix bonding conditions. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 2, 2025
  2. Beckwith, S. ; Flinn, B. ; Dustin, J. (Ed.)
    A novel additive manufacturing process utilizing the laminated object manufacturing (LOM) technology with woven natural fiber-reinforced biopolymer is investigated in this paper. Traditional synthetic composite materials are products from nonrenewable crude oil with limited end-of-life options, and therefore not environmentally friendly. The continuous woven natural fiber is used to significantly strengthen the mechanical properties of biocomposites and PLA biopolymer as the matrix made the material completely biodegradable. This is one of the promising replacements for synthetic composites in applications such as automotive panels, constructive materials, and sports and musical instruments. A LOM 3D printer prototype has been designed and built by the team using a laser beam in cutting the woven natural fiber reinforcement and molten PLA powder to bind layers together. Tensile and flexural properties of the LOM 3D printed biocomposites were measured using ASTM test standards and then compared with corresponding values measured from pure PLA specimens 3D printed through FDM. Improved mechanical properties from LOM 3D-printed biocomposites were identified by the team. SEM imaging was performed to identify the polymer infusing and fiber-matrix binding situations. This research took advantage of both the material and process’s benefits and combine them into one sustainable practice. 
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  3. Ozden Ochoa (Ed.)
    This paper investigates the mechanical properties of potential sheet stocks of a Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) 3D printer made using woven jute fabrics infused with two types of bioresin. The combinations of bioresins and the reinforcements would make green sheet stocks that are expected to be environmentally friendly comparing to traditional synthetic fibers infused with regular resins. Pure resin samples are also involved for comparison purposes. Both tensile and flexural properties are measured following ASTM D638 and D3039 standards (for tensile tests) as well as ASTM D790 and D7264 standards (for flexural tests). Detailed processes of specimen preparation followed by test procedures are introduced. Tensile strengths and moduli as well as flexural strengths and moduli are obtained for comparison. Based on the study of the mechanical properties of both types of pure resin and woven jute fiber-reinforced composites, the research team concluded a few important findings that could be used as guidelines in the sheet stock selection and preparation for the LOM 3D printer that is currently under the building process. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    Purpose This paper aims to summarize the up-to-date research performed on combinations of various biofibers and resin systems used in different three-dimensional (3D) printing technologies, including powder-based, material extrusion, solid-sheet and liquid-based systems. Detailed information about each process, including materials used and process design, are described, with the resultant products’ mechanical properties compared with those of 3D-printed parts produced from pure resin or different material combinations. In most processes introduced in this paper, biofibers are beneficial in improving the mechanical properties of 3D-printed parts and the biodegradability of the parts made using these green materials is also greatly improved. However, research on 3D printing of biofiber-reinforced composites is still far from complete, and there are still many further studies and research areas that could be explored in the future. Design/methodology/approach The paper starts with an overview of the current scenario of the composite manufacturing industry and then the problems of advanced composite materials are pointed out, followed by an introduction of biocomposites. The main body of the paper covers literature reviews of recently emerged 3D printing technologies that were applied to biofiber-reinforced composite materials. This part is classified into subsections based on the form of the starting materials used in the 3D printing process. A comprehensive conclusion is drawn at the end of the paper summarizing the findings by the authors. Findings Most of the biofiber-reinforced 3D-printed products exhibited improved mechanical properties than products printed using pure resin, indicating that biofibers are good replacements for synthetic ones. However, synthetic fibers are far from being completely replaced by biofibers due to several of their disadvantages including higher moisture absorbance, lower thermal stability and mechanical properties. Many studies are being performed to solve these problems, yet there are still some 3D printing technologies in which research concerning biofiber-reinforced composite parts is quite limited. This paper unveils potential research directions that would further develop 3D printing in a sustainable manner. Originality/value This paper is a summary of attempts to use biofibers as reinforcements together with different resin systems as the starting material for 3D printing processes, and most of the currently available 3D printing techniques are included herein. All of these attempts are solutions to some principal problems with current 3D printing processes such as the limit in the variety of materials and the poor mechanical performance of 3D printed parts. Various types of biofibers are involved in these studies. This paper unveils potential research directions that would further widen the use of biofibers in 3D printing in a sustainable manner. 
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