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A review on fibre reinforced composite printing via FFF

Isaac Ferreira (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal)
Margarida Machado (Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Porto, Portugal)
Fernando Alves (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal)
António Torres Marques (University of Porto, Porto, Portugal)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 15 August 2019

Issue publication date: 21 August 2019




In industry, fused filament fabrication (FFF) offers flexibility and agility by promoting a reduction in costs and in the lead-time (i.e. time-to-market). Nevertheless, FFF parts exhibit some limitations such as lack of accuracy and/or lower mechanical performance. As a result, some alternatives have been developed to overcome some of these restrictions, namely, the formulation of high performance polymers, the creation of fibre-reinforced materials by FFF process and/or the design of new FFF-based technologies for printing composite materials. This work aims to analyze these technologies.


This work aims to study and understand the advances in the behaviour of 3D printed parts with enhanced performance by its reinforcement with several shapes and types of fibres from nanoparticles to continuous fibre roving. Thus, a comprehensive survey of significant research studies carried out regarding FFF of fibre-reinforced thermoplastics is provided, giving emphasis to the most relevant and innovative developments or adaptations undergone at hardware level and/or on the production process of the feedstock.


It is shown that the different types of reinforcement present different challenges for the printing process with different outcomes in the part performance.


This review is focused on joining the most important researches dedicated to the process of FFF-printed parts with different types reinforcing materials. By dividing the reinforcements in categories by shape/geometry and method of processing, it is possible to better quantify performance improvements.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the funding of Project POCI-0145-FEDER-016414-FIBR3D, which was cofinanced by Programa Operacional Regional de Lisboa (LISBOA 2020), for manufacturing additives based on hybrid processes for long or continuous fibre reinforced polymeric matrix composites.


Ferreira, I., Machado, M., Alves, F. and Torres Marques, A. (2019), "A review on fibre reinforced composite printing via FFF", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 972-988.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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