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Edge quality in fused deposition modeling: II. experimental verification

Antonio Armillotta (Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)
Stefano Bianchi (Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)
Marco Cavallaro (Institute of Materials and Manufacturing, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)
Stefania Minnella (Synesis European Consortium, Vigevano, Italy)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 20 June 2017




This paper aims to provide an experimental evaluation of geometric errors on the edges of parts manufactured by the fused deposition modeling (FDM) process.


An experimental plan was conducted by building parts in ABS thermoplastic resin on a commercially available machine with given combinations of the three geometric variables (inclination, included and incidence angle) defined in the first part of the paper. Edges on built parts were inspected on a two-dimensional non-contact profilometer to measure position and form errors.


The analysis of measurement results revealed that the edge-related variables have significant influences on the geometric errors. The interpretation of error variations with respect to the different angles confirmed the actual occurrence of the previously discussed error causes. As an additional result, quantitative predictions of the errors were provided as a function of angle values.

Research limitations/implications

The experimental results refer to fixed process settings (material, FDM machine, layer thickness, build parameters, scan strategies).


The two-part paper is apparently the first to have studied the edges of additively manufactured parts with respect to geometric accuracy, a widely studied topic for surface features.



The authors are grateful to Pasquale Aquilino (Politecnico di Milano) and Timothy Minton (Brunel University) for their help and advice.


Armillotta, A., Bianchi, S., Cavallaro, M. and Minnella, S. (2017), "Edge quality in fused deposition modeling: II. experimental verification", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 686-695.



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