On the use of high viscosity polymers in the fused filament fabrication process

Muhammad Hussam Khaliq (IPC/i3N – Institute for Polymers and Composites, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal)
Rui Gomes (IPC/i3N – Institute for Polymers and Composites, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal)
Célio Fernandes (IPC/i3N – Institute for Polymers and Composites, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal)
João Nóbrega (IPC/i3N – Institute for Polymers and Composites, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal)
Olga Sousa Carneiro (IPC/i3N – Institute for Polymers and Composites, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal)
Luis Lima Ferrás (IPC/i3N – Institute for Polymers and Composites, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Publication date: 20 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This work aims to provide additional insights regarding the practicability of using conventional materials in the fused filament fabrication (FFF) process.

Design/methodology/approach

Two different acrylonitryle butadiene styrene (ABS) grades are studied and compared, aiming to check to what extent the regular ABS developed for conventional polymer processing, with a different rheology than the one provided for the FFF process, can also be used in this process (FFF).

Findings

The rheological results show that a general-purpose ABS (ABS-GP) melt is much more viscous and elastic than ABS-FFF. It is clear that using ABS-GP as feedstock material in the FFF process results in poor coalescence and adhesion between the extruded filaments, which has a detrimental effect on the mechanical properties of the printed specimens. Despite its lower performance, ABS-GP can be a good choice if the objective is to produce an aesthetical prototype. If the objective is to produce a functional prototype or a final part, its mechanical performance requirements will dictate the choice.

Originality/value

This work provides insightful information regarding the use of high viscosity materials on the 3D printing process.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is funded by FEDER funds through the COMPETE 2020 Program and National Funds through FCT – Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology under the project UID/CTM/50025/2013. L.L. Ferrás would like to thank the financial funding by FCT through the scholarship SFRH/BPD/100353/2014.

Citation

Khaliq, M.H., Gomes, R., Fernandes, C., Nóbrega, J., Carneiro, O.S. and Ferrás, L.L. (2017), "On the use of high viscosity polymers in the fused filament fabrication process", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 727-735. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-02-2016-0027

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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