The purpose of this paper is to select a product suitable for printing via multi-axis additive manufacturing (MAAM), print it and test it to determine if, by using a multi-axis approach, it would be possible to create end use products that can withstand mechanical loading.
The methodology used in this study is a MAAM approach, and through the creation of an initial model and finite element analysis (FEA), the dominant stress vectors are identified. Using the orientation of these vectors, a three-dimensional tool path is constructed that follows the directionality as close as can be achieved while accounting for rotational road paths. This tool path is converted into a G-code and run on a 5-axis material extrusion printer. The printed samples were then tested according to the ISO standard to determine whether this can be a viable manufacturing technique.
The methodology used in this study enabled the production samples to withstand an average force of 1,100 N. This level is above the required safety threshold for the given standard. Furthermore, this reactive force is within 300 N of the typical metal sample, while being 25% of the typical weight for a conventional sample product. With a redesign and further research, it is possible to match the mechanical behaviour.
Recently, there has been an increased level of interest in MAAM. The research contained within this paper is original in its application of this printing method to explore whether it is possible to make end use products that meet the existing standards required by them.
This study was conducted in support of the Directional Composites through Manufacturing Innovation (DiCoMI), an International Horizon 2020 Project.
Kaill, N., Campbell, R. and Pradel, P. (2023), "Viability and development of multi-axis material extrusion products: a case study", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 112-117. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-02-2022-0058
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