3D printing based on additive manufacturing has advantages in manufacturing products with high geometrical complexity. However, there are many limitations to print plastic products with the existing commercial 3D printers. The polymer materials processing industry needs new devices which can satisfy the trend of processing individual units and small batch sizes of plastic parts.
In this study, a freeform fabrication system with the method of polymer melt droplet deposition is proposed. The performance of this system under different conditions was studied by changing the operating parameters. Furthermore, the dimensional uniformity of droplets and their deposition process are analyzed, and a plastic sample was fabricated with this system as an example.
The results show a clear correlation between the processing parameters and the droplet diameter. In the experiment for examining the dimensional uniformity of the droplet, the droplets become spindles, and there appears a melt filament between the droplets. The variation of the droplet’s diameters is within 5 per cent. Furthermore, a successfully processed rectangular plastic sample verified the feasibility of this technology for the printing of plastic products.
A freeform fabrication system with polymer melt droplet deposition is proposed, which can process a wide variety of materials in the form of standard granulates like injection molding or extrusion. Based on the principle of droplet deposition, multi-component or colorful materials can be printed.
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51403014) and Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Plan Project (No. 2016B090915001).
Chi, B., Jiao, Z. and Yang, W. (2017), "Design and experimental study on the freeform fabrication with polymer melt droplet deposition", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 633-641. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-03-2015-0028
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited