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A novel eco-friendly abrasive media based abrasive flow machining of 3D printed PLA parts using IGWO and ANN

Abdul Wahab Hashmi (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, India)
Harlal Singh Mali (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, India)
Anoj Meena (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, India)
Shadab Ahmad (School of Mechanical Engineering, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo, China)
Yebing Tian (School of Mechanical Engineering, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo, China)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 3 August 2023

Issue publication date: 27 November 2023

203

Abstract

Purpose

Three-dimensional (3D) printed parts usually have poor surface quality due to layer manufacturing’s “stair casing/stair-stepping”. So post-processing is typically needed to enhance its capabilities to be used in closed tolerance applications. This study aims to examine abrasive flow finishing for 3D printed polylactic acid (PLA) parts.

Design/methodology/approach

A new eco-friendly abrasive flow machining media (EFAFM) was developed, using paper pulp as a base material, waste vegetable oil as a liquid synthesizer and natural additives such as glycine to finish 3D printed parts. Characterization of the media was conducted through thermogravimetric analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. PLA crescent prism parts were produced via fused deposition modelling (FDM) and finished using AFM, with experiments designed using central composite design (CCD). The impact of process parameters, including media viscosity, extrusion pressure, layer thickness and finishing time, on percentage improvement in surface roughness (%ΔRa) and material removal rate were analysed. Artificial neural network (ANN) and improved grey wolf optimizer (IGWO) were used for data modelling and optimization, respectively.

Findings

The abrasive media developed was effective for finishing FDM printed parts using AFM, with SEM images and 3D surface profile showing a significant improvement in surface topography. Optimal solutions were obtained using the ANN-IGWO approach. EFAFM was found to be a promising method for improving finishing quality on FDM 3D printed parts.

Research limitations/implications

The present study is focused on finishing FDM printed crescent prism parts using AFM. Future research may be done on more complex shapes and could explore the impact of different materials, such as thermoplastics and composites for different applications. Also, implication of other techniques, such as chemical vapour smoothing, mechanical polishing may be explored.

Practical implications

In the biomedical field, the use of 3D printing has revolutionized the way in which medical devices, implants and prosthetics are designed and manufactured. The biodegradable and biocompatible properties of PLA make it an ideal material for use in biomedical applications, such as the fabrication of surgical guides, dental models and tissue engineering scaffolds. The ability to finish PLA 3D printed parts using AFM can improve their biocompatibility, making them more suitable for use in the human body. The improved surface quality of 3D printed parts can also facilitate their sterilization, which is critical in the biomedical field.

Social implications

The use of eco-friendly abrasive flow finishing for 3D printed parts can have a positive impact on the environment by reducing waste and promoting sustainable manufacturing practices. Additionally, it can improve the quality and functionality of 3D printed products, leading to better performance and longer lifespans. This can have broader economic and societal benefits.

Originality/value

This AFM media constituents are paper pulp, waste vegetable oil, silicon carbide as abrasive and the mixture of “Aloe Barbadensis Mill” – “Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba” powder and glycine. This media was then used to finish 3D printed PLA crescent prism parts. The study also used an IGWO to optimize experimental data that had been modelled using an ANN.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for supporting this work through the grant DST-SERB EMR/2016/003372.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Credit line: All the figures and tables used in this manuscript are by the authors.

Citation

Hashmi, A.W., Mali, H.S., Meena, A., Ahmad, S. and Tian, Y. (2023), "A novel eco-friendly abrasive media based abrasive flow machining of 3D printed PLA parts using IGWO and ANN", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 29 No. 10, pp. 2019-2038. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-04-2023-0136

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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