The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of geometrical microstructure of items obtained by applying a three-dimensional (3D) printing technology on their mechanical strength.
Three-dimensional printed items (3DPI) are composite structures of complex internal constitution. The buildup of the finite element (FE) computational models of 3DPI is based on a multi-scale approach. At the micro-scale, the FE models of representative volume elements corresponding to different additive layer heights and different thicknesses of extruded fibers are investigated to obtain the equivalent non-linear nominal stress–strain curves. The obtained results are used for the creation of macro-scale FE models, which enable to simulate the overall structural response of 3D printed samples subjected to tensile and bending loads.
The validation of the models was performed by comparing the computed results against the experimental ones, where satisfactory agreement has been demonstrated within a marked range of thicknesses of additive layers. Certain inadequacies between computed against experimental results were observed in cases of thinnest and thickest additive layers. The principle explanation of the reasons of inadequacies takes into account the poorer quality of mutual adhesion in case of very thin extruded fibers and too-early solidification effect.
Flexural and tensile experiments are simulated by FE models that are created with consideration to microstructure of 3D printed samples.
Calneryte, D., Barauskas, R., Milasiene, D., Maskeliunas, R., Neciunas, A., Ostreika, A., Patasius, M. and Krisciunas, A. (2018), "Multi-scale finite element modeling of 3D printed structures subjected to mechanical loads", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 177-187. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-05-2016-0074
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