Evaluating the deposition quality of parts produced by an open-source 3D printer

Leonardo Santana (Departamento de Engenharia Mecânica, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil)
Carlos Henrique Ahrens (Departamento de Engenharia Mecânica, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil)
Aurélio da Costa Sabino Netto (Departamento de Metal Mecânica, Instituto Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil)
Cassiano Bonin (Departamento de Metal Mecânica, Instituto Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Publication date: 20 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the factors affecting the deposition of parts manufactured in poly(lactic acid) with variations in print speed and extrusion temperature. Specimens were analyzed through optical microscopy, mass measurements and flexural tests. The extruder-head evaluation consisted of monitoring the feedstock material displacement on entering the system during deposition under different processing conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

To analyze the factors affecting the deposition, parts were manufactured in poly(lactic acid) with variations in print speed and extrusion temperature. Specimens were analyzed through optical microscopy, mass measurements and flexural tests. The extruder-head evaluation consisted of monitoring the feedstock material displacement on entering the system during deposition under different processing conditions.

Findings

The results showed low repeatability in the manufacturing of parts, as significant variations in the evaluated responses were found for specimens built under the same process parameters. The main cause for this effect was deposition failure, owing to filament slippage in the extruder head hobbed pulley.

Practical implications

The results found should alert users to the fact that performance tests need to be carried out on every subcomponent of the equipment before conducting experiments on printing parameters. The components of the equipment can influence the final quality of the parts obtained as much as the building parameters and this influence can be significant enough to overlap with that of the process parameters.

Originality/value

The effect of slippage on the deposition quality was quantified and the command loss in the machine control board was identified.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank CAPES for financial support, SCiTec laboratory for the flexural tests conducted and Professors Guilherme Barra and Claudia Merlini for helping with the PLA characterization.

Citation

Santana, L., Ahrens, C.H., da Costa Sabino Netto, A. and Bonin, C. (2017), "Evaluating the deposition quality of parts produced by an open-source 3D printer", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 796-803. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-05-2016-0078

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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