Fused deposition modeling (FDM) has become an increasingly important process among the available additive manufacturing technologies in various industries. Although there are many advantages of FDM process, a downside of its industrial application is the attainable dimensional accuracy with tight tolerance without compromising the mechanical performance. This paper aims to study the effects of six FDM operating parameters on two conflicting responses, namely, dynamic stiffness and dimensional stability of FDM produced PC-ABS parts. This study also aims to determine the optimal process settings using graphical optimization that satisfy the dynamic mechanical properties without compromising the dimensional accuracy.
The regression models based upon IV-optimal response surface methodology are developed to study the variation of dimensional accuracy and dynamic mechanical properties with changes in process parameter settings. Statistical analysis was conducted to establish the relationships between process variables and dimensional accuracy and dynamic stiffness. Analysis of variance is used to define the level of significance of the FDM operating parameters. Scanning electron microscope and Leica MZ6 optical microscope are used to examine and characterize the morphology of the structures for some specimens.
Experimental results highlight the individual and interaction effects of processing conditions on the dynamic stiffness and part accuracy. The results showed that layer thickness (slice height), raster-to-raster air gap and number of outlines have the largest effect on the dynamic stiffness and dimensional accuracy. The results also showed an interesting phenomenon of the effect of number of contours and the influence of other process parameters. The optimal process conditions for highest mechanical performance and part accuracy are obtained.
The effect of FDM processing parameters on the properties under dynamic and cyclic loading conditions has not been studied in the previous published work. Furthermore, simultaneous optimization of dynamic mechanical properties without compromising the dimensional accuracy has also been investigated. On the basis of experimental findings, it is possible to provide practical suggestions to set the optimal FDM process parameters in relation to dynamic mechanical performance, as well as the dimensional accuracy.
Mohamed, O.A., Masood, S.H. and Bhowmik, J.L. (2017), "Experimental investigation for dynamic stiffness and dimensional accuracy of FDM manufactured part using IV-Optimal response surface design", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 736-749. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-10-2015-0137
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