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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Piotr Czyżewski, Marek Bieliński, Dariusz Sykutera, Marcin Jurek, Marcin Gronowski, Łukasz Ryl and Hubert Hoppe

The aim of this paper is presenting a new application of material obtained from the acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) recycling process from electronic equipment…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is presenting a new application of material obtained from the acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) recycling process from electronic equipment housings. Elements of computer monitors were used to prepare re-granulate, which in turn was used to manufacture a filament for fused filament fabrication (FFF) additive manufacturing technology.

Design/methodology/approach

The geometry of test samples (i.e. dumbbell and bar) was obtained in accordance with the PN-EN standards. Samples made with the FFF technology were used to determine selected mechanical properties and to compare the results obtained with the properties of ABS re-granulate mould pieces made with the injection moulding technology. The GATE device manufactured by 3Novatica was used to make the prototypes with the FFF technology. Processing parameters were tested with the use of an Aflow extrusion plastometer manufactured by Zwick/Roell and other original testing facilities. Tests of mechanical properties were performed with a Z030 universal testing machine, a HIT 50P pendulum impact tester and a Z3106 hardness tester manufactured by Zwick/Roell.

Findings

The paper presents results of tests performed on a filament obtained from the ABS re-granulate and indicates characteristic processing properties of that material. The properties of the new secondary material were compared with the available original ABS materials that are commonly used in the additive technology of manufacturing geometrical objects. The study also presents selected results of tests of functional properties of ABS products made in the FFF technology.

Originality/value

The test results allowed authors to assess the possibility of a secondary application of used elements of electronic equipment housings in the FFF technology and to compare the strength properties of products obtained with similar products made with the standard injection moulding technology.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 24 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2019

Isaac Ferreira, Margarida Machado, Fernando Alves and António Torres Marques

In industry, fused filament fabrication (FFF) offers flexibility and agility by promoting a reduction in costs and in the lead-time (i.e. time-to-market). Nevertheless, FFF

Abstract

Purpose

In industry, fused filament fabrication (FFF) offers flexibility and agility by promoting a reduction in costs and in the lead-time (i.e. time-to-market). Nevertheless, FFF parts exhibit some limitations such as lack of accuracy and/or lower mechanical performance. As a result, some alternatives have been developed to overcome some of these restrictions, namely, the formulation of high performance polymers, the creation of fibre-reinforced materials by FFF process and/or the design of new FFF-based technologies for printing composite materials. This work aims to analyze these technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

This work aims to study and understand the advances in the behaviour of 3D printed parts with enhanced performance by its reinforcement with several shapes and types of fibres from nanoparticles to continuous fibre roving. Thus, a comprehensive survey of significant research studies carried out regarding FFF of fibre-reinforced thermoplastics is provided, giving emphasis to the most relevant and innovative developments or adaptations undergone at hardware level and/or on the production process of the feedstock.

Findings

It is shown that the different types of reinforcement present different challenges for the printing process with different outcomes in the part performance.

Originality/value

This review is focused on joining the most important researches dedicated to the process of FFF-printed parts with different types reinforcing materials. By dividing the reinforcements in categories by shape/geometry and method of processing, it is possible to better quantify performance improvements.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2019

Asier Muguruza Blanco, Lucas Krauel and Felip Fenollosa Artés

The use of physical 3D models has been used in the industry for a while, fulfilling the function of prototypes in the majority of cases where the designers, engineers and…

Abstract

Purpose

The use of physical 3D models has been used in the industry for a while, fulfilling the function of prototypes in the majority of cases where the designers, engineers and manufacturers optimize their designs before taking them into production. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of reports on the use of 3D models in medicine for preoperative planning. In some highly complex surgeries, the possibility of using printed models to previously perform operations can be determining in the success of the surgery. With the aim of providing new functionalities to an anatomical 3D-printed models, in this paper, a cost-effective manufacturing process has been developed. A set of tradition of traditional techniques have been combined with 3D printing to provide a maximum geometrical freedom to the process. By the use of an electroluminescent set of functional paints, the tumours and vessels of the anatomical printed model have been highlighted, providing to this models the possibility to increase its interaction with the surgeon. These set of techniques has been used to increase the value added to the reproduced element and reducing the costs of the printed model, thus making it more accessible.

Design/methodology/approach

Successfully case in where the use of a low-cost 3D-printed anatomical model was used as a tool for preoperative planning for a complex oncological surgery. The said model of a 70-year-old female patient with hepatic metastases was functionalized with the aim of increasing the interaction with the surgeons. The analysis of the construction process of the anatomical model based on the 3D printing as a tool for their use in the medical field has been made, as well as its cost.

Findings

The use of 3D printing in the construction of anatomical models as preoperative tools is relatively new; however, the functionalization of these tools by using conductive and electroluminescent materials with the aim of increasing the interaction with it by the surgeons is a novelty. And, based on the DIY principles, it offers a geographical limitlessness, reducing its cost without losing the added value.

Originality/value

The process based on 3D printing presented in this paper allows to reproduce low-cost anatomical models by following a simple sequence of steps. It can be done by people with low qualification anywhere with only access to the internet and with the local costs. The interaction of these models with the surgeon based on touch and sight is much higher, adding a very significant value it, without increasing its cost.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Erfan Rezvani Ghomi, Saeideh Kholghi Eshkalak, Sunpreet Singh, Amutha Chinnappan, Seeram Ramakrishna and Roger Narayan

The potential implications of the three-dimensional printing (3DP) technology are growing enormously in the various health-care sectors, including surgical planning…

Abstract

Purpose

The potential implications of the three-dimensional printing (3DP) technology are growing enormously in the various health-care sectors, including surgical planning, manufacturing of patient-specific implants and developing anatomical models. Although a wide range of thermoplastic polymers are available as 3DP feedstock, yet obtaining biocompatible and structurally integrated biomedical devices is still challenging owing to various technical issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is an organic and biocompatible compound material that is recently being used to fabricate complex design geometries and patient-specific implants through 3DP. However, the thermal and rheological features of PEEK make it difficult to process through the 3DP technologies, for instance, fused filament fabrication. The present review paper presents a state-of-the-art literature review of the 3DP of PEEK for potential biomedical applications. In particular, a special emphasis has been given on the existing technical hurdles and possible technological and processing solutions for improving the printability of PEEK.

Findings

The reviewed literature highlighted that there exist numerous scientific and technical means which can be adopted for improving the quality features of the 3D-printed PEEK-based biomedical structures. The discussed technological innovations will help the 3DP system to enhance the layer adhesion strength, structural stability, as well as enable the printing of high-performance thermoplastics.

Originality/value

The content of the present manuscript will motivate young scholars and senior scientists to work in exploring high-performance thermoplastics for 3DP applications.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2021

Miguel Ángel Caminero, Ana Romero, Jesús Miguel Chacón, Pedro José Núñez, Eustaquio García-Plaza and Gloria Patricia Rodríguez

Fused filament fabrication (FFF) technique using metal filled filaments in combination with debinding and sintering steps can be a cost-effective alternative for…

Abstract

Purpose

Fused filament fabrication (FFF) technique using metal filled filaments in combination with debinding and sintering steps can be a cost-effective alternative for laser-based powder bed fusion processes. The mechanical behaviour of FFF-metal materials is highly dependent on the processing parameters, filament quality and adjusted post-processing steps. In addition, the microstructural material properties and geometric characteristics are inherent to the manufacturing process. The purpose of this study is to characterize the mechanical and geometric performance of three-dimensional (3-D) printed FFF 316 L metal components manufactured by a low-cost desktop 3-D printer. The debinding and sintering processes are carried out using the BASF catalytic debinding process in combination with the BASF 316LX Ultrafuse filament. Special attention is paid on the effects of build orientation and printing strategy of the FFF-based technology on the tensile and geometric performance of the 3-D printed 316 L metal specimens.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a toolset of experimental analysis techniques [metallography and scanning electron microcope (SEM)] to characterize the effect of microstructure and defects on the material properties under tensile testing. Shrinkage and the resulting porosity of the 3-D printed 316 L stainless steel sintered samples are also analysed. The deformation behaviour is investigated for three different build orientations. The tensile test curves are further correlated with the damage surface using SEM images and metallographic sections to present grain deformation during the loading progress. Mechanical properties are directly compared to other works in the field and similar additive manufacturing (AM) and Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) manufacturing alternatives from the literature.

Findings

It has been shown that the effect of build orientation was of particular significance on the mechanical and geometric performance of FFF-metal 3-D printed samples. In particular, Flat and On-edge samples showed an average increase in tensile performance of 21.7% for the tensile strength, 65.1% for the tensile stiffness and 118.3% for maximum elongation at fracture compared to the Upright samples. Furthermore, it has been able to manufacture near-dense 316 L austenitic stainless steel components using FFF. These properties are comparable to those obtained by other metal conventional processes such as MIM process.

Originality/value

316L austenitic stainless steel components using FFF technology with a porosity lower than 2% were successfully manufactured. The presented study provides more information regarding the dependence of the mechanical, microstructural and geometric properties of FFF 316 L components on the build orientation and printing strategy.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2020

Marek Pagac, David Schwarz, Jana Petru and Stanislav Polzer

Mechanical properties testing of the hyperelastic thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) produced by the continuous digital light processing (CDLP) method of additive…

Abstract

Purpose

Mechanical properties testing of the hyperelastic thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) produced by the continuous digital light processing (CDLP) method of additive manufacturing. Primarily, this paper aims to verify that 3D printed TPU still satisfies commonly assumed volumetric incompressibility and material isotropy in elastic range. The secondary aim is to investigate the accuracy and reproducibility of the CDLP method.

Design/methodology/approach

Cylindrical samples were printed and subjected to a volumetric compression test to reveal their bulk modulus K and maximal theoretical porosity (MTP). Dog bone specimens were oriented along different axes and printed. Their dimensions were measured, and they were subjected to cyclic uniaxial tests up to 100% strain to reveal the level of stress softening and possible anisotropy. The hyperelastic Yeoh model was fitted to the mean response.

Findings

The authors measured the bulk modulus of K = 1851 ± 184 MPa. The mean MTP was 0.9 ± 0.5%. The mean response was identical in both directions and the data could be fitted by the isotropic third order Yeoh function with R^2 = 0.996. The dimensions measurement revealed the largest error (above 5%) in the direction perpendicular to the direction of the digital light projection while the dimensions in other two dimensions were much more accurate (0.75 and 1%, respectively).

Practical implications

The TPU printed by CDLP can be considered and modelled as isotropic and practically volumetrically incompressible. The parts in the printing chamber should be positioned in a way that the important dimensions are not parallel to the direction of the digital light projection.

Originality/value

The authors experimentally confirmed the volumetric incompressibility and mechanical isotropy of the TPU printed using the CDLP method.

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2020

Lai Jiang, Xiaobo Peng and Daniel Walczyk

This paper aims to summarize the up-to-date research performed on combinations of various biofibers and resin systems used in different three-dimensional (3D) printing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to summarize the up-to-date research performed on combinations of various biofibers and resin systems used in different three-dimensional (3D) printing technologies, including powder-based, material extrusion, solid-sheet and liquid-based systems. Detailed information about each process, including materials used and process design, are described, with the resultant products’ mechanical properties compared with those of 3D-printed parts produced from pure resin or different material combinations. In most processes introduced in this paper, biofibers are beneficial in improving the mechanical properties of 3D-printed parts and the biodegradability of the parts made using these green materials is also greatly improved. However, research on 3D printing of biofiber-reinforced composites is still far from complete, and there are still many further studies and research areas that could be explored in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper starts with an overview of the current scenario of the composite manufacturing industry and then the problems of advanced composite materials are pointed out, followed by an introduction of biocomposites. The main body of the paper covers literature reviews of recently emerged 3D printing technologies that were applied to biofiber-reinforced composite materials. This part is classified into subsections based on the form of the starting materials used in the 3D printing process. A comprehensive conclusion is drawn at the end of the paper summarizing the findings by the authors.

Findings

Most of the biofiber-reinforced 3D-printed products exhibited improved mechanical properties than products printed using pure resin, indicating that biofibers are good replacements for synthetic ones. However, synthetic fibers are far from being completely replaced by biofibers due to several of their disadvantages including higher moisture absorbance, lower thermal stability and mechanical properties. Many studies are being performed to solve these problems, yet there are still some 3D printing technologies in which research concerning biofiber-reinforced composite parts is quite limited. This paper unveils potential research directions that would further develop 3D printing in a sustainable manner.

Originality/value

This paper is a summary of attempts to use biofibers as reinforcements together with different resin systems as the starting material for 3D printing processes, and most of the currently available 3D printing techniques are included herein. All of these attempts are solutions to some principal problems with current 3D printing processes such as the limit in the variety of materials and the poor mechanical performance of 3D printed parts. Various types of biofibers are involved in these studies. This paper unveils potential research directions that would further widen the use of biofibers in 3D printing in a sustainable manner.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 January 2020

Shijie Jiang, Yannick Siyajeu, Yinfang Shi, Shengbo Zhu and He Li

The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficiency of applied vibration in improving the forming quality (mechanical property and dynamics characteristics) of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficiency of applied vibration in improving the forming quality (mechanical property and dynamics characteristics) of fused filament fabrication (FFF) parts.

Design/methodology/approach

A vibrating FFF three-dimensional printer was set up, with which the samples fabricated in different directions were manufactured separately without and with vibration applied. A series of experimental tests, including tensile tests, dynamics tests and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) tests, were performed on these samples to experimentally quantify the effect of applied vibration on their forming quality.

Findings

It has been found that the applied vibration can significantly increase the tensile strength and plasticity of the samples built in Z-direction, and obviously decrease the orthogonal anisotropy. It can also significantly change the sample’s natural frequency, decrease the resonant response and increase the modal damping ratio, thus improve the anti-vibration capability of FFF samples. In addition, the SEM analysis confirmed that applying vibration into FFF process could improve the forming quality of the fabricated part.

Research limitations/implications

Future research may be focused on investigating the efficiency of applied vibration in improving the forming quality of parts fabricated by the other additive manufacturing techniques.

Practical implications

This study helps to improve the reliability of FFF parts and extend the application range of FFF technology.

Originality/value

A novel method to improve the forming quality of FFF parts is provided and the available information about the performance of dynamics characteristics.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2020

Michele Moretti, Federico Bianchi and Nicola Senin

This paper aims to illustrate the integration of multiple heterogeneous sensors into a fused filament fabrication (FFF) system and the implementation of multi-sensor data…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to illustrate the integration of multiple heterogeneous sensors into a fused filament fabrication (FFF) system and the implementation of multi-sensor data fusion technologies to support the development of a “smart” machine capable of monitoring the manufacturing process and part quality as it is being built.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting from off-the-shelf FFF components, the paper discusses the issues related to how the machine architecture and the FFF process itself must be redesigned to accommodate heterogeneous sensors and how data from such sensors can be integrated. The usefulness of the approach is discussed through illustration of detectable, example defects.

Findings

Through aggregation of heterogeneous in-process data, a smart FFF system developed upon the architectural choices discussed in this work has the potential to recognise a number of process-related issues leading to defective parts.

Research limitations/implications

Although the implementation is specific to a type of FFF hardware and type of processed material, the conclusions are of general validity for material extrusion processes of polymers.

Practical implications

Effective in-process sensing enables timely detection of process or part quality issues, thus allowing for early process termination or application of corrective actions, leading to significant savings for high value-added parts.

Originality/value

While most current literature on FFF process monitoring has focused on monitoring selected process variables, in this work a wider perspective is gained by aggregation of heterogeneous sensors, with particular focus on achieving co-localisation in space and time of the sensor data acquired within the same fabrication process. This allows for the detection of issues that no sensor alone could reliably detect.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 26 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2017

Muhammad Hussam Khaliq, Rui Gomes, Célio Fernandes, João Nóbrega, Olga Sousa Carneiro and Luis Lima Ferrás

This work aims to provide additional insights regarding the practicability of using conventional materials in the fused filament fabrication (FFF) process.

Abstract

Purpose

This work aims to provide additional insights regarding the practicability of using conventional materials in the fused filament fabrication (FFF) process.

Design/methodology/approach

Two different acrylonitryle butadiene styrene (ABS) grades are studied and compared, aiming to check to what extent the regular ABS developed for conventional polymer processing, with a different rheology than the one provided for the FFF process, can also be used in this process (FFF).

Findings

The rheological results show that a general-purpose ABS (ABS-GP) melt is much more viscous and elastic than ABS-FFF. It is clear that using ABS-GP as feedstock material in the FFF process results in poor coalescence and adhesion between the extruded filaments, which has a detrimental effect on the mechanical properties of the printed specimens. Despite its lower performance, ABS-GP can be a good choice if the objective is to produce an aesthetical prototype. If the objective is to produce a functional prototype or a final part, its mechanical performance requirements will dictate the choice.

Originality/value

This work provides insightful information regarding the use of high viscosity materials on the 3D printing process.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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