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Process control testing for fused filament fabrication

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Kenneth Dalgarno, Dr Javier Munguia ValenzuelaORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Emerald Group Publishing Ltd, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The aim of this research is to determine what tests can be most useful in quality assurance and control when using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printing machines. The quality of the bond between layers is critical to the structural integrity of FFF fabricated parts. Therefore, to determine the influence of process parameters on quality of parts tensile, flexural, notched and un-notched impact test specimens were fabricated in polylactic acid (PLA) using FFF with different layer thicknesses, fill densities, orientation and print speeds. The mechanical properties were then assessed along with the accuracy and mass of the samples. It is concluded that a notched impact test gives a measure of interlayer bond strength which can be used across build styles in order to track machine performance, and that this together with the mass and dimensions of the impact-test specimens offers an appropriate set of tests capable of tracking the mechanical properties of parts produced using the FFF technique. Therefore, this research finding will be of value in benchmarking FFF machines for quality parts fabrications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stephen AO, Dalgarno KW, Munguia J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Rapid Prototyping Journal

Year: 2017

Volume: 23

Issue: 2

Pages: 246-256

Online publication date: 27/04/2017

Acceptance date: 18/05/2016

Date deposited: 18/05/2016

ISSN (print): 1355-2546

ISSN (electronic): 1758-7670

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd


DOI: 10.1108/RPJ-07-2015-0084


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