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An investigation into the layer thickness effect on the mechanical properties of additively manufactured polymers: PLA and ABS

Lookup NU author(s): Yao Chen, Professor Steve BullORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023, The Author(s).3D-printed artefacts are becoming more common, and the effect of printing parameters on their properties is key to their performance in applications. Although parameters like build orientation and raster direction are well-studied the effect of layer thickness is less well-known. This study determines the influence of layer thickness on the mechanical properties of polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) 3D printed specimens made with fused filament fabrication (FFF). Samples were printed with differing layer thicknesses and tensile tested according to ASTM D638. The study also found that when increasing the layer thickness the mechanical properties of the specimens for both ABS and PLA decreased. When it came to ultimate tensile strength, the effect of layer thickness on PLA was more significant than on ABS. Considering the mechanical properties as well as aspects such as printing time and simplicity of printing, an optimum print setting could be determined. The study found that PLA was more significantly affected by the change in layer thickness compared to ABS.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shergill K, Chen Y, Bull S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology

Year: 2023

Volume: 126

Pages: 3651–3665

Online publication date: 06/04/2023

Acceptance date: 13/03/2023

Date deposited: 03/05/2023

ISSN (print): 0268-3768

ISSN (electronic): 1433-3015

Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH


DOI: 10.1007/s00170-023-11270-y


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