Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-01-0229

Evaluations of Mechanical Properties of ABS Parts from Open-Source 3D Printers and Conventional Manufacturing 2020-01-0229

Manufacturing has always been synonymous with large factories, expansive machine tools, and sophisticated production lines. However, a new technology could revolutionize the sector: the three-dimensional printing (3D printing). 3D printing is a revolutionary manufacturing method that allows the productions of engineering parts almost directly from modeling software on a computer. With 3D printing technology, future manufacturing could become vastly more efficient. However, the procedure used in 3D printing differs substantially among the printers and from those used in conventional manufacturing. The objective of the present work was to evaluate the mechanical properties of engineering products fabricated by 3D printing and conventional manufacturing. Three open-source 3D printers, i.e., the Flash Forge Dreamer, the Tevo Tornado, and the Prusa, were used to fabricate the identical parts out of the same material (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene - ABS). The parts were printed at various positions on the platforms of the printers and then tested in bending. Results indicate that there exist substantial differences in mechanical responses among the parts by different 3D printers. Specimens from the Prusa printer exhibit the best elastic responses while specimens from the Flash Forge printer exhibit the greatest post-yield behaviors. In comparison, specimens from the Tevo printer seem to display the weakest stress-strain behavior. There further exist variations in mechanical properties among the parts that were produced by the same printer, which was caused by the moving directions of the printer nozzle during printing. Identical parts were further fabricated by using the conventional manufacturing method, i.e., compression molding. Results show that the 3D printing methods do not produce parts with the same strength and durability as those produced by the conventional manufacturing.


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