Development of a direct feed fused deposition modelling technology for multi-material manufacturing
Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) is one of the most widely used Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies to fabricate a three-dimensional (3D) object via melt processing of a thermoplastic filament. However, it is limited in the variety of materials that can be fed and mixed during the process. In this study, a concept of direct feed FDM technology was presented, which allowed co-feeding of multiple materials in any available form. Different materials were mixed at predetermined ratios and deposited together to form a 3D object with variable properties and functionalities that meet specific requirements. To demonstrate the capability of this AM system, heat-sensitive polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) and its additives were processed. A geometry with various features was successfully manufactured with dimensions closely matching those of the design specification. The FDM processed PVOH showed insignificant thermal decomposition as it retained its original colour, flexibility, and water solubility. During the process, a fluorescent whitening agent was successfully incorporated into the polymer melt. Therefore, the printed sample exhibited a strong fluorescence effect from the UV-visible and fluorimeter results.
Citation : Zhou, Z., Salaoru, I., Morris, P. and Gibbons, G. (2016) Development of a direct feed fused deposition modelling technology for multi-material manufacturing. In: 19th International Conference on Material Forming – ESAFORM 2016, Nantes, France, 26-29 Apr 2016. Published in: ESAFORM 2016 (In Press)
Research Group : Engineering and Physical Sciences Institute (EPsi)
Research Institute : Institute of Engineering Sciences (IES)