Mechanical Properties of 3D Printed PLA Specimens with Various Infill Shapes and Volumes

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Traditional manufacturing methods contain removing excess materials by trimming, cutting and sanding to get the projected shapes; however, additive manufacturing contain direct manufacturing of the objects utilizing computer assisted design model by adding a layer of material at a time. During the design of 3D printed functional objects, most important issue is to provide strength and durability of the final products. Main focus of 3D printing process includes selection of materials, overall design (size, complexity, pore volume and shape), and printing orientation. Slicing software can be used to arrange patterns within a desired solid percentage for the printing process. Designed pattern and percent rate are two main factors for infill specimens which affect the material usage, print time, strength, weight, as well as decorative properties. Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable and bioactive thermoplastic obtained from renewable resources, such as cassava roots, corn starch, sugarcane, and so on. Graphene is strongest known material which proficiently conducts heat as well as electricity. Combination of graphene and PLA creates such a composite material which brings all the individual properties together. In the present study, four different infill shapes (e.g., square, triangle, hexagonal and diamond) of graphene PLA were constructed after CATIA drawing, and then 3D printed through 0, 20, 40, 60 and 80vol.% to define the effects of the infill shapes on the compressive properties of the biodegradable nanocomposite materials. The objective of this study is to examine the infill shapes, volumes, and orientation of infill shapes in the 3D printed cylindrical specimens. Based on the compression test results, infill shapes and volume percentages significantly changed the mechanical properties of the 3D printed parts. This study highlights that material properties can be increased using the different infill shapes and volume percentages in 3D printing process for different industrial applications.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 4, Informatics, Electronics and Microsystems: TechConnect Briefs 2018
Published: May 13, 2018
Pages: 104 - 107
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: 3D Printing
ISBN: 978-0-9988782-1-8