Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), commonly known as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is an Additive Manufacturing (AM) technique that gained prominence in various industries owing to its economical nature and relatively simple technology. The key advantage of any AM technique is the unprecedented design freedom it offers. The layer-wise addition of material enables the realization of most complex designs which the traditional fabrication methods fail to produce. Nevertheless, currently FFF parts are limited to being prototypes and non-critical functional components. One reason for this under-utilization is the lack of algorithmic support in controlling the most influential FFF parameters in non-conventional ways. For example, the slicer software can produce FFF parts only with predefined in-plane filament patterns. They are not equipped to create filament deposition paths following an arbitrary orientation field.
Filament orientation is known to be an influential parameter on the FFF part behaviour and so, varying the in-plane filament orientations becomes an effective means to tailor the stiffness and strength of the anisotropic FFF parts in different directions. We have developed a new filament deposition algorithm that can produce parts with curvilinear filament paths at a required density. The developed algorithm may be relevant and crucial in producing parts with high strength-to-weight ratio with many potential applications including bone scaffolds and core of the sandwich plates.
Fig. 1: FFF part having filaments tracing the first principal stress directions in a tensile test.
Fig. 2: FFF part having filaments tracing the second principal stress directions in a tensile test.
This work is a part of the project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska Curie Grant Agreement No 764636. The project is a also a collaborative work with Prof. Thierry J. Massart and Prof. Peter Berke of Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and 3ntr Additive Manufacturing Systems in Italy.
May 8th, 2020