Improving Tensile Properties of Polylactic Acid Parts by Adjusting Printing Parameters of Open Source 3D Printers
Open source 3D printers (OS3DPs) have become increasingly more widespread in recent years because of their ease of use and budget friendliness, with the majority being fused deposition modeling (FDM) printers. However, due to natural deficiencies of the FDM printing methodology, different printing parameters can cause various properties of printed parts. To obtain printed polylactic acid (PLA) parts with improved tensile properties, a tension model of the part and an orthogonal experiment scheme were constructed in this paper. The effects of three printing parameters (layer height, orientation angle (OA) of the part, and print speed) on tensile properties (elastic modulus, tensile strength, and elongation at break) were investigated. The results demonstrated that the printing parameters affected the tensile properties of PLA parts. Larger layer height and lower print speed contributed to the improvement of tensile strength. The OA of the part had the greatest effect on the parts’ elastic modulus and elongation at break among the three parameters. Both layer height and OA of the part affected part tensile strength significantly. In this research, layer height of 0.2 mm and print speed of 20 ~ 30 mm/s are found to be the optimal printing parameters. Adjusting the OA of the part can provide targeted tensile properties, and the parts with the OA of 45° resulted in the lowest tensile strength because the tensile force is only held by fibers parallel to the force orientation instead of all fibers.
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