The aim of this project is to investigate the requirements for materials and semi-finished products which are processed in extrusion deposition 3D printing processes. By gainig a better understanding of these processes, a knowledge base should be created, to increase the variety of materials that are available. This project is conducted in cooperation with Albis Plastic and under the NRW Fortschrittskolleg “Lightweight – Efficient – Mobile” (FK LEM). As one of the six Fortschrittkollegs established in 2014, the FK LEM is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The to be examined extrusion deposition additive manufacturing processes are among the most commonly used additive manufacturing processes. For example, they are known by the terms Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Fused Layer Modeling (FLM) or Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). In this methods, the semi-finished product, commonly a wire of a thermoplastic polymer, is melted and forced through a nozzle. The continuous positioning of this nozzle allows the polymer to weld together strand by strand and layer by layer to produce a component. The energy for the welding of the individual strands largely results from the thermal energy of the deposited polymer melt.
It is desirable to be able to use a similarly wide variety of materials with this method as, for example, in the profile extrusion or injection molding technology. Therefore, the processing suitability of any thermoplastic polymer should be estimated based on the material properties or characteristics in advance of the processing. This is currently not possible because, in contrast to conventional methods, only little is known about the required and desirable material properties for the processing in extrusion deposition additive manufacturing processes.