Fused deposition modeling with added vibrations: A parametric study on the accuracy of printed parts

Publication Date

January 2020

Document Type


Publication Title

ASME 2019 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition

Conference Location

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA




Additive manufacturing is a potentially disruptive technology with a rapidly growing market. The recent development of RepRap style 3D printers has made this technology available to the public at a low cost. While these 3D printers are being used for a variety of purposes, many mechanical engineering students use them for prototyping in their projects. The quality of the 3D printed parts has been a concern in such cases. There are many variables within the operation of these printers that can be varied to obtain optimum print quality. This study explores the use of externally induced mechanical vibrations to the nozzle tip as a potential method to improve the quality of 3D printed parts. Induced vibration is expected to decrease the porosity of printed parts and improve the cohesion between print beads, ultimately improving their mechanical properties. The objective is to understand the positional accuracy of the prints with the added vibration and then to determine the optimum level of vibration to achieve best quality prints. For the study, the extruder filament is replaced with a pointed-tip pen that can mark the exact location where the printer delivers the material. A comparison between the locations marked by the pen with and without vibrations shows that the errors induced by the added vibration are not significantly different from those caused by the uncertainties of the printer itself. Further, this study also explores the optimum motor speeds to achieve a uniform distribution of material and determines medium motor speeds that provide maximum amplitude of vibration which are more desirable for a uniform infill.


3D printing, additive manufacturing, vibrations

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