Effects of layer thickness and binder saturation level parameters on 3D printing process

Abstract

Various parameters, such as binder properties, printing layer thickness, powder size, and binder saturation level, have effects on the strength and surface finish of the three-dimensional printing (3D printing) process. The objective of this research is to study the effects of two parameters of layer thickness and binder saturation level on mechanical strength, integrity, surface quality, and dimensional accuracy in the 3D printing process. Various specimens include tensile and flexural test specimens and individual network structure specimens are made by the 3D printing process under different layer thicknesses and binder saturation by use of ZCorp.'s ZP102 powder and Zb56 binder. Two printing layer thicknesses, 0.1 and 0.087 mm, are evaluated at 90% and 125% binder saturation levels. Experimental findings show that under the same layer thickness, increment of binder saturation level from 90% to 125% would result in an increase of tensile and flexural strengths of the specimens and decrease of dimensional accuracy and surface uniformity of specimens. On the other hand, under the same binder saturation conditions, increase in layer thickness from 0.087 to 0.1 mm would decrease tensile strength and increase flexural strength. Also, it gives better uniformity on the surface.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Vaezi.

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Vaezi, M., Chua, C.K. Effects of layer thickness and binder saturation level parameters on 3D printing process. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 53, 275–284 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-010-2821-1

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Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • Layer thickness
  • Binder saturation
  • Surface quality
  • Mechanical strength
  • Dimensional accuracy