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Study of the manufacturing process effects of fused filament fabrication and injection molding on tensile properties of composite PLA-wood parts


The present study evaluates the effects of manufacturing parameters on the tensile properties of a commercial composite material based upon polylactic acid (PLA) with wood fibers known as Timberfill. The specimens are built through fused filament fabrication (FFF), and the influence of four printing parameters (layer height, fill density, printing velocity, and orientation) is considered through a L27 Taguchi orthogonal array. Tensile tests are applied to obtain the response variable used as output results to perform the ANOVA calculations. Results show that fill density is the most influential parameter on the tensile strength, followed by building orientation and layer height, whereas the printing velocity shows no significant influence. The optimal set of parameters and levels is found, being 75% fill density, 0Z-axis orientation, 0.4 mm layer height, and 40 mm/s velocity as the best combination. Applying this combination, a 9.37-MPa maximum strength is the highest value obtained for the material. Additionally, five solid injection molded Timberfill specimens were tested as well and the results compared with the FFF samples. The values of the elastic modulus, elastic limit, and maximum strength of the injected samples were almost twofold of those were obtained for the FFF samples, but the maximum elongation of the injected specimens fell sharply.

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Additive manufacturing


Fused filament fabrication


Design of experiments


Analysis of variance


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Correspondence to Ramon Jerez-Mesa.

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Zandi, M.D., Jerez-Mesa, R., Lluma-Fuentes, J. et al. Study of the manufacturing process effects of fused filament fabrication and injection molding on tensile properties of composite PLA-wood parts. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 108, 1725–1735 (2020).

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  • Additive manufacturing
  • 3D printing
  • Fused filament fabrication
  • Composite
  • PLA
  • Young’s module
  • Tensile strength