Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the feasibility of supportless printing of lattice structures by metal fused filament fabrication (MF3) of Ti-6Al-4V. Additionally, an empirical method was presented for the estimation of extrudate deflection in unsupported regions of lattice cells for different geometric configurations. Design/methodology/approach: Metal-polymer feedstock with a solids-loading of 59 Vol.% compounded and extruded into a filament was used for three-dimensional printing of lattice structures. A unit cell was used as a starting point, which was then extended to multi-stacked lattice structures. Feasible MF3 processing conditions were identified to fabricate defect-free lattice structures. The effects of lattice geometry parameters on part deflection and relative density were investigated at the unit cell level. Computational simulations were used to predict the part quality and results were verified by experimental printing. Finally, using the identified processing and geometry parameters, multi-stacked lattice structures were successfully printed and sintered. Findings: Lattice geometry required considerable changes in MF3 printing parameters as compared to printing bulk parts. Lattice cell dimensions showed a considerable effect on dimensional variations and relative density due to varying aspect ratios. The experimental printing of lattice showed large deflection/sagging in unsupported regions due to gravity, whereas simulation was unable to estimate such deflection. Hence, an analytical model was presented to estimate extrudate deflections and verified with experimental results. Lack of diffusion between beads was observed in the bottom facing surface of unsupported geometry of sintered unit cells as an effect of extrudate sagging in the green part stage. This study proves that MF3 can fabricate fully dense Ti-6Al-4V lattice structures that appear to be a promising candidate for applications where mechanical performance, light-weighting and design customization are required. Originality/value: Supportless printing of lattice structures having tiny cross-sectional areas and unsupported geometries is highly challenging for an extrusion-based additive manufacturing (AM) process. This study investigated the AM of Ti-6Al-4V supportless lattice structures using the MF3 process for the first time.

Supportless printing of lattice structures by metal fused filament fabrication (MF3) of Ti-6Al-4V: design and analysis

Graziosi S.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the feasibility of supportless printing of lattice structures by metal fused filament fabrication (MF3) of Ti-6Al-4V. Additionally, an empirical method was presented for the estimation of extrudate deflection in unsupported regions of lattice cells for different geometric configurations. Design/methodology/approach: Metal-polymer feedstock with a solids-loading of 59 Vol.% compounded and extruded into a filament was used for three-dimensional printing of lattice structures. A unit cell was used as a starting point, which was then extended to multi-stacked lattice structures. Feasible MF3 processing conditions were identified to fabricate defect-free lattice structures. The effects of lattice geometry parameters on part deflection and relative density were investigated at the unit cell level. Computational simulations were used to predict the part quality and results were verified by experimental printing. Finally, using the identified processing and geometry parameters, multi-stacked lattice structures were successfully printed and sintered. Findings: Lattice geometry required considerable changes in MF3 printing parameters as compared to printing bulk parts. Lattice cell dimensions showed a considerable effect on dimensional variations and relative density due to varying aspect ratios. The experimental printing of lattice showed large deflection/sagging in unsupported regions due to gravity, whereas simulation was unable to estimate such deflection. Hence, an analytical model was presented to estimate extrudate deflections and verified with experimental results. Lack of diffusion between beads was observed in the bottom facing surface of unsupported geometry of sintered unit cells as an effect of extrudate sagging in the green part stage. This study proves that MF3 can fabricate fully dense Ti-6Al-4V lattice structures that appear to be a promising candidate for applications where mechanical performance, light-weighting and design customization are required. Originality/value: Supportless printing of lattice structures having tiny cross-sectional areas and unsupported geometries is highly challenging for an extrusion-based additive manufacturing (AM) process. This study investigated the AM of Ti-6Al-4V supportless lattice structures using the MF3 process for the first time.
Additive manufacturing
Deflection prediction
Finite element analysis simulation
Lattice structure
Metal fused filament fabrication
Titanium Ti-6Al-4V
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1194244
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