FDM-Based 3D Printing of Polymer and Associated Composite: A Review on Mechanical Properties, Defects and Treatments

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Wickramasinghe, Sachini
Truong Do
Phuong Tran
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Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is one of the fastest-growing additive manufacturing methods used in printing fiber-reinforced composites (FRC). The performances of the resulting printed parts are limited compared to those by other manufacturing methods due to their inherent defects. Hence, the effort to develop treatment methods to overcome these drawbacks has accelerated during the past few years. The main focus of this study is to review the impact of those defects on the mechanical performance of FRC and therefore to discuss the available treatment methods to eliminate or minimize them in order to enhance the functional properties of the printed parts. As FRC is a combination of polymer matrix material and continuous or short reinforcing fibers, this review will thoroughly discuss both thermoplastic polymers and FRCs printed via FDM technology, including the effect of printing parameters such as layer thickness, infill pattern, raster angle and fibre orientation. The most common defects on printed parts, in particular, the void formation, surface roughness, and poor bonding between fibre and matrix, are explored. An inclusive discussion on the effectiveness of chemical, laser, heat, and ultrasound treatments to minimize these drawbacks is provided by this review.