We investigate experimentally and numerically the influence of the processing conditions on the cross-section of a strand printed by material extrusion additive manufacturing. The parts manufactured by this method generally suffer from a poor surface finish and a low dimensional accuracy, coming from the lack of control over the shape of the printed strands. Using optical microscopy, we have measured the cross-sections of the extruded strands, for different layer heights and printing speeds. Depending on the processing conditions, the cross-section of the strand can vary from being almost circular to an elongated rectangular shape with rounded edges. For the first time, we have compared the measurements of strands’ cross-sections to the numerical results of a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model of the deposition flow. The proposed numerical model shows good agreement with the experimental results and is able to capture the changes of the strand morphology observed for the different processing conditions.
- Material extrusion additive manufacturing
- Fused filament fabrication
- Strand cross-section
- Numerical simulations
- Experimental validation