Numerical modeling of the strand deposition flow in extrusion-based additive manufacturing

Raphaël Comminal*, Marcin P. Serdeczny, David B. Pedersen, Jon Spangenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract We propose a numerical model to simulate the extrusion of a strand of semi-molten material on a moving substrate, within the computation fluid dynamics paradigm. According to the literature, the deposition flow of the strands has an impact on the inter-layer bond formation in extrusion-based additive manufacturing, as well as the surface roughness of the fabricated part. Under the assumptions of an isothermal Newtonian fluid and a creeping laminar flow, the deposition flow is controlled by two parameters: the gap distance between the extrusion nozzle and the substrate, and the velocity ratio of the substrate to the average velocity of the flow inside the nozzle. The numerical simulation fully resolves the deposition flow and provides the cross-section of the printed strand. For the first time, we have quantified the effect of the gap distance and the velocity ratio on the size and the shape of the strand. The cross-section of the strand ranges from being almost cylindrical (for a fast printing and with a large gap) to a flat cuboid with rounded edges (for a slow printing and with a small gap), which substantially differs from the idealized cross-section typically assumed in the literature. Finally, we found that the printing force applied by the extruded material on the substrate has a negative linear relationship with the velocity ratio, for a constant gap.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdditive Manufacturing
Pages (from-to)68-76
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Extrusion-based additive manufacturing
  • Fused deposition modeling
  • Numerical simulation
  • Deposition flow
  • Strand cross-section
  • Printing force


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