Characterization of ABS specimens produced via the 3D printing technology for drone structural components

Carlo Giovanni Ferro 1 , Salvatore Brischetto 1 , Roberto Torre 1 , and Paolo Maggiore 1
  • 1 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24, 10129 Torino, Italy


The Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology is widely used in rapid prototyping. 3D printers for home desktop applications are usually employed to make non-structural objects. When the mechanical stresses are not excessive, this technology can also be successfully employed to produce structural objects, not only in prototyping stage but also in the realization of series pieces. The innovative idea of the present work is the application of this technology, implemented in a desktop 3D printer, to the realization of components for aeronautical use, especially for unmanned aerial systems. For this purpose, the paper is devoted to the statistical study of the performance of a desktop 3D printer to understand how the process performs and which are the boundary limits of acceptance. Mechanical and geometrical properties of ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) specimens, such as tensile strength and stiffness, have been evaluated. ASTM638 type specimens have been used. A capability analysis has been applied for both mechanical and dimensional performances. Statistically stable limits have been determined using experimentally collected data.

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