Experimental Investigation of Printing Parameters on Surface Roughness of 3D Printed PLA and PLA-CF using FDM Technique

Y. Alqubaisi, A. Alghamdi, A. Rajhi
King Khalid University,
Saudi Arabia

Keywords: 3D printing, additive manufacturing, fused deposition modeling, surface roughness, layer thickness, printing speed, water contact angle, wettability


Nowadays, 3D printing is verifying the most brilliant characteristics that you might need to achieve in your chosen application. 3D printing is a revolutionary invention of manufacturing technologies known as an additive manufacturing process of making complexed three-dimensional solid objects by deposition of melted material layer upon layer. This study will basically use 3D printer-FDM type to achieve the finest surface roughness of Polylactic Acid (PLA) and Polylactic Acid Carbon-Fiber (PLA-CF) under different printing parameters. PLA is a thermoplastic polymer among the materials most frequently used in 3D printing. It can exhibit surface roughness due to its low thermal expansion, high strength, and low milting point. PLA has highly recommended mechanical properties, such as high stiffness, strength, and excellent printability. On the other hand, carbon fiber (CF) enhances the mechanical properties of PLA and widely known for its high strength relative to weight through which allow us to produce products with lightweight. Beside the roughness that fibers will induce, the surface roughness can be also influenced by layer thickness, printing speed, nozzle size and temperature and cooling process. In this study, will focus on testing the relation of surface roughness of the test specimen with layer thickness and the printing speed. The dimensions of our chosen specimen are 10 mm in height, 10 mm in width, and at various levels of thickness. By considering the effect of the layer thickness of a FDM 3D printing part on the surface roughness, it was assessed by fabricating five different samples ranging from 0.05,0.1,0.15,0.2,0.25, and 0.3 mm. Moreover, the printing speed of a 3D printer has a major impact on the mechanical property of the product. As long as we change the speed of the printing process, the surface roughness will change in the same manner as the layer thickness causing the layer to not adhere properly to previous layer. The printing speed of PLA and PLA-CF samples will evaluate at five different printing speeds ranging from 60 to 140 mm/sec. This study is anticipated to demonstrate the effects of layer thicknesses and printing speed on the surface roughness of PLA and PLA-CF using Water Contact Angle (WCA) to evaluate surface topography of printed samples and assess the wettability of PLA and PLA-CF.