Abstract

Additive Manufacturing (AM) offers many advantages to make objects compared to traditional subtractive manufacturing, for example, complex geometries can be easily fabricated, and light weight parts can be formed while maintaining the parts strength for the low carbon footprint, low material consumption and waste. But there are areas for AM to improve in sustainability, reliability, productivity, robustness, material diversity and part quality. Life cycle assessment (LCA) studies have identified that the AM printing stage has a big impact on the life cycle sustainability (LCS) of 3D printed products. AM building parameters can be properly selected to control the LCS. This research explores the optimal AM process parameters to reduce the process energy and material consumption. Investigated parameters include the printing layer height, number of shells, material infilling percentage, infilling type and building orientation. Design of experiments (DOE) approach and statistical analysis tools are used to find optimal parameter settings for sustainable AM. Models formulated in this research can be easily extended to other additive manufacturing processes.

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