Examining Variability in the Mechanical Properties of Parts Manufactured via PolyJet Direct 3D Printing

Barclift, Michael W.
Williams, Christopher B.
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University of Texas at Austin

In Objet’s PolyJet process, part layers are created by selectively inkjetting photopolymers onto a build substrate and then cured with ultraviolet lamps. With an eye towards using PolyJet as a manufacturing process to fabricate end-use products, the authors examine the sensitivity of part material properties to variation in process parameters. Specifically, a design of experiments is conducted using a full-factorial design to analyze the effects of three parameters on the specimens’ tensile strength and tensile modulus: the in-build plane part orientation (X-Y), the out-of-build plane part orientation (Z), and the distance between specimens. Results show that part spacing has the largest effect on the tensile strength, but the three parameters produced no statistically significant effects on the tensile modulus. Orienting specimens in XZ orientation with minimal part spacing resulted in the highest tensile strength and modulus. Whereas, orienting specimens in the YZ orientation at the farthest part spacing led to the lowest mechanical properties.