The Effect of Layer Orientation on the Tensile Properties of Net Shape Parts Fabricated in Stereolithography

Layton, Andrew C.
Rosen, David W.
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Stereolithographic technologies create parts in thermoset plastic polymeric mixtures of acrylates and epoxies. In order to predict the mechanical behavior of these parts, it is critical to understand the effects that build parameters have on the final properties of the polymer. Using a statistics based approach, the build parameters of layer orientation, layer thickness, and resin class are used as inputs. The response variables, peak stress, elongation at break and Young’s modulus (modulus of elasticity), are examined using the methodology specified in ASTM D638- 01 with modifications as noted. An initial test in Somos 8120 showed the surprising (and statistically significant) result that load bearing capability in the build direction was greater than in the in-layer direction. Additional tensile tests in Somos 8120 and Vantico SL-5510 were undertaken to verify this result, and determine if this effect is present across different classes of resin. This report details the rationale behind this experiment, presents the results to date, and outlines future efforts.