Enhancing surface finish of fused deposition modeling parts through targeted chemicals and design of experiments

Saurabh Rakesh Nayyar, University of Texas at El Paso


Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is one of the most popular rapid prototyping (RP) technologies due to its low operational cost, high fabrication speed, and range of applications served. However, FDM fabricated parts generally have poor surface finish quality which have limited their utilization in end-use applications. To enhance surface quality of FDM materials, several researchers have regulated key process parameters using the FDM material, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), with varying results. The main goal of this research is to investigate the effects of a post-fabrication chemical treatment process on the surface roughness for FDM parts of the FDM material ULTEM. ULTEM is selected for this study due to its potential utilization in a wide range of applications requiring high tensile strength, flexural stress, and high strength to weight ratio. The key challenge of this research is to overcome the fact that ULTEM is a chemical resistant material and thus it is harder to improve the surface finish by using post-chemical treatments used by previous researchers. To overcome this challenge, a detailed design of experiments (DOE) study is proposed where ULTEM samples will be exposed to different chemicals while varying several parameters such as levels of chemical concentration, temperature of chemical solutions sand time of exposure to chemicals. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) technique will be used to identify the significant factors affecting the surface finish of FDM built parts. In summary, this research will lead to improvements in surface finish of the FDM material ULTEM with a simple and inexpensive chemical treatment process.

Subject Area

Industrial engineering

Recommended Citation

Nayyar, Saurabh Rakesh, "Enhancing surface finish of fused deposition modeling parts through targeted chemicals and design of experiments" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10118241.