Effects of process parameters on the quality of PLA products fabricated by fused deposition modeling (FDM): surface roughness and tensile strength

Altan M., Eryıldız M., Gumus B., Kahraman Y.

MATERIALS TESTING, vol.60, pp.471-477, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 60
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.3139/120.111178
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.471-477
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study investigates the effects of process parameters on the quality of products fabricated by fused deposition modeling (FDM), such as surface roughness and tensile strength. Polylactic acid (PLA) samples were built on a FDM machine at various layer thicknesses, nozzle temperature and deposition head velocity. The effect of cooling the samples during the process was also considered. The experimental study was performed according to a mixed type Taguchi L16 orthogonal array. The effectiveness of each parameter was also discussed by an analysis of variance (ANOVA). The tensile strength results were compatible with the optical images of the fracture surfaces while the surface roughness results were compatible with the surface topography of the parts along the thickness. The two dominant quality characteristics were found to be layer thickness and deposition head velocity. Lower layer thickness values yielded higher tensile strength and lower surface roughness. Use of a cooling fan and nozzle temperature were found to be the least effective parameters. Finally, the results indicated that tensile strength and surface quality of the FDM samples improved about 25%, and 12 %, respectively at optimal process conditions.