Investigation of the parameters used in fused deposition modeling of poly(lactic acid) to optimize 3D printing sessions

This study assesses the feasibility of printing implantable devices using 3D printing Fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology.

The influence of the deposition temperature, the deposition rate and the layer thickness on the printing process and the physical properties of the devices were evaluated. The filaments were composed of neat poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and blends of different plasticizers (polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400), triacetine (TA), acetyltriethyl citrate (ATEC) and triethyl citrate (TEC)) at 10% (w/w). The assessment of thermomechanical characteristics and morphology of both filaments and devices (cylinders and dog bones) were performed.

The influence of each parameter was evaluated using a design of experiment (DoE) and the significance of the results was discussed. A large amount of data about the evaluation of FDM process parameters are already available in the literature. However, specific insights needed to be increased into the impact of the use of PLA and plasticized PLA raw material on the feasibility of printing devices in three dimensions.

To conclude, the ductility was improved with a high layer thickness, low temperature and using ATEC. Whereas, adhesion was promoted with an increase in temperature, a lower layer thickness and adding TA. More on fused deposition modeling


See also our article series on the state of 3D printing in Pharmaceutics

You might also like