Rheological approach for an additive manufacturing printer based on material extrusion

  • Larissa Cristina Sanchez
  • Cesar Augusto Gonçalves Beatrice
  • Cybele Lotti
  • Juliano Marini
  • Sílvia Helena Prado Bettini
  • Lidiane Cristina CostaEmail author


Commercially available grades of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) were printed in different shapes using an additive manufacturing (AM) printer based on material extrusion (ME). It is known that the quality of a 3D printed sample is closely connected to the rheological properties of the polymer matrix. However, some printing parameters, such as the feed rate and the print speed, might not be determined only by equipment design as usually reported in the literature. Instead, the thermal and rheological properties of the polymers should be carefully considered. The focus of many studies has relied on optimizing the specific properties of an ME printer through the adjustment of the printing parameters. Still, few researchers have shown how the rheological behaviour of a material can affect its final properties. Therefore, this paper would like to answer satisfactorily some recurring questions with clear practical importance, which is related to the fact that some materials have better print quality than others do and about the feasible margins for increasing the print speed according to the characteristics of a polymeric material. Thus, in this work, rheological characterization of the resins was conducted and it was detected that the processing condition for a specific thermoplastic is highly dependent on its rheological behaviour. A method of mass flow conservation was presented for determination and consideration of the rheological characteristics when selecting an appropriate process parameter for the additive manufacturing system. It was found that even a small recovery strain resulting from the characteristic morphology of ABS could provide lower layers’ roughness and good printing quality to the 3D printed samples. Thus, the main goal of this work was to evaluate the importance of the rheological properties of common thermoplastics used in extrusion-based process on the controlling of a 3D printer and on the final printing quality.


Additive manufacturing Fused filament fabrication Poly(lactic acid) Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene Rheological properties 



The authors would like to thank the Centre for Characterization and Development of Materials (CCDM/UFSCar) for helping to perform the capillary rheometer tests and the Laboratory of Structural Characterization (LCE/DEMa/UFSCar) for the confocal microscopy facilities.

Funding information

The authors would like to thank CNPq (Process 134653/2016-5) and CAPES (Process PNPD20131474-33001014004P9 and finance code 001) for the financial aid.

Supplementary material

170_2019_4376_MOESM1_ESM.docx (90 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 89 kb)


  1. 1.
    Turner BN, Gold SA (2015) A review of melt extrusion additive manufacturing processes: II. Materials, dimensional accuracy, and surface roughness. Rapid Prototyp J 21(3):250–261. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gao W, Zhang Y, Ramanujan D, Ramani K, Chen Y, Williams CB, Wang CCL, Shin YC, Zhang S, Zavattieri PD (2015) The status, challenges, and future of additive manufacturing in engineering. Comput Aided Des 69:65–89. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wohlers Report (2017) Shows vibrant new business activity in 3d printing with softened growth worldwide: ninety-seven manufacturers produced and sold industrial additive manufacturing systems in 2016, 3 Apr. 2017.> (accessed 8 May. 2017)
  4. 4.
    Wohlers T, Caffrey T (2017) Additive manufacturing: the state of the industry.> (accessed 8 May. 2017)
  5. 5.
    Bandyopadhyay A, Vahabzadeh S, Shivaram A, Bose S (2015) Three-dimensional printing of biomaterials and soft materials. MRS Bull 40(12):1162–1169. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wong KV, Hernandez A (2012) A review of additive manufacturing. ISRN Mechanical Engineering 2012(4):1–10. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pham DT, Gault RS (1998) A comparison of rapid prototyping technologies. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 38(10):1257–1287. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gibson I, Rosen D, Stucker B (2015) Additive manufacturing technologies: 3D printing, rapid prototyping, and direct digital manufacturing, 2nd edn. Springer, New York, NYCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    B. N. Turner, R. Strong, S. A. Gold, A review of melt extrusion additive manufacturing processes: I. Process design and modeling. Rapid Prototyp J, v. 20, n. 3, 2014, pp. 192–204. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Shaw MT (2012) Introduction to polymer rheology. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Beatrice CAG, Branciforti MC, Alves RMV, Bretas RES (2010) Rheological, mechanical, optical, and transport properties of blown films of polyamide 6/residual monomer/montmorillonite nanocomposites. J Appl Polym Sci 28:NA-NA. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bach A, Rasmussen HK, Hassager O (2003) Extensional viscosity for polymer melts measured in the filament stretching rheometer. J Rheol 47(2):429–441. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Köpplmayr T, Luger H-J, Burzic I, Battisti MG, Perko L, Friesenbichler W, Miethlinger J (2016) A novel online rheometer for elongational viscosity measurement of polymer melts. Polym Test 50:208–215. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    McIlroy C, Olmsted PD (2017) Disentanglement effects on welding behaviour of polymer melts during the fused-filament-fabrication method for additive manufacturing. Polymer 123:376–391. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Costa SF, Duarte FM, Covas JA (2017) Estimation of filament temperature and adhesion development in fused deposition techniques. J Mater Process Technol 245:167–179. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bandari YK, Charrett TOH, Michel F, Ding J, Williams SW, Tatum RP Compensation strategies for robotic motion errors for additive manufacturing (AM). In: Proceedings of 27th annual international solid freeform fabrication symposium, 2016, Austin, Texas, USA
  17. 17.
    Ramanath HS, Chua CK, Leong KF, Shah KD (2008) Melt flow behaviour of poly-epsilon-caprolactone in fused deposition modeling. J Mater Sci Mater Med 19(7):2541–2550. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bellini A, Güçeri S, Bertoldi M (2004) Liquefier dynamics in fused deposition. J Manuf Sci Eng 126(2):237. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Khaliq MH, Gomes R, Fernandes C, Nóbrega J, Carneiro OS, Ferrás LL (2017) On the use of high viscosity polymers in the fused filament fabrication process. Rapid Prototyp J 23(4):727–735. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ortega Z, Alemán ME, Benítez AN, Monzón MD (2016) Theoretical–experimental evaluation of different biomaterials for parts obtaining by fused deposition modeling. Measurement 89:137–144. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sethi3D, Impressora Sethi3D S3.> (accessed 16 Sep. 2017)
  22. 22.
    Bretas RES, D’Ávila MA (2005) Reologia de polímeros fundidos, 2nd edn. EdUFSCar, São CarlosGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Othman N, Jazrawi B, Mehrkhodavandi P, Hatzikiriakos SG (2012) Wall slip and melt fracture of poly(lactides). Rheol Acta 51(4):357–369. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Marini J, Bretas RES (2013) Influence of shape and surface modification of nanoparticle on the rheological and dynamic-mechanical properties of polyamide 6 nanocomposites. Polym Eng Sci 53(7):1512–1528. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    CreativeTools, #3DBenchy - the Tool to Calibrate and Test Your 3D Printer.> (accessed 19 Dec. 2017)
  26. 26.
    CreativeTools, #3DBenchy – A Small Giant in the World of 3D Printing.> (accessed 19 Dec. 2017)
  27. 27.
    Morrison FA (2001) Understanding rheology. Oxford University Press, New YorkzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Vadori R, Misra M, Mohanty AK (2015) Studies on the reaction of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene to melt processing conditions. Macromol Mater Eng 300(7):750–757. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wypych G (2016) Handbook of polymers. ChemTec Publishing, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    NatureWorks, NatureWorks® PLA Meltblown Process GuideGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Choi JW, Kim N (2015) Clinical application of three-dimensional printing technology in craniofacial plastic surgery. Arch Plast Surg 42(3):267–277. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials EngineeringFederal University of São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Engineering TechnologiesShawnee State UniversityPortsmouthUSA

Personalised recommendations