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Structural Evaluation of Complex Subcomponents Manufactured by Large Scale Extrusion Deposition of Carbon Fiber Reinforced ABS



The large scale extrusion deposition process has recently been commercialized in the form of additive manufacturing machines such as the BAAM from Cincinnati Inc., which enables layered production of chopped fiber reinforced thermoplastic polymer systems. The application of this process to the automotive market is being pursued by Local Motors to enable rapid design to market cycles and build on-demand capability for a wide range of vehicle styles from a distributed network of micro-factories. This endeavor will require an understanding of the structural performance of components with complex geometries, where the properties are known to vary as a function of printing conditions, as well as orientation and shape. In order to rapidly build a database of structural performance, a beam specimen with outer dimensions of 914 x 305 x 64 mm3 was selected to be subjected to bending, torsion, and shear loading with full field displacement measurement by digital image correlation (DIC). A total of 25 different specimen configurations were designed including variation of print geometry, reinforcement by foam filling, and overwrapping with advanced composites. This work documents the results of the study and presents the relative performance of the structures in addition to the approach to simulation that is being initiated to serve as a framework for efficient design of structures manufactured in this way. The results are presented as a table of structural efficiency including stiffness and strength as functions of mass for each design. Additional results will also be provided in the form of surface displacements from DIC; future work will utilize this data to better optimize simulations for predicting structural performance of articles manufactured by this process.


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