Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering, MS

Committee Chair

Kate, Kunal

Committee Member

Atre, Sundar

Committee Member

Satyavolu, Jaggannadh

Author's Keywords

Thermomechanical; digimat; soybean; soyhull fiber; warpage; natural fiber


Recent demonstrations with fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing have shown to produce prototypes as well as production components. Additionally, due to the FFF process platforms being low-cost and readily available there has been a high-demand to produce on-demand parts for various applications in automotive, in-space manufacturing and electronic industries. However, current limitations such as limited availability of advanced composites materials, and guidelines for design-for-manufacturing make the process prone to trial-and-error experiments both at the materials development, product design and manufacturing stage. In this work, new thermomechanical process simulations platform, Digimat-AM has been evaluated to address and demonstrate digital design and manufacturing of FFF process by performing simulation and experiments. With the use of Acrylonitrile butadiene (ABS) material and soyhull fibers reinforced ABS composite (ABS-SFRC) as a basis, an L9 Taguchi design-of-experiment (DOE) was setup by varying key process input parameters for FFF 3D printing such as layer thickness, melt temperature and extrusion multiplier were varied for three levels. A total of 9 DOE simulations and experiments were performed to compare part properties such as dimensions, warpage, and print time were analysed. Additionally, ANOVA analysis was performed to identify the optimum and the worst conditions for printing and correlate them with their effect on the mechanical properties of the printed samples. Furthermore, from the simulation results, a reverse warpage geometry, 3D model was generated that factors for part warpage, shrinkage, or other defects to enable 3D printing parts to design dimensions. Subsequently, using the generated reversed warpage geometry was used to perform 3D printed experiments and analyzed for part dimensions and defects. As a case study, a functional prototype [Two different geometries] was designed and simulated on Digimat-AM and using the above guide, 3D printing was performed to obtain part to specific dimensions. In addition to that, the thermomechanical properties of ABS-SFRC were needed to perform the Digimat simulation of geometries printed with ABS-SFRC. However, the materials property database of ABS-SFRC is very limited and experimental measurements can be expensive and time consuming. This work investigates models that can predict soyhull fibers reinforced polymer material composite properties that are required as input parameters for simulation using the Digimat process design platform for fused filament fabrication. ABS-SFRC filaments were made from 90%ABS 10% soyhull fibers feedstock using pilot scale filament extrusion system. Density, specific heat, thermal conductivity, and Young's modulus were calculated using models. The modeled material properties were used to conduct simulations to understand material-processing-geometry interactions.