Abstract

3D printing technology is often the go-to solution for rapid-prototyping thermoplastics. Parts can be created in record time with regards to the initial investment compared to the resources required in traditional fabrication methods such as injection molding. This has started a wave of manufacturers that are looking to scale their production with the use of 3D printing technology, as the parts have similar properties to their injection-molded counterparts.

As the advancement of 3D printing continues, to our knowledge, no studies have been conducted regarding the performance change of the part versus the use in inert-gas and vacuum antechamber environments. This study aims to demonstrate the effects of room, antechamber, dryer, and inert-gas environments with respect to the mechanical properties of 3D printed fused filament fabrication thermoplastics over time.

From the variation of the results that have been noticed on samples that were printed, the parts should not be utilized immediately, but rather they must be stored in a stable environment until the material properties are fully optimized. This would enable the designer to consider a risk factor to be applied that would account for expected changes in mechanical properties according to the environmental conditions for the intended application.

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