Creating an open-source, low-cost composite feeder design to improve filament quality of high-performance materials to be used in Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Øvrebø, Henrik H.; Koldre, Svein-Andre; Nesheim, Ole S.; Eikevåg, Sindre Wold; Steinert, Martin; Elverum, Christer W.
Section: Design Methods
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2023.110
Composite filaments are getting increased attention in additive manufacturing (AM). More and better solutions for filament production are needed to assist researchers in discovering new materials capable of producing AM-made high-performance parts. This article presents a method for producing composite filament, including an open-source, low-cost automatic composite feeder designed to increase the accuracy and quality of the filament. The feeder includes a fibre screw designed through an iterative prototyping process to accurately control the filament's fibre percentage while reducing lumps' occurrence in a single step. An experiment evaluating the quality of filament made of Polylactic Acid (PLA) and carbon fibre (CF) tested the use of the feeder compared to manual mixing. Filament with a nominal diameter of 2.85mm with 4.5%, 7.9%, 11.2% and 14.5% CF was made. The results suggest that the composite feeder improved the filament quality. The filament diameter RMSE value was reduced from 0.08 to 0.06 and 0.15 to 0.13 for both 4.5% and 11.2%, respectively. The article concludes that the feeder design may help researchers develop and discover new materials while improving the quality of the filament.