Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) is one of a number of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies that are being used for the production of end-use components due to the technologies ability for short production runs and as a method for producing geometrically complex parts. As it is a polymeric process, FDM in
general is more flexible and can easily accommodate without significant expense, changes to a products design during the product development cycle (known as rapid prototyping) prior to fabricating end-use functional parts (known as rapid
manufacturing (RM)). However, the quality and functional performance of FDM parts is dependent on a number of process parameters including layer thickness, build orientation, etc. Taking all of this into account, these parameters have to be optimised in order to obtain the ideal part, for fit and function testing as well as an end-use product. This paper seeks to depict the optimisation of the FDM process for optimum performance of ABS plastic parts in terms of tensile and shear effects, where the parameter of build orientation is observed. This research uses load bearing exhibition board mounting clips as the case study product. Series of experiments were conducted to attain the maximum load value of clips fabricated via FDM manufactured in different orientations.
The orientations are in the y-axis with constraints in x and z-axis with the direction from y = 0º to y =180º in increments of 10º. The experimental setup for the physical study used a Kern Ch15 K20 load gauge to measure the load on the clips for each orientation. From the results, it is found that the build orientation significantly affects the strength performance of FDM parts. This contributes to further research into the development of RM design rules,
specifically in design analysis and optimisation for validation of AM as a viable route for producing functional parts.