One of the fundamental issues in the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) additive manufacturing process lies in the mechanical property anisotropy where the strength of the FFF-3D printed part in the build-direction can be significantly lower than that in other directions. The physical phenomenon that governs this issue is the coupled effect of macroscopic thermal mechanical issues associated with the thermal history of the interface, and the microscopic effect of the polymer microstructure and mass transfer across interfaces. In this study it was found that the use of 34.4 kHz ultrasonic vibrations during FFF-3D printing results in an increase of up to 10% in the interlayer adhesion in Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), comparing the printing in identical thermal conditions to that in conventional FFF printing. This increase in the interlayer adhesion strength is attributed to the increase in polymer reptation due to ultrasonic vibration-induced relaxation of the polymer chains from secondary interactions in the interface regions.
Keywords: Fused Filament Fabrication; fused deposition modeling; inter-layer adhesion; inter-layer strength; ultrasonic vibrations.