3D printing in FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) technology is commonly used, mainly in the preparation of prototypes, but also for the production of ready-made elements. Objects printed using the FDM method have characteristic, adverse surface features related to the limitations of this technology. That is why surface treatment of 3D prints becomes crucial. One of the method is metal plating of elements. The most frequently used material in FDM technology is PLA (polylactic acid) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Study of surface parameters determination for ABS prints after galvanic copper plating is presented in this paper. For this purpose, samples printed with ABS were smoothed in acetone vapour. Most favorable parameters of the surface were obtained for samples that had contact with acetone vapour for 60 minutes. Ultimately, surface analysis of samples after graphite coating and subjected to copper plating was performed. It was found that surface parameters are close to results obtained with traditional methods of metal processing.
In sand casting, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printing by using Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) filament is one of the innovative foundry technologies being adopted to substitute traditional pattern making. Several literatures have reported the influence of process parameters such as raster angle and print speed on some mechanical properties of FDM-printed, PLA-prototypes used in other applications. This study investigated the effects of interior fill, top solid layer, and layer height on the compressive strength of rapid patterns for sand casting application. Different values of the process parameters were used to print the pre-defined samples of the PLA-specimens and a compression test was performed on them. The coupled effects of the process parameters on compressive strength were investigated and the optimum values were determined. Interior fill of 36%, layer height of 0.21 mm and top solid layer of 4 were found to produce a FDM-printed, PLApattern that sustained a compaction pressure of 0.61 MPa. A simulation analysis with ANSYS® to compare failure modes of both experiment and model shows a similarity of buckling failure that occurred close to the base of each specimen.