Thermoplastic Fiber Reinforced Composite Material Characterization and Precise Finite Element Analysis for 4D Printing

09/04/2019
by   Yuxuan Yu, et al.
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Four-dimensional (4D) printing, a new technology emerged from additive manufacturing (3D printing), is widely known for its capability of programming post-fabrication shape-changing into artifacts. Fused deposition modeling (FDM)-based 4D printing, in particular, uses thermoplastics to produce artifacts and requires computational analysis to assist the design processes of complex geometries. However, these artifacts are weak against structural loads, and the design quality can be limited by less accurate material models and numerical simulations. To address these issues, this paper propounds a composite structure design made of two materials - polylactic acid (PLA) and carbon fiber reinforced PLA (CFPLA) - to increase the structural strength of 4D printed artifacts and a workflow composed of several physical experiments and series of dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) to characterize materials. We apply this workflow to 3D printed samples fabricated with different printed parameters to accurately characterize the materials and implement a sequential finite element analysis (FEA) to achieve accurate simulations. The accuracy of our method is both computationally and experimentally verified with several creative design examples and is measured to be at least 95%. We believe the presented workflow is essential to the combination of geometry, material mechanism and design, and has various potential applications.

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