Int. J. Rapid Manufacturing, Vol. x, No.

x, xxxx

Design development and functional validation of an
interchangeable head based on mini screw extrusion
applied in an experimental desktop 3-D printer
Zilda de Castro Silveira*
and Matheus Stoshy de Freitas
Engineering School of Sao Carlos,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of São Paulo,
Trabalhador sancarlense Avenue,
No. 400, Sao Carlos, S.P., 13566-590, Brazil
*Corresponding author

Paulo Inforçatti Neto, Pedro Yoshito Noritomi,
Jorge Vicente Lopes da Silva
Renato Archer Center of Information Technology – CTI,
Campinas, Rodovia Dom Pedro I(SP – 65),
Km 143.6, 13069-901, Brazil
Abstract: In this work is proposed the conceptual and preliminary design as
well functional validation of a head based on fused deposition modelling
(FDM) technology using mini screw applied to experimental 3-D printer
(Fab@CTI machine). The polymer Nylon® 12 and the biopolymer ε-PCL
(ε-policaprolactone) in powder form were used to design the barrel-screw and
drive system set-up. The proposed head demonstrated the functionality to carry
the powder material through the variable sections of the screw extrusion and
has generated Nylon® filaments with diameter of approximately 0.7 mm with
the tip of 0.4 mm. The morphological characteristics of these filaments were
observed in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirming the mixing of the
powder, generating continuous filaments and structured parts. SEM tests were
made with ε-PCL using material generated from the feed to compression zones
of the screw extrusion head allowing the visualisation of the adhesion of the
grains in feed section and the complete mixing in the compression zone for the
Keywords: desktop 3-D printer; rapid manufacturing; FDM; fused deposition
modelling; design methodology; material reuse; polymer; process control.

Copyright © 200x Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


pp. x.L. She obtained the MSc title in 1999 from Engineering School of Sao Carlos. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Silveira.Y.. Freitas. Silveira et al.V. has Master and PhD in Computational Mechanics at Campinas State University (UNICAMP) working with bioengineering research topics. Matheus Stoshy de Freitas is Master’s degree (MSc) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Engineering School of Sao Carlos. M. J. has Master in Mechanical Design at School of Engineering of São Carlos of the State University of São Paulo (EESC/USP).C. mainly in oil and gas research. in the area of Mechanical Design and Solid Mechanics. University of Sao Paulo. Rapid Manufacturing. University of Sao Paulo. She obtained DSc title in 2003 from Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. He is a researcher in CTI acting the theoretical and experimentally studies of mechanical solutions applied to additive manufacturing. Sao Paulo – Brazil. working with additive manufacturing research topics.. He is member of many scientific committees and invited speaker of the most relevant conferences in the area of 3D printing. Under his supervision this division develops application and research projects with industry and universities in Brazil and abroad. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the same institution. Noritomi. Currently he is researcher at the Three Dimensional Technologies Division at the Renato Archer Information Technology Center (DT3D/CTI) coordinating the bioengineering initiative of the division and using his expertise in computational modelling and simulation applied to other demand. Int. x. J. He created and coordinates. MSc in Electrical Engineering and BSc in Electrical engineering. P. theoretical and experimental studies of the aerostatic ceramic porous bearings applied to ultraprecision machines and development of the numerical models applied to bone–xxx. mainly in oil and gas research.. No. State University of Campinas (UNICAMP). . Biographical notes: Zilda de Castro Silveira is Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Engineering School of Sao Carlos. P. University of Sao Paulo (USP). Paulo Inforçatti Neto is graduated in Computer Engineering. Vol. Inforçatti Neto. and Silva. Jorge Vicente Lopes da Silva is a PhD in Chemical Engineering. in the Mechanical Design area. Pedro Yoshito Noritomi is graduated in Mechanical Engineering.S. since 1996. (xxxx) ‘Design development and functional validation of an interchangeable head based on mini screw extrusion applied in an experimental desktop 3-D printer’. the Three-dimensional Division at CTI Renato Archer. Her researches areas included: design methodology and numerical optimisation related to development of devices and machines applied to additive manufacturing and health area.C.2 Z. Currently he is project manager by FACTI at the Three Dimensional Technologies Division at the Renato Archer Information Technology Center (DT3D/CTI) coordinating applied researches in development and using of additive manufacture technology to nonconventional applications. Z.

The success or fail in this process rely in the capacity of producing continuous filaments that can be deposited in a 3-D printing platform permitting the construction of parts. respectively. were carried out using polyamide (Nylon® 12) and ε-PCL producing continuous filaments and entire parts. The filament is guided into the head by a device controlled by integrated numerical command. A validation of the conceptual design for industrial and biomaterials applications. Any of these processes. being carried to the lower parts getting melted in the way by the use of a tubular resistance acquiring a continuous and viscous consistence enabling its extrusion through a nozzle tip in the end of the process. Another motivation for this work is the increasing market related to desktop 3-D printers. 2010). The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) define Additive Manufacturing (AM) as the “process of joining materials to make objects from 3-D model data. The most common technologies used in desktop 3-D printer included: the fused deposition modelling (FDM) commercial processes consider the raw material as thermoplastic material fed in the form of a flexible filament rolled in a coil.. Other technique uses the extrusion by a syringe which occurs by the compression of the material within a deposition chamber and the subsequent extrusion of this material through a needle. z) controlled displacement system enables prototyping 3-D models (Gibson et al. Commercial AM machines generally need a high quantity of material to start working and build parts. specifically the ones of tissue and bone engineering. In the case of using biomaterials it permits the fabrication of scaffolds that can be defined as a “temporary porous structure used to promote cells growth where its function is to allow a structural support to the formation of new biological tissues” (Ikegami. The SEM analyses were made with these materials and the results presented morphological characteristics appropriated to polymer structure extrusion used in additive manufacture purposes. the development of a screw extrusion head. the material enters in a powder form in the superior part of the device. By these conditions. coupled to a (x. y. there was an increasing development in rapid prototype technologies as well as a real perspective to use additive manufacturing in the area of health. it becomes interesting the development of technologies in open source 3-D printers with reduced dimensions.Design development and functional validation 1 3 Introduction Recently. with highly complex geometries. 2010) without the need of conventional process planning as used on machining or conformation processes. These constraints hinder advances in research areas that include materials development and process. It was made a calculation methodology for the extrusion screw and transmission system. is widely used in industry to describe the process to rapidly create a system or a component in a stage just before the final product or before commercialisation. In the case in study. causing it to melt and to be extruded through a nozzle in the opposite end of the channel.k. usually layer-upon-layer. with a crescent number of brands using different materials and techniques of deposition.a additive manufacturing. . 2007). The term rapid prototyping (RP) a. The goal of this work is to present the design development and functional validation of an interchangeable screw extrusion head with variable section to be used in a desktop 3-D printer based on FDM approach. as opposed to subtractive manufacturing” (ASTM. additionally there are operational constraints settings and they are configured to use proprietary materials from the suppliers and manufacturers. due the small quantities of feedstock and more freedom towards the software and hardware development. where pulleys are responsible for feeding wired material and pushes it into a heated channel.

but the simplest machine is the drum flow pump or drum extruder invented by Gabrielli (1952) apnd White and Potente (2003). Summarising. operational temperature. A complete study about behaviour of extrusion processes involve an estimative on thermo-physical parameters. The temperature or melting point describes the phase transformation of a crystal solid for a liquid. mainly related to screw. The second mechanism has some technical solutions developed along the years. Considerations about extrusion process The choice of the conformation method used in a specific polymer depends on some factors. gradually pressurising and forcing it through a die. where one is in motion. Silveira et al. the rheological properties (flow curves. Chung (2000) and White and Potente (2003) describe the extrusion process to a standard single screw extruder into three zones related with screw design. In this machine. the material to be pumped is put on an annular space between the rotating drum and surrounding barrel. where the fluid fills enclosed chambers and is moved forward by the mechanical movement of the parts of the machine (ram extruder in processing of thermoplastic) • drag flow pumps. The die pressurises the liquid and a pressure gradient develops along the length of the channel between the drum and the barrel. its considered the temperature and curing time. cooling time after the process should be considered. Chung (2000) describes the melting process as a change in solid/ liquid behaviour in amorphous or semi-solid polymers. for amorphous thermoplastics polymers). polymer rheology. and processing conditions must be considered. geometry and size of the final part. the polymer processing in extruders involves the use of any kind of solid material fed to the extrusion screw. The designs of a single or double extrusion screw are the most common configurations in industrial polymer processing. melting point). According Rauwendaal (2001). in this case the fluid fills a region between two surfaces. as the choice of the polymer.4 2 Z. the screw performs three basic functions: • solid conveying function • melting function • metering or pumping function. which is melted and carried by the screw’s rotation until the end of course. in the case of a thermofix.C. According to White and Potente (2003) for highly viscous liquids usually two different principles are used: • positive displacement pumps. According to Chung (2000) the melting point term is used only for crystalline polymers. The performance of an extrusion process can be improved substantially by optimisation of the screw design. The rotation of the drum carries the liquid to a position where there is a wiper bar that diverts the liquid into the die. The relative movement of the two surfaces drags the fluid along a channel. because amorphous polymers without crystallisation do not present the same melting point (it can occur up to Glass Transition Temperature (Tg). In the case on a thermoplastic polymer. . (2009). where its geometry. There are many mechanisms used to pump liquids with low and high viscosity. Béreaux et al.

these three functions occur simultaneously along screw length and they are strongly interdependent. developed concepts and methods for these industrial extruders where used and based on . but with reduced dimensions. while it promotes the flow when it is negative. Béreaux et al. shallow channel depth called ‘metering depth’. In this region conveying of a solid bed from compacted pellets occurs. This condition occurs at the end of the feed zone of the screw. When the pressure gradient is positive it blocks the drag flow. Figure 1 Processing zones to a single screw Source: Adapted from Manrich (2005) It is important to realise that conventional extruders have large dimensions compared with the device developed in this study. deep channel depth called ‘feeding depth’. Pressure increases steeply along the screw but cannot reach high values in smooth barrel extruder without the phenomenon of melting of the superficial layer in contact with the barrel hence releasing any extra pressure. The size of a screw is described by its diameter and length or “length-to-diameter (L/D) ratio”.Design development and functional validation 5 In most applications. • A compression section (or transition section or melting section) between the feeding section and the metering section with a decreasing channel depth. the level of back pressure is the result of the combination of die and screw. In this region occurs the melting process. Béreaux et al. Chung (2000) used geometrical names to the three different sections: • Feeding section at the hopper end with a constant. For the extrusion process. • Metering section or pumping section at the die end with a constant. when the melt film has increased up to a point where it runs through the solid bed of ever decreasing width as presented in Figure 1. while pressure development start from atmospheric pressure and ends at back pressure imposed on the screw in the case of injection moulding. With the intention of built a functional device with the same capabilities of a conventional extruders. Throughput is constant along the channel. (2009) define this zone as ‘delay’ where the molten film of polymer increases in thickness and possibly permeates the solid bed itself. or at atmospheric pressure at the die exit in the case of extrusion. Throughput in the conveying zone is the combination of screw rotation that provides the drag flow and the pressure gradient in the screw channel. (2009) identify a forth section in the direction of the end of the compression zone and in the metering zone the solid bed is completely melted and there is melt conveying only.

In non-commercial AM machines. making the purchase price of the machinery and raw material. (2012) (b) . thermoplastic filament extruder (Inforçatti Neto et al. open platform to the assembly of a mini screw extrusion head based on FDM deposition technology. these. the solutions found are: syringe injection (Malone and Lipson. In this way. especially in injection and extrusion moulding. related to flexible platforms. specifically desktop 3-D printers. 2008). solids) and in reduced amount. named Fab@CTI 3-D printer. With this calculation methodology it was proposed the verification.C. 2012) and transport extrusion system for previously melted biopolymer (Almeida et al. a calculation methodology was made. dimensioning and choosing of the main components as screw extrusion.. Silveira et al. Figure 2 (a) Fab@CTI desktop 3-D printer and (b) syringe head extruder and fused deposition modelling head (see online version for colours) (a) Source: Inforçatti Neto et al. all of them on opensource design. In commercial machines. again use of different raw materials and low cost. stepper motor. 2007). powder. The use of powder raw material is common in the polymer industry. • Operational performance. In bioengineering applications the use of powder material to generate prototypes is highly indicated due to commercial availability. reduced dimensions. as well as the cost of maintenance is too high and even unfeasible to non-industrial users. a new branch from Fab@Home. The vertical configuration designed to the screw extrusion head allows better use of space design as well as the arrangement of the drive system. worm gear and barrel. showed in Figure 2(a) and (b).. 3 Case study For a desktop 3-D printer an alternative and interchangeable head design the user´s requirements and technical characteristics were defined: • Raw material related to the use of different forms (pellets.6 Z. technical solutions are protected by patents included control systems and combined mechanisms. offer low cost.

in its non-degraded and degraded form.. Inforçatti Neto et al. the availability of the material in the laboratory (CTI). result of previous prototyping processes by selective laser sintering (SLS) and second.. find innovative solutions or just improvements of technical solutions. on a higher abstract level. There are some which have the objective to proportion a technical system to be understood as functions of the design subsequently related to technical items or components. . which is presented in Figures 3 and 4. The most important user´s requirements identified by QFD were: • powder as raw material • continuous feeding and process control • low quantity of materials (adequated to the behaviour of the research demands) • reuse of polymer power from commercial additive manufacturing machines • filament modelling raw material to the use in FDM head (Fab@CTI) • interchangeabale tip nozzles. 2012. Inforçatti Neto (2013) presented a technical design feasibility of the mini screw with variable section head. In this case. its wide use in industrial parts. and. 4 Development of conceptual design The conceptual design uses the technical requirements which are identified as having greater importance in the phase before (informational design). 2012) in the health area. The outcome of this step for the preliminary design is one or more sketches of technically viable solutions. The list of user’s requirements was translated into technical characteristics which supports the constructive solutions choice to mechanical design of extrusion mini-head.Design development and functional validation 7 The Fab@CTI 3-D printer platform was designed from of the following demand: • definition of the application demand: tissue engineering (production of scaffolds) and small mechanical components • utilisation environments: research laboratories including research centres and universities • machine volume: 460 × 410 × 470 mm • mass: 25–50 kg. The user‘s requirements composed by user´s researcher were raised at design phase and obtained from quality function deployment (QFD) analysis described in Cheng and Melo Filho (2007). Material (M) and Signal (S). using one of the engineering techniques of systems that relate Energy (E). For the development of the mini-head design of extrusion functions of technical developments of the ‘head’ and of the ‘structure material’ functions technical elements inside the 3-D printer system were extracted. The ε-PCL was the biomaterial chosen for the device trials and this material is related to other previous studies (Rezende et al. The choice of the polyamide is related to the reuse of material discarded from commercial machines.

and for each described function. The choice of the deposition material in the form of powder was made in function of its availability on the market and the possible mixtures with additives and other materials.C. To organise the choice of solutions a morphologic picture was mounted. reduced spaces. the production of the prototype piece is the principal function of the machine’s engineering design. The step motor to start the head was chosen for its control facilities and adjustment beforehand tested with the systems of injecting by syringe and filament. presented in Figure 5. decisions of the design should be made based on conventional and alternative solutions which contemplate restrictions of this design. a set of the design’s parameters was chosen to find technical solutions. Thus.8 Z. starting from the information obtained with the QFD. . In Figure 7(b) the production process of the piece is detailed. to attend the design’s restrictions described beforehand as shown by Table 1. The first option of technical solutions is presented by the arrows. and portability and low costs. Figure 3 Material-energy-signal flows to a 3-D printer Figure 4 Material-energy-signal flow to the deposition mini-extrude head Inside the technical system ‘3-D printer’. as there is the head’s weight in relation to the machine. Silveira et al.

So.19 15.12 Microtubular resistance Heat the extrusion’s material Partial cost (U$) Percentage Temperature sensor Measure the temperature 18. so the polymer’s thermal effects in the cylinder part of the screw of the materials chosen. 2012). mainly due to the easiness with which they can be bought.. and subsystems can be maintained.10 16.4 Extrusion screw Transport.98 38.19 15.Design development and functional validation Figure 5 9 Morphologic analysis Table 1 Partial value analysis to the extrusion head Components Design functions Structure Support head set-up 363.6 Barrel Extrusion screw housing 335. The feeding of the material is done by gravity using a mixer consisting of a rotating shaft coupled to the screw during the feeding phase to avoid the compression of the material.44 0.54 Thermal blanked Isolate thermally the head set-up 22.35 Total cost 2187.5 Stepper motor Supply energy/power to transmission system 90.3 111. the extrusion will be made with a simple screw to test the concept of extrusion in the deposition process. The die of extrusion is interchangeable to enable diverse diameters of the thread of material when exiting the machine. melting and homogenise the material 837.50 4. mounted. .14 Gearbox Reduce the velocity and increase the screw’s torque 335.02 Ball bearings Support shafts and friction minimise between elements 22.77 Mechanical coupling Join the shafts 33.02 100 The head’s structure will be interchangeable to couple with other processes of deposition (Inforçatti Neto.35 1. A big part of the fixation done together with screws.84 Nozzle Deposit the material 16.75 0.73 5.52 1. Inforçatti Neto et al.1 1. different resolutions and superficial finishing’s of the piece are possible. the easiness of assembly and manufacture can be studied. 2007. In this first study.

the screws are not subjected to a high bending force because they run inside a strong rigid barrel and the . Usually.10 Z. The raw-material for the extrusion is made of polymers and was chosen because of it is so easily manipulated in the extrusion process. Figure 6 5 Schematic view of extrusion head Calculation procedures With the aim to ensure strength and performance required. On the basis of the data provided by the suppliers and our own data on estimates for the Fab@CTI printer an initial estimate for the costs of the extrusion head was made. Silveira et al. presented in Table 1. A functional prototype was fabricated and assembled. The analysis of the value has the purpose to estimate the costs of each one of the components as well as their functions making it possible to analyse the economic impact of each part of the head more precisely. From the theory described in item 4. the conception design and the initial costs (based on Value Analysis Technique) of the head were estimated and are represented in Table 1. The mechanism of heating up will be carried out by electric resistances because they can be wrapped around the external cylinder in the extrusion process to guarantee controlled heating throughout the whole process of extrusion. and an outline of the technical solution for the extrusion head is presented in Figure 6. Calculation procedure was based on technical literature of standard industrial extrusion screw.C. With the procedures adopted. This is because of the choice of the material of the screw: titanium alloy (changed by stainless steel) for the extruder and the difficulty to find a commercially produced screw with the required dimensions (~150 mm long and 7 mm in diameter). calculations to define the geometries of the extrusion screw and barrel were done. were obtained the main design parameters of the barrel-screw and actuation system.

The small gap between screw and barrel prevents solidification by cooling of the melt. in this case. The procedure of the calculation was based on Rauwendaal (2001) and Chung (2000). calculations were made considering some geometric and fluid characteristics to the extrusion screw as well as the head extruder in general. This first choice has considered the high transmission ratio as well as the space restrictions. The polymer’s viscosities were considered to selection of the stepper motor and those are directly related with power and torque characteristics represented in Figure 7(b). a pre-calculation was made considering some geometric and fluid characteristics to the mini screw as well as the head extruder.Design development and functional validation 11 clearance between screw and barrel is small. must have high precision. In this step. The transmission system chosen was a gearbox (worm gear).002 (White and Potente. around 0. In this step.0005–0. Leakage flow caused by the clearance between the inner barrel and screw flight reduces the melting efficiency also. 2003). The flowchart presented in Figure 7(a) shows a simplified sequence of calculations applied in a single screw extrusion head to a portable 3-D printer (Fab@CTI). the manufacturing process of extrusion screw. Then. The critical strength requirement is mechanical resistance to torque that is very dependent of polymeric’s material type. Figure 7 (a) Flowchart related to calculation procedure and (b) design parameters to choice of the gearbox (see online version for colours) (a) (b) .

Its processing temperature is higher than 240°C. the rheometry analysis indicated a higher resistance in the case of ε-PCL shearing and thus.C. The control of polyamide viscosity in different extrusion velocities. to avoid fluctuations due to its low viscosity. this information are available in Inforçatti Neto (2013). This means when leaking. Figure 8 (a) Main input and output design parameters and (b) AISI stainless steel 304 for mini-screw (see online version for colours) (a) . Figure 8 presents the input design data and calculated design parameters. Silveira et al. probably due to the thermal and mechanical solicitation. before being processed. having a melting temperature in a narrow range and oxidises easily when exposed to hot air and it presents low viscosity after being fused. calculation of the gearbox was based on the torque moment of ε-PCL. However. Polyamide (Nylon® 12) is a semi-crystalline polymer which is highly hygroscopic and because of this characteristic it should be taken to a greenhouse with air ventilation.12 Z. From the rheometry analysis it was possible to observe the shear strength of the non-degraded polyamide is significantly less than the degraded one. which are suffered in previous processing. With these properties this material needs a dosage zone with a constant shallow canal. through the extrusion process the non-degraded polymer offers less resistance to shearing. Nylon® 12 was the first polymeric material used to obtain some important materials properties such as the relationship: shear rate and linear velocity. rheometry analysis of virgin and degraded materials were considered and the objective was the determination of rheological curves of these samples at 225°C. and therefore needs less energy in the activation of the extrusion screw to flow along the extruder’s body.

Machining processes and additive manufacturing were used in the fabrication of this prototype. The mixer in the feed section was proposed to avoid the caking of the powder material which would cause the locking of the screw and bubbles formation in the polymer material. Finally.Design development and functional validation Figure 8 13 (a) Main input and output design parameters and (b) AISI stainless steel 304 for mini-screw (see online version for colours) (continued) (b) 6 Detail design: mock-up and functional prototype The screw extrusion design presents three sections and it was developed considering mechanical strength to the torque caused by the turning into the viscous melted polymer material. experimental tests were conducted to investigate the capacity of extrusion head to generate continuous filaments from powder raw material. The following step was the manufacturing of a functional prototype. Figure 9(a) presents a mock-up of the constructive solution for extrusion head and Figure 9(b) presents the functional head assembly stand alone for preliminary experimental tests. it was generated a mock-up to verify the assembly system and kinematics aspects. Figure 9 (a) Mock-up and (b) functional mini screw head (see online version for colours) (a) 7 (b) Preliminary experimental tests: interchangeable mini screw head validation From the detailed design. The preliminary tests showed the generation of continuous filaments with no large .

operating with electron beam of 15 kV. The samples were covered with 10 nm of gold in a sputter Coating System BAL-TEC MED 020 (BAL-TEC. it is shown the nozzle tip of the extrusion head performing the manufacturing a Polyamide Nylon® 12 15 layers block. The photomicrographs were obtained in the Instrumental Chemical Analysis Center of the São Carlos Chemical Institute (CAQI/IQSC/USP) in ZEISS LEO 440 (Cambridge. without air gap. In Figure 12. In these sections.C. Silveira et al. Figure 10 Filaments generated from polyamide (Nylon® 12) (see online version for colours) This initial test is important to demonstrate the capacity to transform the polymer powder in a melted polymer. and 0. showing the capacity of generating parts extruding layer by layer as it is required in rapid prototype purposes. The continuous filaments obtained reflect an adequate performance in the compression and metering section. The expected performance for the feed section is carrying the material to the downstream sections. the rising pressure forces the melted polymer through the nozzle tip with the aim to produce continuous filaments demonstrating the conceptual design of create filaments from powder using polymers in a screw extruder of small proportions. Figure 11 (a) Nylon® 12 filaments and (b) photomicrographs (a) (b) . This concept is based in an idea of using the known extrusion’s process in a small scale.14 Z. Liechtenstein) and it was maintained in desiccators until the moment of the analysis. The morphological characteristics were analysed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). England) with detector OXFORD (model 7060) equipment.8 nozzle tip. variations in diameter.75 mm (mean width value) according to Figure 10. where Nylon® 12 was successfully extruded with diameter filaments of 0.

For the ε-PCL material. Figures 12(a) and (b) present an experimental test generating a scaffold manufacturing with polyamide. the scheme in Figure 13(a) and (b) shows the sections where the ε-PCL was collected and the micrographs also. SEM micrographs shows the total transformation of the grains in feed section to solid homogenous material in compression section. In Figure 11(b). Figure 12 (a) The extrusion head constructing a Scaffold.Design development and functional validation 15 It is possible to observe in Figure 11(a) that the filament generated from Nylon® 12 powder is homogeneous. it can be seen that the material has a solid surface without any pore or surface‘s discontinuities. (b) detailed view on the nozzle tip and (c) Scaffold generate (see online version for colours) Figure 13 (a) SEM for ε-PCL showing the material state and (b) morphological aspects in feed and compression sections (a) (b) .

16 8 Z. it is proposed the optimisation of the extrusion process using design of experiment (DOE) and RSM looking for the best mechanical settings coupling with material properties. Acknowledgements The authors thank to the CNPq (Brazilian Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development) for the financial support.. H. tissue engineering and biomaterial applications.1. (2010) Processo e equipamento de fabrico rápido por bioextrusão. P. The results present the potential of this interchangeable screw extrusion head to provide new opportunities for desktop 3-D printers in several applications using powder as feedstock with the aim to generate 3-D models. a necessary condition for layer deposition purposes demonstrating the performance of each section of the screw extrusion. in desktop 3-D printer machines. in specific thermoplastics. C. more specifically.A.. The preliminary tests of the head showed the capacity of extruding melted material producing continuous filaments demonstrating the performance of each section of the screw extrusion. Silveira et al. The transmission system.C. Control of process parameters such as temperature and extrusion output stream of material contributing to the quality of the material constituting the 3-D model obtained. The results present the potential of this interchangeable screw extrusion head to provide new opportunities for desktop 3-D printers in several applications using powder as feedstock with the aim to generate 3-D models. Conclusions The innovative characteristics presented in this work are based on the fact that the feeding of material is in powder form. As future works. including the stepper motor. February. In direction of new additive manufacturing correlated areas as health. this new device presents results using ε-PCL as powder material and has demonstrated its capacity to produce scaffolds. and Mateus. The miniaturisation of the subassembly barrel-screw applied to AM machines is other important aspect of this design development. The use of QFD support the identification of the more important design characteristics that lead the choices during design development.J. The preliminary tests of the head showed the capacity of extruding melted material (SEM photomicrographs). Mota. is a promising area towards the material sciences applications in additive manufacturing. Bartolo. once it was shown the screw extrusion head capability to fabricate a block composed by various layers characterising the application in additive manufacturing. The use of mock-up and additive manufacturing are important to previously identify assembly failures reducing the design time.M. The blend or mixture of two or more kinds of polymers in feed section and its respective study is another possibility of research. . mainly related to driving control systems. p. Portuguese Patent PT104247B. References Almeida. The use of new materials. its extrusion into filament and transformation in the form of deposition layers occurs simultaneously. A.J. presented a satisfactory performance. which showed homogeneous and continuous filaments.

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