Case History

Filament production and Fused Deposition Modeling of nanotube composites

Sithiprumnea Dul, Luca Fambri e Alessandro Pegoretti (Industrial Engineering department and INSTM Research Unit, Università di Trento) published on January 18th 2018 an article about their latest research made on the filament production and Fused Deposition Modeling of ABS/Carbon nanotubes composites made with our Sharebot NG, Sharebot desktop 3D printer for R&D and educational industries. ABS/Carbon materials have a huge technical and functioning potential thanks to their thermal and mechanical proprieties.

Here below we reported few abstracts and thesis from the article; you can read the introduction, the main materials features and characteristics and the conclusions. The full article can be downloaded by clicking on the button below or can be found on our webpage dedicated to R&D industry and 3D printing application in this field.


The development of nanocomposite materials for specific types of additional manufacturing has recently attracted remarkable interest because incorporated nanoparticles offer the potential to enhance various properties of 3D-printed parts.


In particular, filaments for fused deposition modelling (FDM) — which is a widely used 3D-printing technology — could be improved by the addition of nanofillers.


In fact, the dispersion of conductive nanoparticles in a polymer matrix makes it possible to produce 3D-printed components for various applications such as electronic sensors, cases with good electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding performances, circuits and microbatteries.

Here below we decided to report just the main conclusions. To know more about the research, the tests and developments of the project, please download the attached article.

Carbon nanotubes (in fractions up to 8 wt %) were directly melt compounded with relatively high viscosity ABS matrix by using a completely solvent-free process. Subsequently, by using a twin-screw extruder, composite filaments were appositely extruded for application in 3D printing with fused deposition modelling.

The optimum CNT fraction for fused deposition modelling process was found to be 6 wt %. Thermal, mechanical and electrical properties of neat ABS and ABS/CNT composites have been investigated on produced filaments and 3D-printed parts. CNT has the positive effect on the resistance to long-lasting loads due to the reduction of creep compliance.

Besides, the enhancement of both tensile modulus and strength was found for filaments and FDM products, except for vertical 3D built specimens.[/one_half][one_half_last] On the other hand, elongation at break of the composites was reduced in proportion to the CNT fraction.

The presence of CNT also promoted the thermal stability of 3D-printed parts due to the reduction in coefficient of thermal expansion. Electrical conductivity of 3D-printed samples was markedly incremented but a partial loss in conductivity with respect to filament nanocomposite was also observed.

Moreover, the resistivity of 3D-printed parts is highly dependent on the build microfilaments orientation, which consequently leads to different surface temperature increment under applied voltages. For FDM-printed parts, the carbon nanotubes in playing the best reinforcement in thermal mechanical behavior for HC and H45 orientation but less effective in electrical properties.[/one_half_last]

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