Design-dependent shrinkage compensation modeling and mechanical property targeting of metal FFF

Ilies Ait-Mansour, Niklas Kretzschmar, Sergei Chekurov, Mika Salmi, Joel Rech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


Metal-fused filament fabrication is gaining traction due to its low cost and high availability compared to metal powder bed fusion. However, the achievable mechanical properties and effects of shrinkage of this process should be understood thoroughly before it can be implemented as a direct digital manufacturing technology. This study investigates the influence of infill levels and different build orientations on the mechanical properties and shrinkage behavior of 3D-printed, debinded, and sintered components made from BASF Ultrafuse 316LX. The final objective of the work is to define a function for multi-directional shrinkage prediction for any given part geometry to achieve parts with a high degree of dimensional conformity by modifying the original designs accordingly. The Design of Experiment includes tensile and compression testing according to ASTM E8 M-04 and ASTM D695-15, respectively. Tensile testing samples are manufactured in three different build directions and compression testing pins are made with six infill levels. Furthermore, a complex part is printed and its dimensional shrinkage analyzed using 3D scanning. Finally, the multi-directional shrinkage behavior is measured for all samples to establish a shrinkage predictability function by applying linear regression models. Results show that material infill levels have no effect on the shrinkage behavior of printed components. Compressive strength increases with infill level and ultimate tensile strength of parts printed flat indicates the highest tensile testing results, followed by flipped and vertically printed parts. A complex part was manufactured successfully for spare part production, which helped to establish a function with moderate confidence levels for shrinkage predictability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Additive Manufacturing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Metal-fused filament fabrication
  • Mechanical testing
  • Shrinkage prediction
  • Spare part production


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