Geometric limitations of 3D printed continuous flax-fiber reinforced biocomposites cellular lattice structures

3D-printing of biocomposites using continuous natural fiber composites is emerging as a relevant manufacturing method to develop highly tailorable materials. These are materials with high performance characteristics, whose capabilities have been achieved through the controlled design of the mesostructure via the 3D printing process. However, the development of 3D printing using continuous natural fiber composites is so recent that no geometric limitations have yet been investigated. The present article has established the printability and design window of several cellular lattice structures by investigating and discussing a comparative analysis of the difference between the programmed and actual trajectories of pure polylactic acid (PLA), short flax fiber biocomposite (FF/PLA) and continuous flax fiber/PLA biocomposites (cFF/PLA) for a specific set of printing and slicing parameters. It is expected that the presented findings will support the ongoing development of improved design methods and optimized technical deposition approaches that can expand the design space for cFF/PLA 3D printed biocomposites with multi-layered periodic cellular lattice patterns.

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