Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Amy M. Peterson, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Robert Jensen, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Yu Zhong, Committee Member




Process-structure-property relationships in material extrusion additive manufacturing (MEAM) are complex, non-linear, and poorly understood. Without proper characterization of the effects of each processing parameter, products produced through fused filament fabrication (FFF) and other MEAM processes may not successfully reach the material properties required of the usage environment. The two aims of this thesis were to first use an informatics approach to design a workflow that would ensure the collection of high pedigree data from each stage of the printing process; second, to apply the workflow, in conjunction with a design of experiments (DOE), to investigate FFF processing parameters. Environmental, material, and print conditions that may impact performance were monitored to ensure that relevant data was collected in a consistent manner. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) filament was used to print ASTM D638 Type V tensile bars. MakerBot Replicator 2X, Ultimaker 3, and Zortrax M200 were used to fabricate the tensile bars. Data was analyzed using multivariate statistical techniques, including principal component analysis (PCA). The magnitude of effect of layer thickness, extrusion temperature, print speed, and print bed temperature on the tensile properties of the final print were determined. Other characterization techniques used in this thesis included: differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results demonstrated that printer selection is incredibly important and changes the effects of print parameters; moreover, further investigation is needed to determine the sources of these differences.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Materials Science & Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Fused Filament Fabrication, Additive Manufacturing, Materials Informatics