Structural integrity of polymeric components produced by additive manufacturing (Am)—polymer applications

Rui F. Martins, Ricardo Branco, Filippo Berto, Nuno Soares, Sebastião Bandeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the work presented herein, the structural integrity of polymeric functional components made of Nylon-645 and Polylactic acid (PLA) produced by additive manufacturing (Fused Deposition Modelling, FDM) is studied. The PLA component under study was selected from the production line of a brewing company, and it was redesigned and analyzed using the Finite Element Method, 3D printed, and installed under real service. The results obtained indicated that, even though the durability of the 3D printed part was lower than the original, savings of about EUR 7000 a year could be achieved for the component studied. Moreover, it was shown that widespread use of AM with other specific PLA components could result in even more significant savings. Additionally, a metallic hanger (2700 kg/m3 ) from the cockpit of an airplane ATR 70 series 500 was successfully redesigned and additively manufactured in Nylon 645, resulting in a mass reduction of approximately 60% while maintaining its fit-for-purpose. Therefore, the components produced by FDM were used as fully functional components rather than prototype models, which is frequently stated as a major constraint of the FDM process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4420
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2021


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Nylon-645
  • PLA
  • Polymers
  • Structural integrity


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