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Saturday, October 6 • 1:30pm - 2:10pm
Towards Sustainable Additive Manufacturing in University Makerspaces

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Additive manufacturing is being broadly adopted and popular in university makerspaces.
Desktop Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is the most common equipment in makerspaces
because of its ease of use, compact size and affordable price. Many novices choose to use
desktop FDM printers because of its easy operation, but they could make improper design and
operation decisions which unnecessarily increase the fabrication failures. If we are moving
towards a future where desktop FDM printers are in every school and office, like conventional
printers, then these machines will consume a large amount of energy and materials. Since there
are so many different brands and types of printers using different raw materials under different
scenarios, it is very difficult to evaluate the environmental impacts of FDM printers. In addition,
few studies identify the causes of fabrication failures. This study analyzes material and energy
consumption, uncertainty and variability for desktop-grade FDM printers using ABS and PLA
material in two university makerspaces. In addition, this study examines how users’ expertise
and experience level in an open studio environment affects rates of the printing failures. From
the results, more ubiquitous access to FDM printing may create a significant addition to the
waste stream. Moreover, higher education level and higher printing frequencies tend to decrease
the number of failed prints. Based on the results, practices are suggested to decrease the
fabrication failures.

avatar for Ruoyu Song

Ruoyu Song

Ph.D. student, Georgia Institute of Technology
Ruoyu Song is a third-year Ph.D. student in the CASS Lab of Georgia Tech studying Mechanical Engineering. Ruoyu’s current studies focus onthe failure modes in both additive and subtractive manufacturing, and the impacts of design to manufacturing processes.

Saturday October 6, 2018 1:30pm - 2:10pm EDT
Conference Room Eight