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Mechanical Engineering Commons

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Michigan Technological University

Department of Materials Science and Engineering Publications

Flexible materials

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Distributed Manufacturing Of Flexible Products: Technical Feasibility And Economic Viability, Aubrey Woern, Joshua M. Pearce Oct 2017

Distributed Manufacturing Of Flexible Products: Technical Feasibility And Economic Viability, Aubrey Woern, Joshua M. Pearce

Department of Materials Science and Engineering Publications

Distributed manufacturing even at the household level is now well established with the combined use of open source designs and self-replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap) 3-D printers. Previous work has shown substantial economic consumer benefits for producing their own polymer products. Now flexible filaments are available at roughly 3-times the cost of more conventional 3-D printing materials. To provide some insight into the potential for flexible filament to be both technically feasible and economically viable for distributed digital manufacturing at the consumer level this study investigates 20 common flexible household products. The 3-D printed products were quantified by print time, electrical ...