Applied Sciences (May 2022)

An Outline of Fused Deposition Modeling: System Models and Control Strategies

  • Michele Martini,
  • Massimiliano Scaccia,
  • Gabriele Marchello,
  • Haider Abidi,
  • Mariapaola D’Imperio,
  • Ferdinando Cannella

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 11
p. 5400


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Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a type of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology that is becoming increasingly common in numerous applications thanks to its versatility and reduced material waste. However, the complex physical phenomena occurring during extrusion, including the dynamics of non-Newtonian fluids, viscoelastic behaviors and rheology, make the use of heuristic observations preferable to that of analytical approaches. Consequently, engineers have focused on optimizing materials and hardware rather than control algorithms. The limited knowledge about extrusion and deposition dynamics usually confines the control action to the motion of the printing head while keeping a constant flow rate. Existing attempts to synchronize motion and extrusion consists of open loop compensations, which, however, require identified transfer functions or need to be tuned manually. This article aims to compactly review FDM technologies from a control perspective by presenting (i) the models of extrusion and deposition and (ii) the control strategies currently adopted in industry.