*WINNER* Mechanical Characterization of Low-Cost Metal Material Extrusion
Additive manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D printing technology, is an advanced manufacturing technology that has developed rapidly in the past 30 years. Its advantage lies in the rapid prototyping and small-batch production. Today, metal AM is gaining popularity due to its high strength and industrial applicability. However, this technology has a high-cost barrier, and it is not affordable for several end-users due to its initial cost, maintenance/safety requirements, and trained operator needs. Lately, few companies have developed a new type of filament that could work with any low-cost material extrusion printers. These new filaments contain metal powders mixed with polymers and they could be used for producing metallic parts as the end products. This study presented here provides the unique low-cost Metal Material Extrusion (MME) technology and its mechanical characterization. In this printing technology, specimens are made of Polylactic Acid (PLA) compliant metal powder composite filament using the single head extruder. Printed samples were then allowed to sinter using the open-air furnace. During the sintering process, the bonding agents are melted out leaving the metal powders for fusion. For mechanical characterization, the dog-bone specimens are fabricated using the same procedure for testing the material properties before and after the sintering process and the results are compared with pure metal specimens at the end.