3D printing technologies and composite materials for structural applications

Rajkumar Velu, Felix Raspall, Sarat Singamneni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a new and emergent manufacturing technology for rapid tooling which promises to disrupt the fabrication of highly sophisticated parts directly from computer-aided designs. These printed parts can achieve lightweight structures with high dimensional accuracy and at a lower cost for customized geometries. Over the past few years, the intrinsic limitations of neat polymers, metals, and ceramics have propelled toward better alternative composite materials to enhance mechanical and other essential properties; nowadays, 3D printing research follows a similar direction from neat to composite materials. This chapter presents an overview of additive manufacturing techniques for composite materials, their properties, performance, and potential applications. The focus is on structural applications and technologies such as vat polymerization, material jetting, powder bed fusion, material extrusion, binder jetting, direct energy deposition, and sheet lamination. Based on sustainability benefits of natural fibers like wood, vegetable, and animal fibers we provide motivation for future research on green composites 3D printing, and thereafter we discuss the advantages, weaknesses, and limitations of these composites.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGreen Composites for Automotive Applications
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780081021774
ISBN (Print)9780081021781
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Composite materials
  • Conventional manufacturing
  • Green composites
  • Manufacturing strategies
  • Structural applications


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