Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Inteligent Polymer Research Institute


Additive manufacturing (AM) or three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is highly suited for the production of a broad range of customized and complex 3D structures. 3D printing has attracted significant attention due to rapid prototyping, waste minimization, and freedom of design. Compared to conventional subtractive fabrication techniques, 3D printing simplifies the production process of complex 3D constructs and directly utilizes computer-aided design (CAD) system to produce the object of interest. Melt extrusion-based 3D printing is a widely used 3D printing technology whereby a thermoplastic polymer is melted into a heated nozzle and extruded on a substrate in a layer-by-layer fashion according to spatial coordinates described by a CAD model.

Materials used in the melt extrusion-based printing are limited to thermoplastic polymers; thus, the development of more functional polymeric composites will greatly expand the applicability of 3D printing. Using thermoplastic composites with functional fillers can dramatically enhance the properties of composites such as mechanical, thermal, and electrical features. Fillers are classified into metals, ceramics, and carbon-based materials where the fillers’ properties such as size, shape, aspect ratio, loading, and distribution of fillers into the polymer matrix can affect the composites properties and subsequent utility. Reinforcing fillers are used in the form of fiber, nanotube, nanosheet, microparticle, or nanoparticle to make high-performance polymer-based composites.

In this thesis, biocompatible grades of thermoplastic polyurethane (PU) elastomers were applied as base polymers. The PU filaments were made using a twin-screw extruder from several PU grades with varied tensile modulus, and consequently their printability was observed on an extrusion-based fused deposition modeling (FDM) - filament printer.

FoR codes (2008)


This thesis is unavailable until Saturday, December 09, 2023



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.