Post-processing of FDM 3d-printed polylactic acid parts by laser beam cutting

Mahmoud Moradi, Mojtaba Karami Moghadam, Mahmoud Shamsborhan, Mahdi Bodaghi, Hamid Falavandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, the post-processing of 3D-printed poly lactic acid (PLA) parts is investigated. Workpieces are manufactured by fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing, while they may have defects in some areas such as edges. A post-processing is introduced here for 3D-printed samples by low power CO2 laser. The thickness of the FDM samples are 3.2 mm and printed by optimum conditions. Effects of process parameters such as focal plane position (-3.2-3.2 mm), laser power (20-40 W), and laser cutting speed (1-13 mm/s) are examined based on the design of experiments (DOE). Geometrical features of the kerf; top and bottom kerf; taper; ratio of top to the bottom kerf are considered as output responses. An analysis of the experimental results by statistical software is conducted to survey the effects of process parameters and to obtain regression equations. By optimizing of the laser cutting process; an appropriate kerf quality is obtained and also optimum input parameters are suggested. Experimental verification tests show a good agreement between empirical results and statistical predictions. The best optimum sample with 1.19 mm/s cutting speed, 36.49 W power and 0.53 mm focal plane position shows excellent physical features after the laser cutting process when 276.9 μm top and 261.5 μm bottom kerf width is cut by laser.
Original languageEnglish
Article number550
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • 3D printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Design of experiments
  • Fused deposition modeling
  • Laser cutting
  • Post-processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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