Publication Date

Spring 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Greg Arbuckle (Director), Bryan Reaka, and Brent Askins

Degree Program

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


3DP (three-dimensional printing) technologies have become more than just a tool to help companies with prototyping and designing in the pre-production stage. Some firms have already implemented 3DP technology to produce parts and end-use products. However, there are several challenges and barriers that this technology must overcome to replace traditional manufacturing methods. One of the most significant obstacles associated with 3D printing is its low level of accuracy in variable repeatability when it comes to making separate batches of the same product. There are several arguable reasons behind this variation. Some of the factors that can influence repeatability are the type of material, the design, the type of product produced, and the orientation, or the location of the build inside the building envelope. The goal of this study was to determine whether the location of the build inside the surface area of the working envelope can affect the properties (height, width, depth, and weight) of the product.

Western Kentucky University (WKU) provides students with a few 3D printers on campus. One of those printers, a Stratasys (model: BST 768/SST 768), is in the Senator Mitch McConnell Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Laboratory. The researcher used this printer for the study to determine if the location of the printer influenced the final product. The conclusion of the research did reveal that the printing location does affect the quality of the final product.


Ergonomics | Industrial Engineering | Operational Research | Other Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering