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Three-dimensional (3D) printing, one of the important technological pillars of Industry 4.0, is changing the landscape of future manufacturing. However, the limited build volume of a commercially available 3D printer is one inherent constraint, which holds its acceptability by the manufacturing business leaders. This paper aims to address the issue by presenting a novel classification of the possible ways by which 3D-printed parts can be joined or welded to achieve a bigger-sized component.Design/methodology/approachA two-step literature review is performed. The first section deals with the past and present research studies related to adhesive bonding, mechanical interlocking, fastening and big area additive manufacturing of 3D printed thermoplastics. In the second section, the literature searches were focused on retrieving details related to the welding of 3D printed parts, specifically related to friction stir welding, friction (spin) welding, microwave and ultrasonic welding.FindingsThe key findings of this review study comprise the present up-to-date research developments, pros, cons, critical challenges and the future research directions related to each of the joining/welding techniques. After reading this study, a better understanding of how and which joining/welding technique to be applied to obtain a bigger volume 3D printed component will be acquired.Practical implicationsThe study provides a realistic approach for the joining of 3D printed parts made by the fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique.Originality/valueThis is the first literature review related to joining or welding of FDM-3D printed parts helping the 3D printing fraternity and researchers, thus increasing the acceptability of low-cost FDM printers by the manufacturing business leaders.
Rapid Prototyping Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 4, 2021
Keywords: Adhesive bonding; Friction stir welding; Joining of 3D printed parts; Mechanical interlocking; Microwave welding; Ultrasonic welding
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