Filip Volaric is a PhD researcher in I-Form, based in UCD and working in the area of Process-Structure-Property Modeling and Simulation. He obtained his master’s degree in the area of Engineering Modeling and Computer Simulations at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture in University of Zagreb, Croatia. His main research interests are in the area of polymer additive manufacturing modeling and simulation.
Research Interests (Lay Summary)
Filip started his PhD with I-Form in 2018 and is working on the creation of computer models that can predict mechanical properties of printed plastic parts. In order to safely use parts created by additive manufacturing, it is important to know their properties; computer simulations are the way to connect them to process parameters. By creating process-structure-property maps for certain processes and materials, the user can quickly decide what material and process to use for the desired effect. Additionally, creation of those maps removes the need for a trial-and-error approach.
The aim of this work is to create models which then will be used to create process-structure-property maps for several different processes of polymer additive manufacturing (AM). Since there are many different AM techniques, his main focus is on Digital Light Projection (DLP) and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).
DLP process uses UV light to create a solid 3D network of polymer chains from thermosetting resin. This process of irreversible molecular cross-linking is also known as curing. Distribution of residual stresses and distortions of the printed part are highly dependent on the correct prediction of the degree of cure. The DLP process uses thermosetting polymers that are generally known for high thermal stability, good rigidity, hardness and resistance to creep.
Modeling of the FDM process is completely different. Since in FDM thermoplastics are used, no permanent 3D networks are created. In FDM, a process part is created through layer-by-layer deposition of thermoplastic filament that is extruded through a heated nozzle. Properties of the created part are dependent on solidification and crystallization of melted filament. The solidification/melting process is modeled by the enthalpy method, while for crystallization several different models are used.