Buckling Strength of 3-D Printed Thermoplastic Thin Shells: Notes on an Exploratory Study of As-Printed and Reinforced Cases Academic Article uri icon


  • Additively-manufactured (AM) materials have a defined mesostructure and natural voids which impact their structural stability; thin shells, which do not have the bulk to support or absorb the effects of the variances in properties, are particularly affected. Thin shells are a common feature in many designs, providing good strength-to-weight ratios for many applications, particularly in the aerospace and structural design domains. The use of AM to fabricate thin structures could both expand the use of AM and improve the application space for thin structures in design, but this problem has not yet been widely discussed for buckling cases. This short technical note explored this problem for thermoplastic thin shells fabricated by fused deposition modeling (FDM), providing insight into the problem, some initial experimental results, and discussion of design implications. A designed 2(41) factorial experiment was used to study the buckling behavior, examining the impact of wall thickness, material, and two methods for internal reinforcement (soft infill and polyurethane foam). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) (including model adequacy testing and proof of Fisher Assumption validity) was completed on data from two replications (32 total tests), providing useful information on the significance of the factors and their interactions.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Pereira, T. R., Patterson, A. E., & Messimer, S. L.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Pereira, Tais Rocha||Patterson, Albert E||Messimer, Sherri L

publication date

  • August 2020