Document Type

Honors Thesis


Engineering Physics


Samuel T. Hess

Committee Members

Matthew Ireland, MacKenzie Stetzer, Jordan LaBouff

Graduation Year

May 2023

Publication Date

Spring 2023


Inherently, additive manufacturing printed parts have faults between layers perpendicular to the direction of printing, both in the plane parallel to the build plate and in the z direction (out of the build plate). For most parts, these “built-in” faults from the manufacturing process act as limiting conditions for the part's mechanical strength. While perpendicular to printing is typically the weakest due to layer adhesion faults, parallel to printing is typically the strongest due to cohesive material and fiber orientation. Fiber orientation can be measured through various methods, with the two explored being X-Ray Microscopy (XRM) for 3D analysis, and Image Analysis for a 2D projection. While 3D XRM analysis relies on fewer assumptions, it is expensive and inaccessible. This research looks to evaluate the validity of 2D image analysis methods and develop relationships between various tensile strength and fiber orientations for differing printing parameters, optimizing for high directional strength due to fiber alignment and low directional strength perpendicular to the direction of printing for parts designed to fail within the performance context of a 1-dimensional load in 2 orientations. This part design is viable as a safety feature with a part requirement of strength in a particular direction and failure when exposed to a perpendicular and smaller in magnitude.