Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging (to 2013)

First Advisor

Paul Fleming

Second Advisor

Thomas Joyce

Third Advisor

Larry Ahleman


Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a relatively new form of additive manufacturing that has the potential to induce a second industrial revolution. This technology utilizes a print head to lay down raw materials in successive layers to fabricate a three dimensional object. There are several techniques in 3D printing, two of which will be discussed hi this proposal: fused deposition modeling (FDM), and inkjet/polyjet matrix 3D printing.

Although this technology has been around since the 1980s, it is constantly evolving and new materials, uses, and objects are created daily. This technology presents the potential to manufacture a variety of objects across numerous fields such as automotive, aerospace, dental, medical, consumer electronics, fashion, art and more. With decreasing prices and homemade 3D printer options, one day consumers could simply download their needs and print them in their homes.

This proposal will determine which printer is best suited for rapid prototyping in the automotive industry. Consideration will be given to materials, functionality, and strength of the prototypes. Also, the potential to utilize the printer in rapid manufacturing will be considered. Testing of the printed automotive prototypes will be executed using the different technologies offered by Stratasys and Objet, two 3D printing manufacturers. Each of these companies utilizes a different 3D printing technology (FDM and inkjet 3D printing, respectively).

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access