Academic Year 2021/2022 - 2° Year - Curriculum Advanced Mechanical Design
Teaching Staff: Gianluca CICALA
Credit Value: 6
Scientific field: ING-IND/22 - Materials science and technology
Taught classes: 28 hours
Exercise: 30 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

The aim of the course is to provide the student with a thorough knowledge on the advanced manufacturing technologies for plastic and composites materials. The student will be first introduced with some concepts and theoretical background on advanced manufacturing techniques for plastics and composites. After this introduction the students will be instructed to gain hand on experience on some of the technologies described theoretically. Among the techniques discussed 3D printing will be a special focus for this course. The full access to the equipment’s of the Polymer and Composites Group will be granted to the students at the end of the course to realize some practical projects as part of the final examination.

Course Structure

The course will be organized into oral lessons and laboratory exercises.


Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus.

Detailed Course Content

A) Theory

1a. Additive Manufacturing Techniques for Polymer Materials: Extrusion Additive Manufacturing (FFF, FDM); Photopolymerization (DLP; LCD; LCA; InkJet Printing); Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).

2a. Polymer processing techniques: Extrusion, Injection Moulding, Blow Moulding, Compression Moulding.

3a. Reactive polymer mixing

4a. Thermoset cure kinetic and rheology

5a. Composite production techniques.

B.Practical Experience

1b. Additive manufacturing practice: Setting up the printing process using dedicated software; 3D printing experiments on simple geometries; Examples of 3D printing on complex geometries (case studies)

2b. Extrusion practice: Preparing a binary polymeal mixture; Preparation of a reinforced polymer compound.

3b. Injection molding practice: preparation of samples to "dog bone" or other simple geometry use the formulations prepared in step 2b).

4b) Practice manufacturing fibrer-reinforced materials: preparation of panels, or simple geometries, using the technique of Hand Lay Up or VARTM.

Project: The student will select among some projects proposed by the instructor and will autonomously carry out the design and the experiments.

Textbook Information

1) I. Gibson l D. W. Rosen l B. Stucker "Additive Manufacturing Technologies: Rapid Prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing", Springer, ISBN: 978-1-4419-1119-3

2) Tim A. Osswald and George Mendez "Materials Science of Polymers for Engineers", Hanser.

3) Raju S. Davé and Alfred C. Loos, "Processing of Composites", Hanser.