Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Carl R. Hartsfield, PhD


The manufacture of joints between a base structure and a structure manufactured via Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) will be investigated. ULTEM 9085, a high temperature plastic with potential aerospace applications, will be the material used. The specific application this research is focused on is a robotic and mobile FDM printer capable of building structures onto other structures in space. A joint will be formed by fusing the base layer of the printed structure and the top of the base structure together. Tensile testing will be performed to determine the strength of the bond between parts. Tensile specimens will be manufactured with variable printer settings, including air gap and build volume temperature. In the orbital environment, lamps could be used to heat the part in place of a heated build volume. A thermodynamic model is used to estimate power required to heat the printed part in vacuum. In addition, tensile and compression testing will be done on parts printed in various orientations to validate material properties. The material properties of specimens manufactured under normal conditions will be the standard that printed joints will be compared against.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number