Optimization of FDM 3D printing parameters for high strength PEEK using the Taguchi method and experimental validation

Cho Pei Jiang*, Yung Chang Cheng, Hong Wei Lin, Yu Lee Chang, Tim Pasang, Shyh Yuan Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is used to manufacture biomedical implants because it has a high strength-to-weight ratio and high strength and is biocompatible. However, the use of fused deposition modeling to print a PEEK results in low strength and crystallinity. This study aims to use the Taguchi method to optimize the printing factors to obtain the highest tensile strength of the printed PEEK object. The annealing effect on printed PEEK object and crystallinity are also investigated. Design/methodology/approach: This study determines the printing factors including the printing speed, layer thickness, printing temperature and extrusion width. Taguchi experimental design with a L9 orthogonal array is used to print the tensile specimen and carried out the tensile test to compare the tensile strength and porosity. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is used to determine the experimental error and to determine the optimization printing parameters to obtain the highest tensile strength. A multivariate linear regression analysis is used to obtain the linear regression equation for predicting the theoretical tensile strength. An X-ray analysis is achieved to evaluate the crystalline of printed object. The effect of annealing is investigated to improve the tensile strength of printed part. An intervertebral lumber device is printed to demonstrate the feasibility of the obtained optimization parameters for practical application. Findings: Taguchi experiment designs nine sets of parameters to print the PEEK tensile specimen. The experimental results and the ANOVA present that the order in which the factors affect the tensile strength for printed PEEK parts is the layer thickness, the extrusion width, the printing speed and the printing temperature. The optimized printing parameters are a printing speed of 5 mm/s, a layer thickness of 0.1 mm, a printing temperature of 395 °C and an extrusion strand width of 0.44 mm. The average tensile strength of printed specimen with the optimized printing parameters is 91.48 MPa, which is slightly less than the theoretical predicted value of 94.34 MPa. After annealing, the tensile strength increases to 98.85 MPa, which is comparable to that for molded PEEK and the porosity decreases to 0.3 from 3.9%. X-ray diffraction results show that all printed and annealed specimens have a high degree of crystallinity. The printed intervertebral lumber device has ultimate compressive load of 13.42 kN. Originality/value: The optimized printing parameters is suitable for low-price fused deposition modeling machine because it does not involve a table at high temperature and can print the PEEK object with high tensile strength and good crystalline. Annealing parameters offer a good solution for tensile strength improvement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRapid Prototyping Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Fused deposition modeling
  • Optimization
  • Taguchi methods
  • Tensile strength


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