Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE)

Degree Level



Industrial Engineering


Harry Pierson

Committee Member

Sarah Nurre

Second Committee Member

Kelly Sullivan


3D Printing, closed-loop control system, makespan, Multi-gantry FFF, Toolpath Planning


Additive manufacturing (AM) has revolutionized the way industries manufacture and prototype products. Fused filament fabrication (FFF) is one of the most popular processes in AM as it is inexpensive, requires low maintenance, and has high material utilization. However, the biggest drawback that prevents FFF printing from being widely implemented in large-scale production is the cycle time. The most practical approach is to allow multiple collaborating printheads to work simultaneously on different parts of the same object. However, little research has been introduced to support the aforementioned approach. Hence a new toolpath planning methodology is proposed in this paper. The objectives are to create a collision-free toolpath for each printhead while maintaining the mechanical performance of the printed model. The proposed method utilizes the Tabu Search heuristic and a combination of two subroutines: collision checking and collision resolution (TS-CCR). A computer simulation was used to compare the performance of the proposed method with the industry-standard approach in terms of cycle time. Physical experimentation is conducted to validate the mechanical strength of the TS-CCR specimens. The experiment also validated that the proposed toolpath can be executed on a custom multi-gantry setup without a collision. Experimental results indicated that the proposed TS-CCR can create toolpaths with shorter makespans than the current standard approach while achieving better ultimate tensile strength (UTS). This research represents opportunities for developing general toolpath planning for concurrent 3D printing.