Testing 3D Printed Parts and Components for Quality Control or R&D Purposes

How are you performing R&D and quality control testing on your 3D printed parts and components?

As more parts, components and products are made using 3D printing technology, the need to test these components for strength and performance will continue to grow. Key types of test equipment used to test the quality and strength of 3D printed parts and components are listed below and each can be sourced from United Testing Systems.

Universal Test Machines

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Impact Test Equipment

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Melt Flow Equipment

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Sample Preparation Equipment

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A key piece of equipment used in the evaluation process will likely be a Universal Test Machine that can perform tension, compression and bend/flex testing as well as advanced materials testing procedures. Common material properties that would be measured using a UTM on 3D printed material would include;

Tensile Strength

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Compressive Strength

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Flexural Strength

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Creep

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Shear

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Strain

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Stress

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View United Universal Test Machines

Given that most 3D printing filament is a thermoplastic material it makes sense that test methods used to evaluate the material come from standards and procedures associated with plastics testing. Several of the most common tensile testing standards for plastics are listed below, however other standards may be incorporated related to compression or bend/flex testing which can also be performed on a United UTM.

ASTM D638 Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics
ASTM D882 Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Thin Plastic Sheeting
ASTM D1623 Standard Test Method for Tensile and Tensile Adhesion Properties of Rigid Cellular Plastics
ASTM D1822 Standard Test Method for Tensile-Impact Energy to Break Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials
ASTM D2343 Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Glass Fiber Strands, Yarns, and Rovings Used in Reinforced Plastic
ASTM D2990 Standard Test Methods for Tensile, Compressive, and Flexural Creep and Creep-Rupture of Plastics
ASTM D3826 Standard Practice for Determining Degradation End Point in Degradable Polyethylene and Polypropylene Using a Tensile Test
ASTM D3916 Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Pultruded Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Plastic Rod
ASTM D5083 Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Reinforced Thermosetting Plastics Using Straight-Sided Specimens

Choosing the proper test system

When evaluated based upon overall cost of ownership, ease of use, service after the sale and quality, a UTM from United Testing Systems is the ideal choice for testing 3D printed parts and components.

Many customers do not realize it, but not all Universal Test Machines can perform advanced materials testing calculations. Also, not all manufactures provide complete access to all their software features upon initial purchase. Therefore, having a test system and the necessary software with the flexibility that allows you to add new methods when necessary without paying large fees should be a key factor in your decision-making process.

In addition, while the need to perform advanced materials testing may not be a requirement today, it could be in the future. As your customer base grows and becomes more sophisticated, so will your testing requirements. Therefore, it is critical that the system you choose today can be configured tomorrow for more advanced testing procedures when the need arises.

A PC-driven Universal Test Machine from United Testing Systems with pre-loaded test templates that will not restrict the number of test methods you can create, or limit the calculations you can perform in relation to the most common test standards is the ideal choice when testing 3D printed parts.

More Than Just UTM’s
 

In addition to the test procedures and equipment mentioned above, United Testing Systems along with our sister company, Ray-Ran can offer our customers a large selection of materials testing equipment that may be required when testing 3D printed components. Each company is part of the Industrial Physics Materials Testing division which allows us to capitalize on each brand’s unique strengths, while at the same time giving customers a sole-source provider for all your material testing needs.

 
 
Pendulum Impact Tester Advanced Melt Flow

 

Impact Testing Equipment

Sample Preparation Equipment