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DIY material testing machine

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Inspired by some profesional tesing videos like (

) I was thinking it should be possible to create something similar

for testing 3D printed material.

I have a very simple goal, mainly interested in relative strength between multiple test pieces. Like to be able to answer f.e. which print temperature gives the best connection between layers.


The machine;





It's basically a simple swing, hinging in bearings, to measure the loss of hight when cutting through a piece of material. A piece of wood at the top makes sure you always release the swing from the same hight. A simple pointer mechanism shows the maximum hight reached during the swing.

The first result of multiple "swings" without test block, show a good constant result.


Testing 5x with a similar testblock (8 x 8 x 80 cm, same print settings and material) unfortunately gives less constant results. Also the difference in result between no material and the testblocks is very minimal.

result5x 8x8x80

so improvement can probably come from starting the swing from a lower position, or scale down the total machine and "swing weight". I'll do some more testing when I can find the time ...


I'll put the components on "youmagine", any improvement comments are welcome. One thing that can be improved for sure is the pointer mechanism (currently very simple with a rubber band).

Components DesignSpark Mechanical




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Just an observation (i am no physicist) your indicator is on the power side of the kit - so it is swinging itself with the mechanism - rather than being pushed up the other side. so won't there be a 'shock' effect when the pendulum slows down and the measure itself decelerates depending on the strike - so having an influence on the measurement.

But could it also just reflect that your samples have different characteristics - after all they are printed?


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Very interesting experiment! I notice your testing results with the test block show a continual progression in the position of the indicator. Did you sort the five results in order, or did it just happen that way? If the latter, I wonder if there is some actual material property you are measuring, such as layer adhesion and/or extruded linewidth becomes progressively larger (or smaller) with time as you continue printing.


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