How Strong is 3D Printer Plastic?
How strong is 3D Printer Plastic? The answer depends on many factors, like the type of material you want to print on, the type of printer you have and how you use it. The first question you should ask yourself is "What effect will the plastic have on my print?". This is a very important question because the strength of your print can be affected by several factors.
If you use a hot lamination process, for example, the plastic filament that lies between the layers of plastic will be extremely strong. But it can be stretched and bent easily, and it can be brittle too. If it breaks, this could cause a problem with your prints. Hot lamination, however, is the most commonly used technique for bonding pieces of plastic together, so it's usually one of the first things you'll think of when you're asking 'How strong is 3d printer plastic'?
However, it isn't the only factor. One of the main ways we test the strength of any material is by putting it through an impact, and our tests are no different here. In fact, plastic filament will shatter into blunt bits if it comes into contact with a hard surface at speed. You might expect the bits to stay together, but they break into very little pieces once they hit the hard surface.
The reason is that the stresses on the surface combine with the tensile strengths of the plastic to make them crack. Because the plastic is brittle in nature, these cracks spread very quickly, and you end up with an impact mark on all of the surfaces under your plastic print. If you haven't marked your surface before, then your first impression is very wrong - this will spread into a big crack in your plastic print. It will take time to resolve, so don't worry too much about this initial impact. You can remove the mark, and if the damage is relatively minor (a little plastic trimming or welding over a hole in your car), you should be able to fix it yourself.
How hard is 3D Printer Plastic? A lot depends on what you're trying to do with it - for instance, a large file or object will obviously crush a lot more easily than a small one. Also, the faster the plastic is used, the lower the tensile strength. For example, when you're printing out a document with a heated gun, the plastic won't break as easily as with the other methods. It's all about the type of print you're doing. If you want to know how strong your plastic is, you should test it in this situation as well.
To do this, you need to put your print in an area where it won't be disturbed, and attach a load cell or other device which will measure how much pressure is applied to the device. Put the load cell on the bottom sheet of the plastic and use a screwdriver to hold the results of the test against the surface of the printer, and see if the results are consistent. This test can be done both in the open air and in a controlled environment such as in a lab. If you're comfortable with the idea of potentially damaging your printer, you can do it yourself - it's just another thing to test when you're happy with the result.
How strong is 3D Printer Plastic? There's actually no single answer to that question. The best answer is probably "it depends". You should be careful not to over-exert yourself though - your printer will eventually break down, no matter how good its build is. Some printers are specifically engineered to handle extremely high levels of force, and if yours isn't, don't expect to have it for long.
How strong is 3D Printer Plastic? The best way to find out is to start using it. If you're comfortable with the idea of playing with machinery, it might not be a bad idea to get some practice on before you actually ask the question - you never know, it might make you stronger!