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Additive manufacturing material-property study is first of its kind

01 September 2011

Stratasys, a maker of additive manufacturing machines for prototyping and producing plastic parts, has announced findings from an independent and extensive performance study characterising the effects of time, temperature and environment on the mechanical properties of polycarbonate (PC) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic parts made via the Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) process.

The first of its kind, this study provides critical data for manufacturers considering additive manufacturing for production parts or functional prototypes. This information is imperative as additive manufacturing moves from its roots in prototyping to production of finished goods. The finished product or prototype can be in service for extended periods of time and in varying conditions, so it is imperative to qualify the properties beyond published specifications.
The independent study was conducted over a 52 week period by Loughborough University to evaluate the mechanical properties over time of FDM produced PC and ABS plastic parts, and how they fared in extreme environments of heat, cold, moisture, and dryness.
“Stratasys has migrated into manufacturing and other high-requirement applications, and manufacturers are hungry for data on mechanical performance of additive processes," says Fred Fischer, director of materials business development for Stratasys. "The Loughborough study offers statistically sound, comprehensive data, which will help engineers make decisions about additive manufacturing.”
For survey overview, specifications and detailed findings, click here for ABS, and here for PC. 

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