Have you ever wondered what sort of load a 3D printed part can withstand?
We recently had the opportunity to test a 3D printed block of carbon fibre reinforced PET in a 45 tonne hydraulic press. The part was 130mm x 80mm x 70mm and was printed at a 0.32mm layer height using a 0.6mm nozzle with 6 perimeters and 50% infill. As seen in the video below, the part amazingly withstood 40 tonnes of vertical force and whilst it deformed, it did not crack or fail in any other way. The 80mm x 60mm steel bar that supported it even bent!
This illustrates that functional load-bearing parts can be successfully 3D printed from engineering grade plastics. In fact, this piece was part of a support block for a 4m gantry on an Agfa industrial UV printer.