3D Printer's & the Tensile Strength of their creations?

  wee eddie 21:54 07 Jan 15

There has been a huge amount of publicity surrounding the Spanner made on the Space Station and, in the past, horror stories of printed Pistols.

My question is this: Does the material from which these things are made have the tensile strength for the creations to fulfil their designed purpose?

  namtas 22:32 07 Jan 15

If the item is made from plastic then it will only have the tensile strength of the plastic. you may design over size to partially compensate, but you would never compare plastic with steel for tensile strength just does not have the molecularity required.

  wee eddie 23:02 07 Jan 15

Namtas: all plastics are different. Some brittle, some pliable.

That was my question

  LastChip 00:06 08 Jan 15

It depends on the material the 3D printer used. Don't assume it's plastic, though it certainly looks like that in the images.

There are 3D printers that print in all sorts of materials, some of which use heat for fusion to "melt" metal fragments together. I personally doubt they're using anything like that, as the risk would probably be too high. But who knows what materials NASA and/or their partners have produced? And it is certainly possible they're using laser technology.

If you ever travel on a Boeing 787, you can feel comfort (or not) that 30 of the parts in that aircraft have been 3D printed.

GE, are looking at 3d printing jet engine turbine fan blades. So 3D printing has already come a long way from printing miniature curiosities.

  wee eddie 00:50 08 Jan 15

The world has been using laminates for 100 years or more. That, in essence, is what a 3D Printer is is creating.

So far, it's an "I think" situation. None of us have any knowledge of any "mission critical" objects having been made.

  Belatucadrus 00:51 08 Jan 15

Apparently BAE are printing fairly large components in Titanium.

  BillSers 08:29 08 Jan 15

The 3D technology is relatively new but imagine what could be produced if carbon fibre was introduced into the equation.

  Forum Editor 10:52 10 Jan 15

Does the material from which these things are made have the tensile strength for the creations to fulfil their designed purpose?

That obviously depends on the item being printed, but steel is likely to have a tensile strength that is at least ten times greater than the plastics used.

  Quickbeam 11:10 10 Jan 15

wee eddie

I've bought plenty off things over the years that haven't been up to their design purpose.

Rucksacks with zips that fail within a week, shoes that detach their soles within a few miles, a pair of Lucas pliers that snapped the first time I used them, cameras with shutter mechanisms that fail after few hundred actuations, a new car's auto box that failed within 500 miles, etc, etc...

The advantage of a failed print component, is that you just print another one off!

  SparkyJack 11:12 10 Jan 15

What torque levels are required for a screw/unscrew operation in a given instance?

For example the spanner supplies with my steel bladed rotory mower is plastic

  Aitchbee 20:02 12 Jan 15

Ah, Young's Modulous ... takes me back to those halcyon days spent in mechanical engineering [at school] ;o]

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