New Series! Hooked on 3D Printing: A Study in Material Strength

3D Printing Filament Strength

As the leader in multi-material desktop 3D printing, the Airwolf 3D Wolfpack decided it was high time to put some of our favorite materials to the test — a 3D printing filament strength test.

How Did We Test 3D Printing Filament Strength?

We spend a lot of time touting the impeccable quality of the Airwolf 3D Polycarbonate Filament that we manufacture right here in our facility in Fountain Valley, CA. And our machines’ ability to 3D print polycarbonate easily is one of the main features that has propelled our printers ahead of the competition.

But when it comes to strength, is polycarbonate truly the “king” of industrial-grade filaments? What if we pit polycarbonate against our Platinum Series ABS…or against our new Nylon CARBONITE that exhibits exceptional strength without added weight.

We are testing all of these materials, and more, in our new series, Hooked on 3D Printing: A Study in Material Strength. In this experiment, we will take our most popular materials — including ABS, PLA, Nylon, and Polycarbonate — and see which one is the strongest.

Filament Strength 3D Printing
Hooks designed and printed by Airwolf 3D Intern Kevin Coulson, a second year Engineering major at UC-Berkley.

Our 3D printing filament strength test is simple:

  1. Use CAD software to create a 3D model of a load-bearing hook.
  2. 3D print the hook in each of our test materials.
  3. Use the hook to suspend a 150-pound tire from a forklift.
  4. Measure the strength of the material by gradually adding weights until the hook snaps.*
3D Filament Strength
The Wolfpack got creative and performed some impromptu stress tests with things we found around our facility, including weights from Precision Fitness in Costa Mesa, CA.

It might not be the most precise or scientific method of testing, but it quickly helped us set some benchmarks — and, as you’ll see, it’s a whole lot of fun. Stay tuned for more!

*Disclaimer: Please don’t try this at home. We are professionals with safety gear and plenty of experience dodging flying polycarbonate parts (Airwolf 3D Co-Founder/CTO Erick Wolf loves bouncing polycarbonate prints off the cement floors in our warehouse as a way of demonstrating the material’s durability).

3D-printed hook

Explore More Filaments →