Testing materials for use with SmartSlice

Material properties are the foundation of any method that computes the mechanical performance of a part.

All materials that are qualified for SmartSlice have been tested according to the procedure given here.

Tensile test specimens that adhere to ASTM D638 Type I or ISO 527 Type 1A are the most common specimens used. We print with a gauge section width of at least 10mm, a gauge section length of at least 40mm, and a specimen thickness of at least 2.5mm. In general, the print profile provided by the manufacturer for the given material is used. For Cura, these print profiles can be found on the Marketplace. For Stratos, the print profiles are already installed.

Test specimens are printed using the manufacturer's recommended print profile. If you are using SmartSlice, we recommend using the same thermal settings that are in these print profiles when printing your parts. If you modify any temperature setting significantly, then the resulting material properties may differ from the properties in the SmartSlice materials database.

For all tensile specimens, the infill is set to 100% and the build orientation is "flat" as shown below.

specimen build orientation

For unfilled materials, XY0 and XY90 specimens are printed and for filled materials, XY0, XY90, and XY±45 specimens are printed. For the XY0 and XY90 specimens, the raster orientation in the gauge section is uniform for all layers. For example, all infill layers in an XY90 specimen have rasters oriented 90° from the loading direction. The raster angles for layers in the XY±45 specimen alternate between +45° and -45°. The image below shows the raster orientations for all specimen types.

The specimens are placed in a tensile testing machine and are loaded until ultimate failure. The resulting stress-strain data is then used to characterize the materials for use with SmartSlice.

specimen raster angles
  • Nylon (PA) filaments are placed in a dryer for 24 hours at 70 degrees Celsius prior to printing in order to remove moisture from the material. Similarly, nylon parts are placed in a dryer for 24 hours at 70 degrees Celsius prior to testing.