3-D printing has witnessed significant improvements since its inception. The terms “3D printing” and “additive manufacturing (AM)” are sometimes used interchangeably, as this process enables economical and rapid prototyping of various product designs within a very short time period. The recent technical advancement in 3D printing managed to scale down the size of printing machine and the complexity of process, where it is a more affordable technology for hobbyist, educators, engineers, researchers and scientists. Despite the advances made in 3D printing technology, it is still far from where it could commercially provide new opportunities for more complex and flexible applications. Furthermore, due to the nature of the current techniques, materials are one of the most limiting factors in the advancement of 3D printing technology.The primary goal of the paper is to develop a laboratory session in 3D printing for undergraduates to present a methodology of the mechanical and thermal characterizations of the 3D printed specimens in the ASTM standard testing using fused deposition modeling technique. The open-source-based 3D printers in fused deposition modelling (FDM) are readily available to the public at low costs in the market. A small-scale-low-cost FDM printer was used as a default-test-printing machine to produce the test-specimens for the ASTM standards of D6110 (Charpy impact test), D638 (tensile test), and D648 (heat deflection test), respectively; these test specimens were printed using the current filament material (e.g. Polylatic acid (PLA)) and were evaluated according to the ASTM standards designated. Additionally, the results of the mechanical and thermal tests were compared to the published data for comparison. For example, the average impact strength of the 3D printed specimens in Charpy testing was 0.39 kJ/m2 and the average of tensile strength of the specimens in tensile testing was 22.91 MPa, respectively. In the paper, we will report the experimental results of the 3D printed specimens by the ASTM standard tests and present findings from the assessment and evaluation of the laboratory module developed in FDM printing.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



©2017 American Society for Engineering Education

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (CET)


RIT – Main Campus