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Video: Will It Erode? - Part 1

In this "Will it..." video, we printed the "3D Benchy" using a number of different materials and processes and then ran several abrasion tests on them.

Xomety X
By Team Xometry
December 7, 2023
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Which 3D printed plastics are the toughest? In this "Will it..." video, Greg Paulsen, Xometry's Director of Application Engineering, 3D printed the popular "3D Bency" using a number of different materials (polycarbonate, PLA, polypropylene, ULTEM, Nylon 11 and 12, etc.) and processes (FDM, SLS, MJF, SLA, LSPc, Polyjet, DLS, etc), then ran several abrasion tests on them.

Watch to find out which 3D printed plastic is truly the toughest of them all!

Engineering Challenge: Will it Erode? | Part I

More About This Test

We performed this test with the popular "3D Benchy", a 3D model specifically designed for testing and benchmarking 3D printers. In this first part of the series, we tested the abrasion resistance of various materials ranging from thermoplastics to photopolymer resins by media blasting them with an aggressive aluminum-oxide media. Here is a list of the processes and materials we tested:

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

  • PLA
  • Polycarbonate
  • ULTEM 9085

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

  • Nylon 12 (dyed blue)
  • Nylon 11 EX

HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF)

  • Polypropylene
  • TPU 88A

Stereolithography (SLA)

  • Accura ClearVue (quick-clear finish)
  • Somos EvoLVe 128

Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc)

  • xCE
  • xPP405

Digital Light Synthesis (DLS)

  • RPU 70


  • Opaque Rigid Photopolymer

Test Results & Observations

At the conclusion of the media blasting abrasion tests, we assigned an abrasion resistance ranking to each material based on how it performed. 1-star rated materials exhibited poor abrasion resistance, exemplified by issues such as surface erosion, feature loss, abrasions, etc. In contrast, 3-star rated materials had excellent abrasion resistance and held up significantly better.

You can see the results from the test in the chart below:

Results summary from media blast abrasion test

Results summary from media blast abrasion test

Before & After Photos

In the image gallery below, you can closely examine how each tested part changed by the end of the experiment. On the left side of each photo you will see what the Benchy looked like before testing, and on the right what it looked like after testing.

FDM - Polycarbonate
FDM - Tan ULTEM 9085
SLS - Nylon 12 (dyed blue)
SLS - Nylon 11 EX
MJF - Polypropylene
MJF - Polypropylene
SLA- Accura ClearVue (quick-clear finish)
SLA- Somos EvoLVe 128
LSPc - xCE
LSPc - xPP405
DLS - RPU 70
PolyJet- Opaque Rigid Photopolymer (yellow)


More Engineering Challenge Videos

Want to see more content like this? Check out some of our other engineering challenge videos below!

Xomety X
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Team Xometry
This article was written by various Xometry contributors. Xometry is a leading resource on manufacturing with CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, 3D printing, injection molding, urethane casting, and more.

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