3D Printing Material Torture Test – FIRE

Ever wondered what would happen if you set fire to your 3D prints?  Yeah, me too.

Following is a video of a quick flame test of five of shapeways core 3D printing materials including Alumide, Acrylic (FUD + Detail) , Full Color Sandstone, and Nylon (WSF).  Watch this 3 minute video to see how each of these materials reacts to a quick encounter with a blow torch. Please do not try this at home.


A little surprisingly the Alumide was the first to melt down like a powdery napalm candle.  Both of the Acrylics (both of which are UV cured resins) caught fire super easily and burnt steadily emitting a terrible odor.  The full color sandstone did not really want to stay alight with this geometry.  It is actually the Cyanoacrylate (super glue (Kragle)) final sealing process that really burns in the full color prints, I tried other prints that had not been dipped in Cyanoacrylate and they would not stay alight at all.  Finally the Nylon caught fire but did not maintain the flame for very long.  In other geometries I have seen the Nylon keep alight for longer, again dripping like napalm whilst still on fire.

In the end, these materials are in no way resistant to fire, keep them away from naked flames as it will most likely result in a hot dripping, smelly mess.

I will share more videos of each of the materials with different geometries so you can see in detail how each material reacts.

And, what material torture test would you like to see next?

8 comments

  1. WuLongTi

    Nice! I’d like to see some stress tests like print a wire cube in various materials and start loading weights on to them, maybe a plank/bridge model w/ weights added to the middle to test bend vs break points. Ball joints and sockets of various sizes/thicknesses/materials would be fantastic.

    1. Duann Post author

      Perfect, that is exactly what I plan to do next, also showing what happens when there is a fillet or chamfer at the connection points, the huge difference those small details can make.. So much fun.

  2. Blackbitz

    The oven test. Start at room temperature and increase the temperature and see what happens. Will it melt, deform, miscolor?

  3. Clifton Carinhas

    I would like to see some tensile strength test comparing the same material using 3D printing and traditional manufacturing like injection or casting.

    1. Duann Post author

      Hmm, I feel like that test should be done with a bit of a pro set up. I will see what I can do with some plastic dog bones or similar.

  4. Andrew Wagner

    I would love to see destructive testing of living hinges. You could deliberately print the hinges at dimensions where they break after a reasonable number of flexes, just to give users and idea of what is possible.

    1. Duann Post author

      Oh yeah, I can make a testing rig using littleBits to drive the motor. Have you seen the contest we are running, the littleBits kit is AMAZING..

      I want it so bad.

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