Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Joshua Pearce

Advisor 2

John Gershenson

Committee Member 1

John Irwin


Fused filament fabrication (FFF)-based open-source 3-D printers offer the potential of decentralized manufacturing both in developing and developed countries. Unfortunately, a severe lack of data and standards relating to material properties and printed components limit this potential. This thesis first investigates the mechanical properties of a wide-range of FFF materials and provides a database of mechanical strength of the materials tested. The results demonstrate that the tensile strength of a 3-D printed specimen depends largely on the mass of the specimen, which provides a means to estimate the strength of 3-D printed components. Then this information is used to evaluate a bicycled pedal, which was 3-D printed and tested following the CEN (European Committee for Standardization) standards for racing bicycles. The results show the pedals meet the CEN standards and can be used on bicycles at lower costs than standard pedals. This investigation indicates the viability of distributed manufacturing.