Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Joshua M. Pearce


The current rise in popularity of consumer level 3-D printers introduces a need to understand the application and material property capabilities of the technology. Presented here is data demonstrating the ability for the average U.S. consumer to recuperate the cost of a 3-D printer within one year of ownership. Additionally, using a consumer level 3-D printer, multiple photovoltaic (PV) racking systems were printed and produced with much lower cost compared to commercially available aluminum racking. Additionally, mechanical testing on 3-D printed components showed a temperature dependence on both percent crystallinity and ultimate tensile strength. Conclusions are drawn using the information to describe the potential uses and applications of RepRap (Self Replicating Rapid Prototyper) style 3-D printers and their validity as an engineering tool.