Layer Adhesion Tester Build

In our first Endless Exploration (EX1) delivery, we tackled the subject of High Flow PLA for fast printing.  During the development process we designed and built this testing fixture to measure the relative layer adhesion strength of various materials and slicer settings.  In this post we are going to offer the design files, software (link here), and parts list if you would like to build your own, or use some of the technology in your own designs.

For a quick overview of what this device is for, check out our EX1 blog.  This will provide a good overview of the purpose and some results of testing.


OK, we will get right to it!  Here is the parts list of printed parts and off the shelf items you would need to make your own layer adhesion tester.  

Here are the files for slicing or modifying the model.

Full Solidworks package with drawings

Full solid model assembly- STEP format

Assembly Drawing PDF

3MF files for 3 printed parts

CAD files for electronics housing

For our tester, we printed the jaws in Protopasta Carbon Fiber HTPLA for extra stiffness, and the rest in HFPLA.  All were done on a P1S Bambu. Note that the jaws are printed in a specific orientation to give them the maximum strength.

Here is a parts list with links for non-printed items.

1- Linear Actuator Amazon

2- Load Cell Amazon

7- M3 X 14mm torx button head

8- M3 X 20mm torx button head

9- M6 X 30mm grub screw



After getting the hardware and printing all of the parts, it is time to assemble! 

1- Take some time to tap the holes where screws go in the printed parts (see assembly drawing), and drill things out so the screws fit nicely if required.  Also, remove supports where generated.

2- Make sure the actuator is fully retracted. Install part 10, actuator support, onto the shaft of the actuator.

3- Install part 5, the actuator jaw, onto the actuator using the grub screw part 9.  This threads into the plastic and goes through the hole in the actuator.  The jaw should be installed as shown.

4- Slip the back of the actuator into the large hole in the back of the housing (part 4), then tilt the actuator support into the slots in the housing.  Install 2 x 20 mm screws (8) through housing into support. 

5- Install the load cell jaw (3) onto the load cell (2), oriented so the wires can come out correctly.  Use 14 mm screws (7).

6- Install the load cell assembly into the main housing using 14 mm screws (7), paying attention to the wires.

7- Finally, follow the wiring and firmware guide here to finish your tester!


Using the tester is relatively straightforward and is explained in more detail by Aaron Cram on the github page.  

Overall, it is a fairly involved project, but some great experimenting can be done, and it is fun to break things!

-Dustin and the Protopasta team