USA & Canada
USA & Canada
Unidirectional Material Testing May Mislead Manufacturing
White Paper

Beyond the Data Sheet: Unidirectional Material Testing May Mislead Manufacturing

Unraveling Material Property Discrepancies within Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)

A Comparative Material Testing Analysis of Stratasys vs Market Competition 

This white paper was motivated by claims of superior material properties by FFF (fused filament fabrication) competitors despite internal Stratasys testing that demonstrated otherwise. This incongruity between published and demonstrated specifications stems from differences in the toolpaths and build orientation of mechanical test specimens between Stratasys test methods and the competitor’s.

Beyond the Data Sheet: Unidirectional Material Testing May Mislead Manufacturing

Stratasys FDM Materials vs Competitors

When switching from the standard toolpaths used by Stratasys to the optimized unidirectional toolpaths used by the competitor. Stratasys FDM® Nylon-CF10 demonstrated the results that follow:

  • 160% increase in heat deflection temperature (HDT)
  • 152% increase in tensile modulus
  • 94% increase in the tensile yield strength

3D printing mechanical samples with unidirectional toolpaths is appropriate to show the maximum strength of a carbon fiber filled material, but is not representative of the material strength within the typical FDM 3D printed part. 

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Discover how optimized unidirectional toolpaths led to impressive improvements in heat deflectiontensile modulus, and yield strength for Stratasys FDM® Nylon-CF10, showcasing the potential for enhanced FDM 3D printing materials.

Beyond the Data Sheet: Unidirectional Material Testing May Mislead Manufacturing

Unidirectional Material Testing

FDM vs FFF 3D Printing Systems and Materials

Fused Deposition Modeling vs Fused Filament Fabrication 

Stratasys pioneered Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), a groundbreaking patented innovation that has become synonymous with quality and precision. Meanwhile, Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), based on the same Stratasys-developed technology, operates without patent limitations and embraces open-source principles.

Although the naming differs, the fundamental principles powering FDM and FFF remain similar. Both methods employ molten thermoplastic material extruded through a nozzle, constructing objects layer by layer.


The key differences arise from the proven 3D printing technology and materials: 

  • Carbon Fiber 3D Printers: Stratasys FDM harnesses exclusive 3D printers, including the F190™CR and F370®CR FDM® composite printers. FFF technology is open-source, enabling multiple manufacturers to create compatible 3D printers.
  • Composite 3D Printing Materials: Stratasys FDM printers offer an expansive spectrum of high-performance and engineering-grade thermoplastics, including ABS-CF10 and Nylon-CF10.


These materials showcase exceptional mechanical attributes, heat resilience, and chemical durability, rendering them ideal for demanding applications within sectors such as aerospace, automotive, and healthcare.

FFF 3D printers typically support a narrower range of materials and thermoplastics, which are more commonly used in hobbyist and consumer-grade applications.

Uncover the Truth

This white paper uncovers the truth behind Stratasys' internal testing and competitor claims in FDM.

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