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I have just ordered some filament samples (each sample is 10m x 1.75mm). How should I test the samples, given that there is only 10 metres of each to play with? Just printing a benchy will use about 4 metres. I would probably want to print a benchy, so that leaves 6 metres to play with. I am mostly interested in producing functional (not decorative) pieces. I do not have a heated bed.

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    $\begingroup$ Test them for what? In my opinion, your question isn't specific enough. You're just asking us to come up with a list of things you could to do test a filament. It would be much better if you asked how you can test something specific (like strength, or hardness, etc...). $\endgroup$ Jul 13 '17 at 8:52
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Select an STL that exhibits characteristics you want to test (bridging, resistance to various pressures) and print it with each material. Preferably, run the same exact gcode, only changing temperatures, so that you get an apples-to-apples comparison.

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Thomas Sanladerer has an excellent YouTube series called Filaween.

In it he tests and compares filament using a pretty analytical approach. I think you would learn a lot from the tests he does. See what type of test most interests you and adapt them for your needs. Load your test into Cura and you can see how much filament they are going to use. If needed, trim them back a bit to fit your material limits.

Also make sure and also look at Thomas's new video Filaween 2.0 where he goes over the filament testing strategies he will be using for this year's filament tests.

If you want to see his results, he has created a HUGE Wall of Data of all the filaments he tested:

Data table

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There are some simple steps you can write your G-code for that.

  1. Filament should have accuracy of diameter 1.75 mm
  2. Write G-code into file for next test case and run on machine

    1. For continue extrusion 100mm at different feed rate F50 F100 F150 F200 up to the machine's maximum feedrate G-code for that

      G91
      G92 E0
      G1 E100 F50
      
    2. You have prime and suck parameter for your machine so test it. For example, prime and suck both are 4 mm and repeat last two line to continue testing

      G91
      G92 E0
      G90
      G1 E5 F100
      G1 E1 F100
      G1 E5 F100
      G1 E1 F100
      
    3. This test for continue extrude and wait for 2 sec and then extrude again, repeat following G-code again and again continue

      G90
      G92 E0
      G1 E10 F100
      G4 P2
      
    4. Test prime suck with delay

      G92 E0
      G90
      G1 E5 F100
      G4 P2
      G1 E1 F100
      G4 P2
      G1 E5 F100
      G4 P2 
      G1 E1 F100     
      
    5. Final is print

In all of the above tests filament should not getting jammed and, for new material, temperature also may be a problem - so first set temperature for a new material.

Before starting test cases, clean the nozzle.

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