There are also other reasons to want to preserve 3D-printed materials for more than just a few years, but we haven’t had the technology for long enough to really know what will happen to these objects over time. To find out, art conservation researchers at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain subjected two types of 3D printing materials to an artificial accelerated aging process. To simulate these extreme environments in a much faster scale than natural aging, the researchers put the 3D printed samples and the original filaments in two different chambers: One exposing the samples to UV light and the other subjecting them to a range of high temperatures. They tested two popular materials regularly used for filament-based 3D printing: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and Polylactic Acid. This is useful to know for people who want their 3D-printed creations to last and it can also help manufacturers who want to develop more durable 3D printing materials. There are other 3D printing materials that still need to be checked and other analyses still to be done. Of course only time will tell how these materials really age.

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