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FreeLoader: An Open Source Universal Testing Machine for High-Throughput Experimentation

[+] Author Affiliations
John R. Amend, Jr., Hod Lipson

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Paper No. DETC2011-48296, pp. 685-693; 9 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 35th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5483-9
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


We present a low cost, desktop size, open source, universal testing machine, designed for inexpensive high-throughput material testing. The tester can apply tensile and compressive loads up to 5 kN at rates ranging from 2 mm/min to 30 mm/min. Force measurements are achieved with ±1.8 N accuracy. The parts list for this machine represents an order of magnitude reduction in the cost per testing unit as compared to commercial systems. We describe the design and construction of the tester and validate its performance. The design, parts list, control software, and user manual are made available freely online under the open source BSD license.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Machinery , Testing



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