Polyamide products are widely used in different areas of human activity. In this direction, nylon printing on a 3D printer stands out, allowing to create a variety of high-strength polymer products. When using it, it is necessary to take into account a number of features.
What is nylon for printing on a 3D printer?
Nylon (nylon) is the commercial name for synthetic polyamides that are well suited for 3D printing on a printer. For 3D-printing, nylon can be used in powder form (SLS-technology) or filament form (FDM-technology). The 2-nd option is the most widely used.
Recommended grades of material
The final product quality depends on the filament used. The best materials are supplied by the following manufacturers:
- Taulman. This American company makes several types of nylon for 3D printers. One of the best is Taulman3D 645 Nylon. It comes in the form of filament with a diameter of 1.75 and 2.85 mm in natural and black colors. The printing temperature reaches 230-265 degrees. The polymer has a tensile strength of over 114 MPa and elongation at break of up to 120 %.
- Stratasys. The company produces Stratasys FDM Nylon 12 polyamide in the form of a filament with a diameter of 1.75 mm. It is designed for overlay with thickness of 175-330 microns. The material is characterized by very high strength characteristics, allowing its application even in the aerospace industry. Another promising brand is Stratasys FDM Nylon 12CF, which is a mixture of Nylon 12 resin and crushed carbon fiber (content over 35%). This polymer has the highest bending strength. Also available is Stratasys FDM Nylon 6, which is designed for harsh environments.
- U3print. This manufacturer offers Nylon Reinforced U3print in filament form with a diameter of 1.75 mm. The material is very resistant to wear and deformation. It has a glossy surface. The disadvantage is shrinkage. One of the universal engineering plastics is Nylon Super U3print 1.75 mm 0.45 kg Natural, made of high-viscosity resin RA12. It is characterized by very low shrinkage. The company also produces Nylon Super Carbon M7 U3print 1.75 in black with at least 25% carbon fibre. It has practically no shrinkage, and is characterized by increased stiffness.
Intamsys. This American company produces Nylon6 Intamsys 1.75 mm filament for 3D printers. Its distinctive feature is an increased thermal resistance of the material and high impact resistance.
- Print Product. Popular is the brand NYLON plastic 1.75 Print Product. Natural and black color. This material is close to classical polyamide – high strength characteristics, but also increased shrinkage. NYLON STRONG plastic 1,75 Print Product is characterized by reduced hygroscopicity. It is well suited for parts under active load.
- SolidFilament. The company produces Nylon SolidFilament 1.75 in natural, white and black colors. An important feature of the material is its self-lubricating property, which is important in the manufacture of gears and other wear parts. It has increased strength, but also significant shrinkage.
- Bestfilament. BFNylon 1.75 mm filament is available. Before application the table should be heated up to 90-100 degrees. It has high stiffness and abrasion resistance.
Features of nylon printing
When using nylon in 3D printing, the following nuances must be considered:
- Ensuring storage of the material. The hygroscopic nature of nylon can lead to defects in production. The filament should be stored in a sealed package with silica gel. Prior to use it is desirable to make drying.
- Preheating of the working table. In order to ensure adhesion of the first layer the table should be heated to 70-90 degrees. Some brands of material require heating up to 110-120 degrees. It is recommended to use a glass table coated with Garolite or PEI.
- Printing Speed. It should not be overestimated when working with nylon, because it has an increased melting point. With complex product shapes, the speed should not be set higher than 35-40 mm/s. When forming simple shapes it can be raised to 67-75 mm/s.
- Cooling. Fast cooling of the chamber may lead to warping of the material. The best printers are those with adjustable heating of the working chamber.
The following average printer settings are recommended for nylon:
- Extrusion temperature is 235-260 °C. This is adjusted for the grade of material used.
- The temperature of the table heating is 75-80 °C. In addition, PVA glue is used.
- Printing speed is 30-50 mm/s;
- The thickness of one layer – 20-50 microns.
Important: When buying filament you should carefully study the manufacturer’s recommendations. Each brand may have its own peculiarities of use in 3D printing.
Advantages and disadvantages of nylon
Nylon has such important advantages:
- Increased mechanical tensile strength and abrasion resistance;
- high melting point, high operating temperature (above 160 ° C), resistance to temperature fluctuations;
- resistance to ultraviolet light;
- Resistance to oils, alkalis and many solvents;
- no unpleasant odor when applied;
- lower cost of the material.
The flexibility of nylon depends on the thickness of the items. Thin elements have high flexibility, and massive parts become rigid. The material can be easily dyed by adding dye to the filament or by painting the finished product.
The disadvantages of nylon include increased hygroscopicity and some difficulty in 3D-printing. To ensure adhesion to the table, it must be preheated and coated with an adhesive compound. In addition, the polymer itself has to be dried.
Nylon is a popular material for 3D printing. It can be used to make high-strength, wear-resistant, heat-resistant products. At the same time, the material implies certain difficulties in use, which must be taken into account. Nylon prints can be used in a wide variety of human activities.