3D Printing with Nylon
Nylon (PA – polyamides) covers a semi-crystalline family of polymers that have many applications in 3D printing. Nylon’s high strength-to-weight ratio and low friction coefficient make it ideal for a wide range of applications.
- Greater durability than ABS
- Low coefficient of friction
- Offers high flexibility in thin sections
- Excellent impact resistance and strength-to-weight ratio
- More consistent smoothness compared to other high-performance thermoplastics
- Bed temperature: 70-90°C (158-194°F)
- Nozzle temperature: 220-280°C (428-536°F)
- Glass transition temperature: varies, between 40-51°C (104-124°F)
- Resists variety of chemicals, including moderately alkali or acidic solutions
- Poor resistance to strong oxidizing agents
- Resists hydrolysis in most aqueous solutions after printing
When to Use Nylon for 3D Printing
The Step-Up from Standard Plastics
Nylon is an engineering-grade plastic, which offers more durability and less rigidity than standard grade plastics, while maintaining affordability.
Certain grades of Nylon are very flexible, which makes it well-suited to applications that require good strength-to-flexibility ratios.
Due to its tendency to retain moisture, Nylon can be dyed with most clothing dyes, opening a rainbow of opportunity for multi-colored high-performance material 3D printing.
Challenges with 3D Printing Nylon
Heated, Enclosed 3D Printers Only
Nylon has mild warping potential, so heated beds and chambers are required when 3D printing, along with elevated nozzle temperatures.
Dry, Dry and Dry Again
Its hygroscopic nature means that Nylon needs to be carefully dried prior to printing and the filaments need to be stored in moisture-free containers to avoid printing defects.