Nylon Material For 3D Printing – Properties Guide

Nylon material is a strong and popular material for FDM 3D printers. In this guide, we will cover Nylon’s material properties and what applications it can be used.

Nylon Overviews

Nylon is known for its toughness and flexibility and it’s a popular silk-like thermoplastic made from petroleum, and it was the first commercially successful synthetic thermoplastic polymer. Nylon polymers can be mixed with a wide range of additives to achieve many different property variations.

Nylon Material Properties

  • Density – 1.15 g/cubic cm
  • Electrical conducitivity – 10 ^ -12 S/m
  • Thermal conductivity – 0.25 W/(m*K)
  • Melting point – 460 – 624 K

Areas Of Strength

  • High impact & abrasion resistance
  • Resistance to stains, heat & chemicals
  • Dense molecular structure
  • Excellent tensile and compressive strength
  • Good for electrical insulator
  • Fatigue & corrosion resistance
  • FDA approved & unreactive
  • High vibration damping properties

Areas Of Weakness

  • Not great under high humidity or underwater applications
  • Swells when exposed to water molecules
  • Lacks dimensional stability (based on design)

Types Of Nylon

  • Nylon 6, 6 – Commonly used in fabrics, lower water absorption rate, better acid resistance
  • Nylon 6 – Lower heat deflection temperature
  • Nylon 510 –
  • Nylon 1,6

Common Applications For Nylon

  • Automative parts such as intake manifolds
  • Bearings, gears & rollers
  • High performance machine parts
  • Hinges
  • Cable ties
  • Toothbrush
  • Fishing pole
  • Servo gears for actuators
  • Switch housings
  • Insulators

Which 3D Printers Can Print Nylon

Please make sure your 3D printer has the following capability:

  • All metal hotend up to 290 C
  • Print speed around 25 – 50 mm/s
  • Glue stick PEI
  • Heated bed up to 65 C
  • Enclosure highly recommended

Best Nylon Filament Material To Buy

Please check out the following:

MatterHackers Pro – Well priced

  • Nozzle temperature: 240-260 °C
  • Bed temperature: 60 °C
  • Bed surface: PVA glue stick
  • Diameters: 1.75 mm, 2.85 mm
  • Price: ~$55 for a 750-g  spool (~$55 for a 500-g spool of the carbon fiber variant)
  • Colors: Black, white, green, gray, blue, red, orange

Polymaker PolyMide CoPA

  • Nozzle temperature: 250-270 °C
  • Bed temperature: 25-50 °C
  • Bed surface: PVA glue stick
  • Diameters: 1.75 mm, 2.85 mm
  • Price: ~$60 for a 750-g spool
  • Colors: Black, natural

Ultimaker Nylon

  • Nozzle temperature: 230-260 °C
  • Bed temperature: 60-70 °C
  • Bed surface: PVA glue stick, Magigoo PA
  • Diameter: 2.85 mm
  • Price: ~$70 for a 750-g spool
  • Colors: Black, transparent

ColorFabb PA-CF Low Warp

  • Nozzle temperature: 260-280 °C
  • Bed temperature: Up to 50 °C
  • Bed surface: 3DLac
  • Diameters: 1.75 mm, 2.85 mm
  • Price: ~$92 for a 700-g spool
  • Color: Black

Best Practices Using Nylon Material In 3D Printing

Pay Attention To Temperature To Prevent Warping

  • High-temperature Nylon are prone to warping due to large temperature changes between extruded plastics and the ambient environment
  • Keep air around 45 degrees celsius will eliminate the possibility for warping
  • Use printers with heated chamber or enclosure

Use Brims and Rafts

  • Use a brim or an raft for a better first layer adhesion

Store Nylon Filament With Care

  • Do not expose nlyon filament spool to air for a very long time because the material absorbs moisture from the environment (Will result in foggy rough finish & tiny voids in print)
  • Remove spool from the printer once the tasks in completed, and please store it in a air tight container with some desiccants to remove moisture within
  • Get some storage containers to keep the filament dry

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