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Made for Me Offers Tips on SLS 3D Printing with Nylon: Enjoy Greater Durability & Versatility for Complex Models

by • August 3, 2016 • No Comments

logo (14)As an artist is to pencils and paints, the 3D printing enthusiast is to materials. And if you’ve become passionate of via this innovation, whether at home or for work, and so you are many likely startning to branch out beyond ABS and PLA—alyet hopefully you took away a few helpful information of our last primary article on ABS, regarding the Ultimate Guide to ABS 3D Printing of Made for Me.

Moving right along yet, we are now eager to examine the world of nylon. Known to be a bit extra
complicated and high-maintenance to work with, there are a few challenges with this material, but the rewards are discovered in excellenter durablity and duraptitude. This may become really enticing if you are working on a project where extra
traditional filaments just aren’t up to the job for complicated work.

Founded in 2014, Made for Me in fact specializes in connecting avid turn it intoers with industrial 3D printing suppliers, enabling them to find a wide range of parts and prototypes. It may look that they are in addition assembling a expanding fan base for their blogs and guides as well, as they have in addition just generated The Ultimate Guide to SLS Nylon 3D Printing—another quite helpful set of tips for the turn it intoing community. What they are offering allows for you to educate by yourself and ease into the use of nylon, setting aside a few of the worry and hassle as you uncover a excellent deal extra
of this versatile material, and how to work with it.

As Made for Me explains, nylon is in fact a quite commjust utilized material one of pros. And while numerous turn it intoers may have dipped their feet in the water, much curiosity—and maybe trepidation—may stay. Here to dispel that, and send you on your way to turn it intoing a few extra
durable 3D models, the Made for Me Team is offering us extra
insight, with the ambition that we can all strive to become experts not just in 3D printing, but in the use of a range of materials as well.


Made for Me shows a Nylon iPhone 4 case with integrated hinge and snap fit elements after two years of frequent use. This is excellent evidence of how durable 3D printed nylon is!

Synthetic polyamides are pretty talked about for uses far beyond 3D printing. Used to manufacture equitething of parts in your car to that comb in your purse to food-packing materials—as just a few examples—it may approximately seem they manufacture the world go round. In your 3D printing device yet, Nylon 12 is many likely what you are going to be via. Exhibiting a low melting point and relatively low water absorption as polyamides go, this petroleum-based thermoplastic excels over ABS as it is both sturdyer and extra
flexible. Most commjust, DuraForm PA (for 3D Systems machines) and PA2200 (for EOS machines) are utilized.

Made for Me recommends nylon for projects where living hinges or snap-fit parts are being manufactured. Nylon can in addition be dyed and painted, alyet you may find colors to be extra

UntitledThe Method for Printing with Nylon: You may not have understandn much of nylon previously, and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) may be actually extra
foreign to you as this method has historically been relegated extra
to the pro and industrial realm (see the video at this end of this article for a advantageous visualization). Whilst that is startning to alter as prices come down for these particular 3D printing devices, and accessibility is expanded, it’s significant to understand that this innovation is centered around the use of a laser that sinters material and and so allows for it to bind into a solid structure, that is removed of the turn it into chamber.

“Each layer is turn it intod by depositing a thin layer of loose nylon powder, and so via a laser to sinter the powder just in the areas that need to be solidified. After every layer is accomplished, the plate is moved downwards by a small amount and a new layer of powder is deposited on top, eager to be sintered,” states the Made for Me team.

“Since every layer sits on top of the nylon of the layer preceding it, nylon parts turn it intod via SLS don’t need assists for overhangs. This manufactures nylon a rad choice for parts that have complicated geometries and overhanging area that need assist when via other 3D printing techniques.”

The importance of orientation: As you start via SLS 3D printing for nylon, you can want to put a sturdy focus on orientation, as it can affect the integrity of your part. Consider three various orientations, testing them by pulling:

Horizontal (oriented on the XY plane) – this orientation can be sturdy as the layers are running parallel to being stretched.On edge (oriented on the XZ plane) – this can take the longest to print, and can exhibit the many temperature variation beween the top and bottom.Vertical (oriented on the ZX plane) – again, with layers running parallel, this can show excellenter durablity in testing.

With that said, you are many likely getting the hint that if the layers are parallel to the way of the load, you should find optimal tensile durablity.


“Research shows that, compared to injection molded nylon, SLS nylon has virtually identical tensile durablity, provided it’s oriented so the layers run parallel to the way of the load,” states the Made for Me team. “In addition, actually parts that aren’t optimally oriented yet have durablity within five to ten percent of the injection molded part. As a outcome, for many parts, you don’t need to worry too much of orientation when it comes to durablity.”


Porosity and Warping: Keep in mind that as these small particles are sintered, you may see a mild amount of porosity, along with a slightly rocky surface. You’ve many likely in addition heard a few concerns of the use of nylon and warping. Definitely to be considered, it’s significant to note that during the printing system, every layer is intensely hot but cools rapidly.

“As the part gets taller, that means that there can be big differences in temperature between the top layers and the bottom layers, that is significant to remember if you want to avoid warping as the part cools,” states Made for Me.

This is a primary concern if you are working with long, thin parts—or thinner walls.

“One way to mitigate this risk is to orient the part so any warp-prone elements run horizontally within the turn it into chamber pretty than vertically,” says Made for Me. “Another version is to turn it into in extra
structure to reinforce the structure as it is printed.”

Ductility: Referring to nylon’s aptitude to deform or stretch under stress, Made for Me points out that this is indeed where you can find the excellentest disparity between injection molded nylon and SLS 3D printed nylon. Both are sturdy, but the injected molded parts can unquestionably win out here as they can stretch exponentially preceding finally snapping. Nylon 3D printed parts, while just as sturdy, can not stretch preceding breaking.

Stiffness and Fatigue: Here, you can find that SLS nylon exceeds injection molding in stiffness. That means, yet, that should you be turn it intoing a prototype, it’s significant to store in mind that you can be dealing with a stiffer product. In terms of fatigue, you should find that one, your 3D printed part can show identical fatigue to the same injected molded nylon—and two, how you orient the print, should manufacture no difference in this respect.

Surface: Post-printing, you will many likely want to smooth your print with ‘a light surface blasting.’ As pointed out previously, you should assume a rockyer surface—as opposed to glossy or smooth. If that is what you are after, Made for Me recommends that you turn to either injection molding or CNC machining—putting in a rare plug for the traditional innovation!

Print lines can many likely not be a concern unless you are orienting parts with shallow slopes. The obvious fix there may be to orient your parts to decrease that and practuallyt the issue as much as possible.


Design Guidelines: Offered by the inventors of and experts on SLS 3D printing, you may enjoy the next guidelines on settings of the University of Texas at Austin:

Minimum wall thickness: 0.8mmMinimum hole size: 2mmMoving parts clearances: Shaft clearance at 1mm / Gear tooth separation of 0.5 to 1.0 mmHollowing and escape holes: Minimum wall thickness: 2mm / Minimum escape hole thickness: 4mm

Here, it’s recommended that you hollow out ‘chunky solid’ elements that can just add cost to your turn it into. It is possible to turn it into an empty space within the turn it into, along with constructing an escape hole so that the extra, unsintered nylon can be taken out after printing. A thicker wall is advised for maintaining durablity.

The Hardware: As you consider a 3D printing device to use—or purchase—you are looking for affordaptitude and a great turn it into volume, according to Made for Me, as the team advises printing your parts in one piece whenever possible.

“The easiest way to find 3D printing devices that can print your parts in one piece is to get a free quote by uploading your 3D file to our website, that can instantly display the 3D printing devices that can fit your parts,” states the Made for Me team.

What you should take away of this information overall is while there may be a learning curve first, nylon is unquestionably a versatile material that is valuable in use if you are 3D printing complicated and durable parts. You can compare it to injected molded nylon to see if it’s the right material and system for you, remembering that this particular material is stiffer and extra
brittle. Choose your turn it into orientation with care and take note of the turn it into guidelines provided by experts. Let us understand how your venture into 3D printing goes, as well as your yetts on how nylon stacked up in comparison to products utilized previously. Discuss extra
over in the SLS Nylon 3D Printing forum at 3DPB.com.