3D Printing Materials

Nylon

At a glance

Processes

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Production Time

3 days (rush) 5 days (standard)

Colors

White, black

Resolution

0.1 mm

Price

$$$

Applications

Functional prototypes, mechanical applications

About the material

Nylon 12 is a synthetic 3D printed polymer material that’s strong, durable and also has some flex to it. As a result, Nylon is a great material choice for snap fits, brackets, clips, and spring features. Nylon is also used for its thermal applications and can withstand temperatures up to 177℃.

Nylon 12 parts are susceptible to shrinkage, due to the laser sintering mechanism and the cooling process. For large, thin parts, warping is highly likely, so we strongly recommend increasing thickness or adding ribbing in the design to mitigate risk.

Fictiv offers Nylon 12 produced through Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and also Multi Jet Fusion (MJF). As a result, a finished product from either of these technologies will have slightly different properties and risks. MJF machines deposit a detailing agent along the exterior of a part that, after media blasting, results in a less coarse surface finish compared with the SLS process. MJF parts also come off the bed grey, whereas SLS Nylon parts are white. Both can be dyed black afterwards.

MJF has a slightly better resolution compared with SLS, with a layer height at 0.08 mm compared with 0.1 mm for SLS. If you’re prototyping smaller quantities under around 25 units, SLS is generally more cost-effective. At higher bridge production quantities, MJF becomes more cost effective because of the machine’s modular design and faster production speed.

As for mechanical properties, MJF Nylon has a higher flexural strength than SLS Nylon. Therefore, MJF Nylon is typically considered more often for end-use parts and functional testing under higher loads.

Material Properties

Process

SLS
MJF

Tensile Strength

48 MPa (6962 PSI)
48 MPa (6962 PSI)

Elongation at Break

20%
20%

Modulus of Elasticity

1500 MPa (217000 PSI)
1935 MPa (280648 PSI)

Flexural Strength

58 MPa (8412 PSI)
65 MPa (9428 PSI)

Material Finish

The texture of SLS Nylon is similar to a very fine grit sandpaper with a matte finish. MJF Nylon parts are generally slightly smoother. Un-dyed MJF Nylon is grey, which may vary in shades across the same part of a surface. When dyed black, both SLS and MJF Nylon have a matte appearance.

Design Recommendations

Process

SLS
MJF

Min Wall Thickness

1.0 mm for production
1.5 mm for consistency (for measurement and mechanical applications)
1.0 mm for production
1.5 mm for consistency (for measurement and mechanical applications)

Min Clearance + Gaps for Fit

0.5 mm clearance between features
0.2 mm clearance between features, we recommend 0.3 mm to ensure good fit

Max Part Size [x, y, z]

700 x 380 x 580 mm
380 x 284 x 380 mm

Internal Cavities

Be sure to have a clearance to remove the support powder!

Threads & Inserts

Minimum 0.1 mm clearance is required for printed threads.

Text Guidelines

Raised features: 0.6 mm minimum
Recessed features: 0.5 mm minimum

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