If you are ready to experiment with a new filament for your 3D printing project, you can consider using nylon filament. It produces strong and durable material with a high-quality finish.
If you have been doing 3D printing projects for quite some time now, you may have used ABS of PLA filaments. These two materials are easy to use and they produce great prints. However, they do have some limitations.
PLA is a good material especially for those who are just starting out with 3D printing. It is biodegradable and there is a wide variety of colors available. As for ABS filaments, it is durable and strong. But if you are looking for a 3D printing material that is more flexible, more durable, and tougher, you should check out Nylon filament.
- 1 Nylon Material Features
- 2 Nylon 6 Vs. Nylon 12
- 3 Nylon 3D Printing Properties
- 4 How to Dry Nylon Filament
- 5 Getting the Best Results in Printing Nylon
- 6 Best Nylon Filament Brands
- 7 Conclusion
Nylon Material Features
Among all of the materials that you can use for 3D printing, nylon 3D filament arguably has the most versatile of features. When it comes to printing with filament nylon, it is as easy as when you print with ABS filaments.
Doing so will give you an excellent layer adhesion so that your prints are perfect. The details will be produced well, especially for those with intricate design.
Nylon Durability and Strength
The strength of nylon 3D printing material is excellent. You won’t experience it snapping or being brittle.
When you print thinner parts though, nylon 3D printer filament becomes quite flexible. Since it is flexible, some of the uses of nylon are for parts that move.
Nylon 6 Vs. Nylon 12
Have you heard of these two before? If not, then this section is dedicated to knowing the difference between the nylon 6 filament and nylon 12 filament. Just like printing other kinds of plastics, there are various grades that are available. What is important is that you select a grade the can match or even exceed the requirements that you need.
Let’s look at nylon 6 3D printing filament first. When it comes to grades of nylon, the most common are nylon 6 and nylon 66 or 6/6. The more common brand for this is the Taulman nylon filament. They also produce other variations of nylon 6 such as nylon 645 and 618.
These two grade variations offer great hardness and strength. However, they may not be as chemically stable compared to nylon 12.
Nylon 3D Printing Properties
All kinds of nylon filament thread are hygroscopic. This means that they will easily absorb water.
You’ll be surprised to know that nylon filaments are able to absorb 10% of its water density in a mere twenty-four hours. To avoid this, keep the filaments in a bag or container that is airtight and make sure you put a desiccant.
Nylon 12 absorbs only half of what the nylon 6 does so with that, we can say that you’ll have a better printing experience with nylon 12 as you won’t have any problems with too much moisture in the filaments.
How to Dry Nylon Filament
Before printing with your nylon filaments, you have to see to it that it is dry. If you have stored it in an airtight container along with desiccant, then you may not need to dry it prior to printing. But if you are not sure of the way you have stored it, then it is best to dry the spool.
Getting the Best Results in Printing Nylon
When printing with nylon filament, the recommended temperature is at around 240°C to 260°C. But of course, you can experiment with printing temperatures greater that this so you can find the best one for your printing projects.
As for the heated bed, its recommended temperature is at around 80°C. But you can go as high as 100°C because nylon is prone to fast cooling and this causes it to warp. Again, experiment with the temperature of the heated bed so that you will know which range will suit you best.
When it comes to aiding adhesion, you can make use of a PVA glue stick on the metal or glass print bed. You can also try using Kapton tape.
Another thing to take note of is to turn off the cooling fans and that you are not printing in a place that is cool or drafty. These are the main guidelines when it comes to the recommended printing temperatures for nylon. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the temperatures so that you will know the best range for printing your design.
Best Nylon Filament Brands
Now that you know the different features and properties of nylon filament, you must be interested in using this material for your next 3D printing project. Let’s take a look at some of the best brands of nylon filament.
Gizmo Dorks Nylon Filaments
Gizmo Dorks nylon filament is known to be durable and strong. It is not brittle compared to PLA or ABS. When you use it with a higher fill setting, you will find that the strength of the material from Gizmo Dorks is remarkable.
The prints made from nylon filaments are usually resistant to wear and it is also flexible. Nylon is the preferred material when it comes to printing gears and other engineered parts. You have to keep in mind though that nylon is more prone to warping compared to PLA or ABS.
Filabot Nylon Filaments
Filabot nylon filaments are the preferred brand because of its good quality as well as its price. This brand also offers several other products such as printers and extruders that can help you with your 3D printing projects.
The final products you get from printing with Filabot nylon filaments are comparable to more expensive brands. It is something that you definitely try for yourself to see if it matches your needs in 3D printing with nylon.
Taulman Nylon Filaments
Taulman is known to produce several grades of nylon filaments. The advantage of using this brand is that you have a variety of choices. You can select the grade that fits well with your design for your 3D printing project.
You can experiment with the different grades of nylon 6 as well as nylon 12. There are plenty of benefits in using nylon 12 as we’ve mentioned above. It doesn’t absorb as much water as nylon 6. Just make sure to store your nylon spools in airtight containers or dry them before printing.
Nylon filament printing is easy if you know the right temperatures to print it with. You will eventually get a feel of the most appropriate temperature after several tries of 3D printing with nylon filaments.
This material is durable, tough, and versatile. You can print your designs conveniently with this 3D printing filament. Just make sure that it is dry and you have stored it well in an airtight container.
Have you tried printing with nylon filaments? How was your experience with it? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments!
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