New Nylon Filament From 3D Systems Is Here, Now Let's Mess With It!

3D Systems announced an expansion of it’s PlasticJet Printing material portfolio to include Nylon for the company’s flagship CubePro 3D printers. An engineering-grade performance material that doesn’t warp the hell out of a build plate is pretty significant for CubePro users.  Coupled with their new Infinity Rinse-Away water-soluble support material, the design, printing and post-processing seems to have gotten a little bit easier.  I do have a CubePro, and I’ll be receiving the Nylon filament in a few days, so I’ll test it out and give you an update.   I’m curious to see what kind of complex and fully assembled end-use parts the Nylon filament will be able to handle.

3DS Nylon for CubePro

As most of you probably know, the CubePro uses proprietary filament cartridges which is overall, not the most popular idea among makers. In this case, the Nylon for CubePro is jetted through a new Smart Cartridge that uses a hydroscopic seal which helps extend the materials shelf life for 12 months. The price of the Nylon material is a bit steep at $149 each.  You can get them from Cubify and from select distributors.

The idea of combining Nylon with Infinity Rinse-Away support is something I’m pretty psyched about, because hopefully the CubePro’s climate controlled chamber will help facilitate awesome nylon prints without warping the build plate.

If you are curious about the mechanical properties of the material, check out this Nylon Material Testing Grounds video to see Nylon material really put to the test.

When prototyping my custom-built, visual effects robot I knew ABS would be strong enough for some fit testing; but when it got to doing the real work, the functional testing and ongoing use, I needed the strength and endurance that Nylon delivers,” says Luke Schantz, Technologist at SoftLayer. “I’ve used a lot of desktop 3D printers and a mix of materials on the market, but CubePro with Nylon is a product-material combination that is unmatched in performance.”

As the market and demand moves beyond 3D printing functional prototyping and test parts, we are going to see the need for materials that can handle low volume, high value direct-manufacturing.  Of course, it depends on what you’re manufacturing, but theoretically, you could use a bunch of 3D printers that had the capability to produce a precision part or end-use part with a high degree of customization over and over each month.

We are thrilled to offer this long-awaited material to our core, desktop user base, empowering engineers, small businesses and start-ups alike with the most durable and high performing material for PlasticJet Printing,” said Peter Theran, Vice President, Global Consumer Products, 3DS. “Nylon for CubePro takes desktop 3D printing where it’s never gone before: into direct-manufacturing and end-use part production.

Nylon for CubePro:

  • Tensile Strength: 4,785 psi (pounds per square inch), with flexibility of a dog bone-like shape of 1/8th inch thick, ½ inch wide
  • Elongation at break value: 22 %, meaning 1 inch can stretch to 1.22 inches
  • Strength-to-weight ratio: 174 psi, for light and strong parts with honeycomb infill structure
  • Tensile Modulus: 248,005 psi
  • Flexural strength: 8,270 psi
  • Hardness, Shore D: 75 via needle penetration, meaning Nylon is as hard as a hardhat

According to 3D Systems,  the “Nylon’s strength and durability gives prints a smooth surface finish, which is ideal for parts requiring load bearing, base strength.”

I’m curious to test out these properties.  The only question is: What should I make?