3D Printing

taulman3D’s New 3D Printing Material is a Bridge to Everywhere

taulman3D continues to add to its strong line of 3D printing materials. The material developer has just released a new, high strength Nylon co-polymer 3D printing material to testers around the world for review, ahead of general release. The new material is named “Bridge” — a symbolic name on two levels — firstly in that represents the collaborative effort behind the development of the material by thousands of nylon 618 and nylon 645 users, together with the help and support of taulman3D’s extrusion house and chemical company.

The Bridge moniker is also representative of how the material is bridging the strength of nylon 645 together with the price of current ABS and PLA thermoplastics and allows any user the flexibility to determine the best choice in material for their printing needs, according to taulman3D.

Listening to its community of users is a key driver for taulman3D and over the company’s history, they have been doing just that while logging and prioritizing the most sought after features of a high strength 3D printing material. Accordingly, these were the results, in priority order:

  • A lab certified measure of tensile strength
  • Better adherence to the printing platform
  • Price
  • Reduced water up-take from local humidity
  • Non-destructive evaluation (Opacity)
  • Reduced shrinkage

As a starting point, therefore, taulman3D began development of the new Bridge material with its strongest base polymer used for a percentage of nylon 645 in a bid to fulfill these requests.

Adherence to the Printing platform:

The surface properties of most nylons is extremely slippery making adherence to the printing platform difficult. Garolite (LE) is perhaps the most common material used as a print surface with nylon, but while it tends to work well for taulman3D nylons, garolite is not always easy to acquire and, even then, requires a properly cut section that fits each user’s unit.

Thus, taulman3D has worked in collaboration with its chemical company — to make minor adjustments, to reduce the surface effect of Bridge just slightly, thereby allowing for the use of most PVA glues, either full strength or diluted and negating the need for garolite.

taulman3D reports that initial testing shows that in some cases, the PVA was better with Bridge than garolite is with 618.

Reduced water up-take:

While it is not possible to completely eliminate water uptake by nylon from external humidity, it is possible to localize it to the surface through final processing changes — a manufacturing process that taulman3D’s extrusion house has developed and added to existing taulman3D processes.

Specifically, when 3D printing with the new Bridge material, rather than water creating a subtle popping that can effect the surface finish, Bridge will hold the water to the outer portion resulting in a slight steam when wet. The result of this is that Bridge needs little or no drying in the winter and just needs to be warmed in the summer months.

Reduced Shrinkage:

As a result of the developments to overcome the water uptake issue, taulman3D also found that the same process helps to reduce shrinkage. While nylon will always have a slightly higher amount than ABS, with Bridge the developers were able to reduce it to an in/in value less than its current nylons. These changes also led to a slight reduction in stringing as the extruded threads are a thicker melt.

With this combination of advancements, taulman3D proceeded with a limited test run, from which test samples were 3D printed and sent out to the St Louis test labs — a fully accredited testing facility supporting the central US. The lab reported a Tensile Stress PSI of 4,800 for Bridge when 3D printed.

Further testing of Bridge will be ongoing across the world and in different disciplines over the coming months. Results will be published for anyone interested — both on the taulman3D website and in open forums and communities.

As ever, the main goal of taulman3D remains the same: — “to provide the designer, engineer, hobbyist, inventor and artist with the strongest material available for their FFF 3D printing needs. To meet that goal is not just to provide the best, but to also ensure access from the largest industrial customer to the young student in his or her garage.”  

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