Formlabs just announced the latest material for their Fuse 1 SLS system: Nylon 12 Glass Filled. This brings the material library for the Fuse 1 to three distinct powders, which include Nylon 12 and Nylon 11.
May 08, 2022
Whether you have a Fuse 1 already or are considering one, you might be wondering what the best material for your application is.
Read on or watch the video above, we’ll be covering the applications and use cases for each Formlabs Nylon powder to help you narrow down the right material for you.
If you’re familiar with glass fiber FDM filaments, you’ll know that these types of materials are known for their high stiffness and low warpage. The same can be said for Nylon 12 Glass Filled.
This material also has better thermal stability, so you’re less likely to see warpage or bending at increased temperatures compared to Nylon 12 and Nylon 11.
With that increased stiffness, however, comes increased brittleness. If you’ve used Rigid 4000 or Rigid 10K resin on the SLA printers, then those same rules tend to apply here.
If you’re looking to produce jigs and fixtures that need to withstand a sustained load or endure high heat applications, then Nylon 12 Glass Filled is the material of choice. If your part is going to be handled roughly or is at risk of dropping on the floor, then this might not be the material for your application.
Nylon 11 is another high-performance material like Nylon 12 Glass Filled.
However where Nylon 12 Glass Filled is highly rigid, Nylon 11 is highly ductile. This means that Nylon 11 can take a beating.
Not only is Nylon 11 impact-resistant, but it also has the highest elongation of the three SLS powders. Combined, these make Nylon 11 a perfect choice for parts with thin walls or snap-fit enclosures.
That leaves us with Nylon 12.
Nylon 12 is still the recommended material for general purpose SLS printing. It’s the goldilocks of 3D printing materials. Its low moisture absorption and balanced mechanical properties make it an excellent choice for most applications.
Not only does Nylon 12 tick a lot of the mechanical property boxes, but it’s also an economical choice when it comes to its material refresh rate compared to Nylon 11 and Nylon 12 Glass Filled.
So there you have it: for most use cases and applications Nylon 12 is still going to be the best material for the job.
But if your parts need to be impact resistance or bendable, Nylon 11 is a great material to use.
For high heat or incredibly stiff parts, then Nylon 12 Glass Filled is the choice for you.