Testing the Melting Point of Nylon 3D Prints (VIDEO)

Some of you may be subjecting you 3D prints to extreme forces like impact, sheer weight, constant flexing and maybe even a little heat, but have you ever wanted to know how hot you can go?  Shapeways material tester Brandon has shared a video on his YouTube Channel heating Shapeways Nylon (WSF) 3D prints in mineral oil to deformation then melting point.

“To test I heated WSF in mineral oil and tested how it behaves at higher and higher temperatures. The material starts to soften at around 155-165C and starts to significantly deform and melt at around 170-180C.”

The video runs for around 17 minutes but the good stuff (deformation) starts to occur around 155c at the 10:00 minute mark and total failure at around 15:00 minute mark at 170c.

Thanks again to Brandon for sharing, if you have an material torture tests please let us know in the comments on the blog. Below is some wet Nylon I tortured in the microwave

7 comments

  1. stannum

    So what does 80C mean in the paragraph “This material is dishwasher safe, not watertight, not recyclable, and not foodsafe. It is heatproof to 80C/176F degrees. Higher temperatures may significantly change material properties.”? No change at all below 80C?

    1. Anonymous

      Much like steel, nylon starts to lose its strength well before it melts. 80°C is probably the point at which it first starts to soften. Depending on the geometry, parts may start to suffer permanent deformation when subjected to higher temperatures.

    2. stannum

      Yes, the questions is if that is what happens, or a typo. Because the spec mentions Melting point 172-180C, Vicat softening temperature B/50 163C and A/50 181C. So the 80C seems to come from nowhere specific (and looks too much like 180 with a missing 1).

      Alumide paragrah says “This material is not watertight, not dishwasher safe, not recyclable, and not foodsafe. It is heatproof to 172/342ºF degrees. Higher temperatures may significantly change material properties.” and the spec numbers are Melting 172-180C, no A/50 provided, B/50 169C. The aluminum only gave it 6C more for the test under load. And it clearly has a typo, 172 what? And the deformation happens below it, as the B/50 points, so not so heatproof to 172C.

  2. Brandon Enright

    I don’t think the 80C value is completely arbitrary. I tested undyed WSF. That is, I was testing the nylon ONLY. The dye can start to bleed at high temperatures and 80C seems like a reasonable cutoff. If you boil (100C) dyed WSF a lot of dye will leak into the water.

    If you’re working with undyed WSF you should be fine up to at least 140C

    1. stannum

      OK, colorproof to 80C makes sense. Shape stable to higher temperatures, as official data mentions. The pages could still get improved to fix the typos and mention the differences.

  3. Jay Gross

    Does the aluminum powder affect the alumide resistance to radiant heat? I was thinking it was higher than plain WSF because aluminum reflects the radiant energy. Maybe the alumide is just stiffer at higher temperatures because of the non-melting powder.

    Thanks.

    1. Anonymous

      Alumide does have a deflective heat resistance,

      Melting point EN ISO 11357-1 172 – 180 °C
      Heat deflection temperature
      ASTM D648 (0.45 MPa) 177 °C / 351 °F
      Vicat softening temperature
      B/50 EN ISO 306 169 °C
      ASTM D1525 336 °F
      Heat conductivity (170 ° C) Hot wire method 0.5 – 0.8 W(mK)-1

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