Strong & Flexible Plastic Material Information

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3D Printed Strong & Flexible Plastic

Finishes
White Strong & Flexible White
Black Strong & Flexible Black
White Strong & Flexible Polished White Polished
Coral Red Polished Coral Red Polished
Violet Purple Polished Violet Purple Polished
Hot Pink Polished Hot Pink Polished
Royal Blue Polished Royal Blue Polished
Price $1.50 handling fee
$1.40 per cm3
$1.75 handling fee
$1.75 per cm3
$2.00 handling fee
$1.50 per cm3
$2.25 handling fee
$1.50 per cm3
Ships in 6 business days
12 business days for products larger than 200 mm on any axis
8 business days 9 business days 12 business days

Design Guidelines for Strong & Flexible Plastic

The rules to follow in order to create successful products in Strong & Flexible Plastic. Read more on model checks
Max bounding box 650 × 350 × 550 mm 230 × 180 × 320 mm 150 × 150 × 150 mm

For us to be able to make a product, each of its pieces must fit within these dimensions.

For unpolished White Strong & Flexible, the maximum bounding box is determined by the size of the printer we use to create your product. To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure the bounding box fits within our maximum limit. If it does not, you can try scaling it down, removing unnecessary features to reduce the bounding box, or consider another material with a bigger maximum bounding box.

For Polished and Dyed products, the maximum bounding box is limited by the size of our polishing machines. To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure the bounding box fits within our maximum limit. If it does not, you can try scaling it down, removing unnecessary features to reduce the bounding box, or consider another material with a bigger maximum bounding box.

For models larger than 33cm: Our Strong & Flexible 3D printers operate with two lasers at the same time. If a product in the printer is located in the overlap plane where the two lasers meet, miniscule calibration differences between the lasers may create a visible line on the surface of the product. We aim to arrange products in the printer away from the overlap plane. However, products larger than 33cm long in any direction may be too large to fit in one laser’s area, so you may see a visible line along the overlap plane on your product.

Min bounding box X + Y + Z ≥ 7.5 mm X + Y + Z ≥ 25.0 mm

For us to be able to make a product, each of its pieces must be bigger than these dimensions.

The minimum bounding box is determined by the printer's ability to successfully print very tiny models.

To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure the bounding box of your model is larger than our minimum. If it is not, you can try scaling it up, thickening, combining, or enlarging parts and features, or trying a material with a smaller minimum bounding box.

Min supported wall thickness 0.7 mm thick

A supported wall is one connected to other walls on two or more sides.

For unpolished White Strong & Flexible, the minimum supported wall is determined by our ability to successfully clean your product once it has been removed from the printer. Walls that are too thin often break when the product is removed from the powder bed, or when excess dust is removed from the product. To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure the supported walls are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, or consider a material with a smaller minimum supported wall requirement.

For Polished and Dyed products, the minimum supported wall is determined by our ability to successfully polish your product once it has been printed. Walls that are too thin are broken by the pellets in our polishing machines. To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure supported walls are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, or consider a material with a smaller minimum supported wall requirement.

Design tips

Prevent walls from warping on larger models

Large models with thin walls may warp depending on the geometry of the part. Because this material is flexible, bigger parts with thin walls will droop due to gravity. Longer walls need to be thicker than short ones.

Min unsupported wall thickness 0.7 mm thick

An unsupported wall is one connected to other walls on less than two sides.

For unpolished White Strong & Flexible, the minimum unsupported wall is determined by our ability to successfully clean your product once it has been removed from the printer. Walls that are too thin often break when the product is removed from the powder bed, or when excess dust is removed from the product. To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure unsupported walls are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, adding supports, or considering a material with a thinner minimum unsupported wall requirement.

For Polished and Dyed products, the minimum unsupported wall is determined by our ability to successfully polish your product once it has been printed. Walls that are too thin are broken by the pellets in our polishing machines. To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure the unsupported walls in your product are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, adding supports, or considering a material with a thinner minimum unsupported wall requirement.

Design tips

Prevent walls from warping on larger models

Large models with thin walls may warp depending on the geometry of the part. Because this material is flexible, bigger parts with thin walls will droop due to gravity. Longer walls need to be thicker than short ones.

Min supported wires 0.8 mm thick 0.9 mm thick

A wire is a feature whose length is greater than five times its width. A supported wire is connected to walls on both sides.

For unpolished White Strong & Flexible, the minimum supported wire is determined by our ability to successfully clean your product once it has been removed from the printer. Wires that are too thin often break when the product is removed from the powder bed, or when excess dust is removed from the product. To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure supported wires are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, or consider a material with a thinner minimum supported wire requirement.

For Polished and Dyed products, the minimum supported wire is determined by our ability to successfully polish your product once it has been printed. Wires that are too thin are broken by the pellets in our polishing machines. To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure supported wires are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, or consider a material with a thinner minimum supported wire requirement.

Design tips

Thicker models are more difficult to bend

Flexibility depends on the structure and design of the model. The thicker you make something, the less flexible it will be. A spring made with 1mm wire will compress and elongate rather easily. A spring made with 3mm thick will take a bit more effort, and won’t compress if you drop it from a few feet.

Min unsupported wires 1.0 mm thick

A wire is a feature whose length is greater than five times its width. An unsupported wire is connected to walls on less than two sides.

For unpolished White Strong & Flexible, the minimum unsupported wire is determined by our ability to successfully clean your product once it has been removed from the printer. Wires that are too thin often break when the product is removed from the powder bed, or when excess dust is removed from the product. To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure unsupported wires are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, adding supports, or considering a material with a thinner minimum unsupported wire requirement.

For Polished and Dyed products, the minimum unsupported wire is determined by our ability to successfully polish your product once it has been printed. Wires that are too thin are broken by the pellets in our polishing machines. To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure unsupported walls are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, adding supports, or considering a material with a thinner minimum unsupported wire requirement.

Design tips

Thicker models are more difficult to bend

Flexibility depends on the structure and design of the model. The thicker you make something, the less flexible it will be. A spring made with 1mm wire will compress and elongate rather easily. A spring made with 3mm thick will take a bit more effort, and won’t compress if you drop it from a few feet.

Min embossed detail 0.2 mm high & wide
0.5 mm for readable text

A detail is a feature whose length is less than twice its width. Embossed details stick out from a surface.

The minimum detail is determined by the printer's resolution. When detail dimensions are below the minimum, the printer may not be able to accurately replicate them. Details that are too small can also be smoothed over in the polishing process. To ensure details come out clearly, make them larger than the indicated minimum. We may refrain from printing products with details smaller than the minimum, since the final product will not be true to your design. If your product has details smaller than the minimum, try making them larger, removing them, or considering a material with finer detail.

Design tips

Polishing will wear down and dull sharp details

The 5mm cylindrical pellets we use as polishing media can remove up to 0.1mm material from the surface of your model. With small details, this can rub away sharp corners and make them look less crisp.

Thicken your engraved/embossed text to make it easier to read

Although 0.2mm details will show up in this material, we find that text raised at least 0.5mm shows up most clearly. If you want crisper text or embossed details, try bumping the thickness up to 0.5mm.

Min engraved detail 0.2 mm high & wide
0.5 mm for readable text

A detail is a feature whose length is less than twice its width. Engraved or debossed details go into a surface.

The minimum detail is determined by the printer's resolution. When detail dimensions are below the minimum, the printer may not be able to accurately replicate them. To ensure details come out clearly, make them larger than the indicated minimum. We may refrain from printing products with details smaller than the minimum, since the final product will not be true to your design. If your product has details smaller than the minimum, try making them larger, removing them, or considering a material with finer detail.

Design tips

Thicken your engraved/embossed text to make it easier to read

Although 0.2mm details will show up in this material, we find that text raised at least 0.5mm shows up most clearly. If you want crisper text or embossed details, try bumping the thickness up to 0.5mm.

Min escape holes 4.0 mm diameter for one escape hole


2.0 mm diameter when there is two or more escape holes
Required for products bigger than 50 × 50 × 50 mm

Escape holes allow unbuilt material inside hollow products to be removed.

When products contain hollow cavities, they are often filled with powder even after they are removed from the build tray. If escape holes are not large enough, or the geometry of the product makes it difficult to shake or blast the powder out, we cannot successfully clean it. This is especially important for our water-based dyeing process â?? models cannot be successfully dyed if they cannot be successfully cleaned inside and out. To ensure a successful, cleanable product, make sure to include sufficiently large escape holes for each hollow cavity in your product. Multiple escape holes are recommended for large hollow parts. A single escape hole at the end of a cavity will not allow material in the corners near the escape hole to fully escape; so, multiple escape holes at both ends of the cavity are recommended. If your escape holes are insufficient, try enlarging them, adding more, or filling in the hollow space.

A single escape hole at the end of a cavity will not allow material in the corners near the escape hole to fully escape. So we recommend multiple escape holes at both ends of the cavity.

Clearance 0.5 mm clearance

Clearance is the space between any two parts, walls or wires.

Strong & Flexible plastic is printed with an SLS process that uses a laser to fuse together nylon powder. When there is a very small gap between features or parts, partially fused powder can get stuck in between. This can prevent mechanical parts from moving, or fill in intended gaps between features.

To ensure a successful product, make the clearance between parts, walls, and wires greater than the indicated minimum. If your clearance is too small, try making the gap bigger, or consider fusing the parts or features if their independence is unnecessary. You can also try a material with a smaller minimum clearance.

Interlocking and enclosed parts? Yes

Strong & Flexible plastic is printed with an SLS process that uses a laser to fuse together nylon powder. This enables interlocking parts, as long as the distance between them is greater than the indicated minimum.

Multiple parts per model file? Yes.
Accuracy ± 0.15 mm, then ± 0.15 % of longest axis

More On Designing for Strong & Flexible Plastic

Design tips
Thicker models are more difficult to bend

Flexibility depends on the structure and design of the model. The thicker you make something, the less flexible it will be. A spring made with 1mm wire will compress and elongate rather easily. A spring made with 3mm thick will take a bit more effort, and won’t compress if you drop it from a few feet.

Print lines or "Stepping"

Depending on the shape of your model and orientation in the print tray, you might see print lines, or “stepping” phenomena on your model, which is a natural artifact of 3D printing using the SLS process. SLS printing works by printing layer by layer, and while our layers are around 0.12mm thin, there is a "step" between each layer, much like a staircase.

Material Info

Look and feel

This material is incredibly versatile, and can be used for a wide variety of applications, from iPhone cases to jewelry, remote controlled quadcopters to wearable bikinis. When thin, it's flexible enough for hinges and springs. When thick, it's strong enough for structural components.

Print It Anyway
We are piloting a new way for you to bring experimental products to life. With Print It Anyway, you will receive a 3D print in your hand, even if your model does not meet our design guidelines. Learn more about Print It Anyway.

All Strong & Flexible finishes are eligible for Print It Anyway.

Details on pricing
Density discount

We also offer a volume and density discount on Strong & Flexible materials. For models that have greater than 10% density (material volume divided by bounding box volume), volume above the first 20cm3 is calculated with a 50% discount.

Bounding box pricing on big low density products

Large, extremely low density models printed in White Strong & Flexible are priced based on bounding box volume rather than material volume. For models with a bounding box over 10,000cm3 and a density less than or equal to 2.6%, the price is $.0385 per bounding box cm3 plus a base price of $1.50. See our blog post to learn more.

Handling and care
This material
  • is dishwasher safe
  • not watertight
  • not recyclable
  • not foodsafe

Strong & Flexible plastics are heatproof to 80ºC / 176ºF degrees. Higher temperatures may significantly change material properties.

How it's 3D printed

To print in this material, we start with a bed of Nylon powder and sinter the powder with a laser layer by layer, solidifying the powder as we go. Because of this layer by layer process, some products may see a staircase effect. How much you see this effect depends on how your model is oriented in the print tray. Our production planners are working hard to orient models optimally to ensure efficient and good lookin' trays.

Technical documents

What Others Are Creating With Strong & Flexible Plastic

Jewelry
$15.00 by virtox
$50.00 by EmergingObjects
Gadget Accessories
$27.48 by Vapour
Interconnected & Moving Parts
$101.59 by TheoJansen
$41.97 by FabMeJewelry
$30.00 by virtox
Replaceable parts
Details
$22.11 by cunicode
$7.99 by artificer
$95.02 by JoshuaHarker
Disclaimer:
Please note that the 3D printed products are intended for decorative purposes. They are not suited to be used as toys or to be given to underage children. The products should not come into contact with electricity and be kept away from heat. Our materials, except for 3D printed glazed ceramic, are not food safe.