Alternative To Nylon?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Timelinker, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Timelinker
    Timelinker Member
    Hi everyone!

    I had a look at the different plastics available. It seems they are only several kind of Nylon, no other kind of plastic, is that right?
    I am asking because I am not so sure about using Nylon, as it is quite known for its high water absorption, which may cause variation on dimensions and mechanical properties, depending if it is used in a dry or humid environment. I may need a more "stable" material.

    Any help is welcome :)
  2. Malwen
    Malwen Well-Known Member
    At least one of Shapeways' competitors offers glass filled nylon. I've never used it but the company claims that it is suitable for technical uses.
    Timelinker likes this.
  3. Timelinker
    Timelinker Member
    Thanks Malwen for the information, good to know. A glass-filled nylon will definitely be more robust. But since it is still Nylon it may remain "unstable" due to water absorption though.
  4. kaadesign
    kaadesign Well-Known Member
    I don't know the exact requirements of your model.

    Other companies offer 3D printing via FDM ( fused deposit modelling ).
    Most of them offer ABS material, or the " expensive high-tec material "Peek"
    Peek is printed at 360°- 400° temperature at the nozzle.
    Common FDM printers are working with max. 280°-300°
    Timelinker likes this.
  5. OmniFab
    OmniFab Member
    do you think carbon fiber will do ? there's a 3D printer that can 3D print carbon fiber for a more industrial grade materials, a stable one for use. I can help you with that, if that's what you're looking for. :)
    Timelinker likes this.
  6. Timelinker
    Timelinker Member
    Carbon fiber sounds really interesting in terms of robustness and stability. I guess carbon fiber is used as a reinforcement of a thermoplastic, is it right? If yes, which plastic?
  7. OmniFab
    OmniFab Member
    there's a reinforcement yes. but there's really a printer that can print continuous carbon fiber.
  8. OmniFab
    OmniFab Member
    if there's reinforcement, you can use onyx or nylon as it's base.
    Timelinker likes this.
  9. Timelinker
    Timelinker Member
    Thanks for the ideas. Not sure I'd need such incredible properties like PEEK, but ABS could definitely be a good possibility, I will look into it.
  10. Timelinker
    Timelinker Member
    Very interesting! Not sure which one would be most appropriate between onyx and carbon fiber only. I need stability and a good surface finish. Is this process for private customer affordable? I am doing this as a hobby.
  11. kaadesign
    kaadesign Well-Known Member

    There are some guys on earth... driving a Porsche as a hobby... ;-)
  12. Timelinker
    Timelinker Member
    Ahaha, I know! I am definitely OK with spending money for hobbies. Companies usually have a higher budget for prototypes, that's all I'm saying ;-)
  13. designsoul
    designsoul Well-Known Member
    As a hobbyist, consider a direct drive extruder 3D printer.
    Such as Lulzbot or a 3DRAG if budget is very limited.
    The advantage is that you can experiment with many different materials, and FFF parts can be strong if constructed right. ABS would be a good material, also consider POM filament which is great for outdoor use.
    To give you any proper advice we need to know the exact requirements.
  14. Timelinker
    Timelinker Member
    Thanks you for the inputs. Yes indeed, I will consider buying my own 3D printer if the 3D-print I already ordered is functional and its quality is acceptable.
    What I want to make are bagpipe chanters (the flute of the bagpipe that is used to play the melody). Here is an example:

    Length of the chanter is about 350mm.
    These are nowadays either made out of wood or a plastic called polypenco (POM). They are machined via turning process. When using plastics, I thought it may be worth trying to use 3D printing or injection molding. An injection mold being an expensive investment, I decided to give a try to 3D printing first.
  15. tarphon
    tarphon Member
    I recently printed the same part in both standard nylon from Shapeways and glass-filled nylon from Shapeways' competitor. The glass-filled nylon was indeed much more rigid. Surprisingly, it was also MUCH smoother than Shapeways' polished nylon. It was even smoother than Shapeways' premium nylon, which is at least twice as expensive.

    I can't speak to the technical specifications of the glass-filled nylon, but I can say I highly recommend it, and I hope Shapeways starts offering it too.
    Timelinker and Malwen like this.