Be one of the first to access cutting edge Carbon materials with Shapeways    

<div id="cookie_notice" class="sw-cookie-notice sw--padding-vert-4 sw--padding-hor-1 sw-dms--box-shadow--big"> <div class="sw-dms--color-white sw-grid-flex sw-grid-flex--wrap-mob sw-grid-flex--wrap--tab"> <div class="sw-cookie-notice__text--mob sw--padding-left-8 sw--font-size-14 sw-grid-flex__cell-5-7 sw-grid-flex__cell-1-1--mob sw-grid-flex__cell-1-1--tab"> We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, including personalized advertising. By continuing to use the site you agree to their use. <a href="/legal/privacy-statement" target="_blank">Learn more</a> </div> <div class="sw-grid-flex__cell-2-7 sw-grid-flex__cell-1-1--mob sw-grid-flex__cell-1-1--tab"> <a class="sw-dms-button noty_close sw--padding-hor-7 sw--position-absolute sw--position-right sw--margin-right-13 sw--hide-mobile sw--hide-tablet" data-sw-set-cookie="euCookie">OK</a> <a class="sw-cookie-notice__btn--mob sw-cookie-notice__btn--tab sw-dms-button noty_close sw--padding-hor-7 sw--margin-vert-3 sw--hide-desktop" data-sw-set-cookie="euCookie">OK</a> </div> </div> </div>

Versatile Plastic

Also known as Strong and Flexible, Nylon 12 Plastic, PA12, Polyamide


White Strong & Flexible Black Strong & Flexible Red Polished Orange Polished Yellow Polished Green Polished Blue Polished Purple Polished

About Versatile Plastic

Versatile Plastic is a durable nylon plastic that can be used for a wide range of applications, both for prototyping and for end products. Printed using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), when thin, it's flexible enough for hinges and springs and when thick, it's strong enough for structural components. Try the Premium finish for a higher quality look and feel.

Common Applications

Cases, mechanical parts, prosthetics, fixtures, tech accessories, art home decor, jewelry, prototypes, figurines

Handling and Care

Dishwasher Safe
Heatproof to 163C/325F
Good Chemical Resistance
High Strength & Stiffness applications
Skin contact applications
Thin features and interlocking parts

Upload a file to get started

Frequently Asked Questions

What colors and finishes are available for this material?

Natural: This finish has a slightly rough surface and a matte finish
Processed: This finish removes some material to create a smoother surface
Premium: This is our smoothest finish with good scratch resistance
Colors: Versatile Plastic is naturally white. We also offer Black, Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple. Colors other than White are dyed and will wear through over time with handling.

How long will it take to receive a model in this material?

Production times depend on the model size and chosen finish, but usually products ship between 4 and 6 business days with Priority manufacturing. If you need your product faster, try our Rush service available in checkout (some limitations apply). The shipping time depends on your location and your chosen speed.

How is this material made?

To 3D print this material, we start with a bed of Nylon powder and selectively sinter the powder with a laser. This repeats layer by layer, solidifying the powder as we go. Because of this layer by layer process, some products may see a staircase effect. The process is called Selective Laser Sintering.

How can I finish (smooth and dye) the material myself?

It is possible to finish your product yourself for a more customized look. You can smooth, dye and even coat your products at home. Sandpaper with different grit sizes is recommended to smooth your surface. To create an even smoother surface, try combining sandpaper with a primer. To dye your product yourself, see the following tutorial.

More Materials

Professional Smooth Finish

High Strength & Durability


Cases & Mounts
Mechanical Parts
Multi-Jet Fusion
Good Strength
Many Colors Available
High Density
Tools & Accessories
Home Decor
Binder Jetting
  • Bounding Box
  • Wall Thickness
  • Wires
  • Surface Details
  • Escape Holes
  • Clearance
  • Sprues
  • Interlocking Parts
  • Multiple Parts
  • Accuracy
  • Design Tips
  • Pricing


650 × 350 × 550 mm (Natural White)
230 × 180 × 320 mm (Natural Black)
200 × 150 × 150 mm (Processed & Premium)
X + Y + Z ≥ 7.5 mm (Natural)
X + Y + Z ≥ 25.0 mm and axes must be ≥ 2.5 mm (Processed & Premium)

Your model should be the minimum and maximum bounding box sizes. The maximum bounding box represents the largest model that that we can manufacture. The minimum bounding box size is the smallest dimension in which we can manufacture in this material.


Minimum Supported Wall Thickness
0.7 mm
Minimum Unsupported Wall Thickness
0.7 mm

A supported wall is connected on two or more sides. An unsupported wall is one connected to other walls on less than two sides. Walls in your model should be thicker than or equal to the minimum measurements suggested to ensure your model makes it through printing and cleaning. Walls that are too thin are prone to warping in the printing processing, or may break when we remove it from the printer and clean it. Walls and wires close to or slightly above the guidelines may still be rejected based on the geometry. For example, extra long wires or walls protruding from an object may be damaged during cleaning. Our production team will communicate with you if the design is too weak with tips on how to strengthen it.


Minimum Supported Wires
0.8 mm (Natural)
0.9 mm (Processed and Premium)
Minimum Unsupported Wires
1.0 mm

A geometry considered a wire when its thinner in both unconnected directions than its length. When a geometry is thicker than 0.9 mm in one direction, it will fall under the wall guidelines. Wires that are under our suggested minimums are prone to breaking in the cleaning process, or warping.


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

We recommend these minimum measurements for details like embossing or engraving, based off of printer resolution.

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


Single Escape Hole Diameter
4.0 mm
Multiple Escape Hole Diameter
2.0 mm

Pressurized air is used to blast excess powder from models that are hollow, or contain hollow cavities. In order for us to safely do this, escape holes need to be larger than 4.0 mm in diameter. For models larger than 50.00 mm³ we require two or more escape holes at least 2.00 mm in diameter.

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.


0.5 mm

Clearance is the space between two parts, e.g. space between gears or a ball and socket joint.


2 mm thick, attached in at least 2 places per part

Sprues are wires that keep two models together. Sprues are more likely to break compared to other wires because they typically connect parts with high mass on either side. For this reason, they need to be thicker than our minimum wire thickness.



Versatile 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.


Up to 250.


±0.15 mm + 0.15% of the longest axis

For example: a product with dimensions of 50x50x100 mm can be 0.15 mm + 0.0015*100 mm = 0.3 mm bigger or smaller in any direction.


Print lines or "Stepping"

A "staircase" effect, or print lines, can occur on the surface of your print. These can become more pronounced on curved and angled surfaces.

Preventing Warping

Making your design more stiff (increasing torsional rigidity) will reduce the risk of warping. Longer walls need to be thicker than short ones.

Avoid "Spikes"

If your model has spike-like geometry where the spike is longer than it is wide, it’s possible for it to break in the cleaning process.


Due to the inherent variability of the dyeing process, color may vary slightly between products. Avoid contact with water as it could wash off some of the color.


Our production team does their best to evaluate your product and orient it to optimize either dimensionally accuracy or aesthetics depending on the application. Generally, the top surface will have more visible stepping than the bottom surface. The mating surface and other important features like holes are the most accurate when placed in the horizontal plane.

Holes & Small Holes

We cannot clean holes that are too small compared to their depth. Additionally, tubes with corners can be difficult to reach and we may not be able to fully clean your model.

We recommend creating multiple access points to holes and small tubes so that we can properly clean your model.

Laser Lines

Our 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.


How will the price of my model be calculated?

  • Material Volume - the amount of material needed to 3D print your product
  • Machine Volume - the amount of space your product takes inside our 3D printers
  • Number of parts - a part is a piece of a model that can be separated from other pieces of the model
  • Production - associated production costs including labor; quality control; machine maintenance; general utilities; and other supporting services required to 3D print your product

What is the minimum price per part?

  • Natural White - $5.00
  • Natural Black - $7.50
  • Processed White - $6.00
  • Processed Color - $8.50
  • Premium White - $8.50
  • Premium Black - $11.00



We're sorry to inform you that we no longer support this browser and can't confirm that everything will work as expected. For the best Shapeways experience, please use one of the following browsers:

Click anywhere outside this window to continue.