SLS Nylon

What is SLS Nylon

Nylon PA12 is a multi-talented material with a wide range of applications. Models printed via SLSin this material are exceptionally strong. They have high stiffness, strong resistance to cracking under stress, and an excellent long-term constant behavior.

Nylon PA12 has many uses, including in the professional community. The healthcare industry takes advantage of the bio-compatibility for, e.g., medical implants. Within construction, the high abrasion resistance makes the material a viable option for movable parts such as gears or hinges.

Furthermore, Nylon PA12 creates models that are robust against a wide range of conditions. Firstly, it maintains its strength even in sub-zero temperatures. Nylon PA12 absorbs very little moisture and has excellent resistance to chemicals including hydraulic fluids, oil, fuels, grease, salt water, and solvents. Additionally, it is noise and vibration dampening.

Properties

The potential uses listed above depend on how the model is printed. The technical properties of Nylon PA12 change based on the thickness of the model. With a 0.8 mm wall thickness, your model will be flexible. With a 2.0 mm wall thickness, it will become more rigid.

For more specifications, the table below shows the exact properties of Nylon PA12.

Printing Method

Selective Laser Sintering, or SLS, is a 3D printing method that uses a high-powered laser to print objects layer by layer from a fine powder. The laser forms each layer by tracing a pattern in the powder. This sinters and bonds the material together. When an entire cross-section is traced, the build platform lowers one layer height. This process continues for each layer until the model is complete. The object remains in the powder until finished. Therefore, the powder supports the object during the print. This eliminates the need for support structures.

The SLS printing process can provide good mechanical properties. This makes it ideal for functional prototypes and short-run manufacturing.

Design Specifications

Thickness & Geometry
The minimum wall thickness for Nylon PA12 is 0.8 mm to ensure self-standing stability. If a wall thickness of less than 0.8 mm is desired, support structures can be used for stability.

Furthermore, the wall thickness determines the flexibility/rigidness of the model. For a more rigid product, the minimum recommended wall thickness is 2.0 mm.

Details
Included engravings should optimally have a minimum 1.0 mm line thickness, 1.5 mm depth, and 4.5 mm overall height.

Included embossments should be thick enough to survive production and shipment. For this reason, the minimum recommended dimensions are 0.8 mm line thickness, 0.8 mm depth, and 3.0 mm overall height.

There are two concerns to be aware of when printing by SLS. First, the powder can get trapped with the model. Second, the layers can get sintered together when there is supposed to be a gap. Therefore, it is important to have a large enough gap between the walls. 1 mm is recommended for small models, with larger models potentially requiring more.

If the model will be printed in parts to be assembled, a 0.5 mm width is necessary between the different pieces to ensure fit.