Nylon PA12 is a versatile material that is often used with the 3D printing field. We claim it to be the best, cheap all-around material. The most common method of printing Nylon PA12 is via Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). However, there is an alternative this that helps widen the applicability of this material.
Printing Nylon PA12 via Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is different from printing via SLS, mainly because of the achievable fineness. Due to the process, it is possible to refine the details of a model down to 0.022 mm on the XY-planes. Considering the typical laser spot size for an SLS system is 0.3-0.4 mm in diameter, this is ultra fine. This is particularly useful in getting exact details and being able to reproduce any given print.
This strong thermoplastic produces high-density parts with extreme dimensional accuracy and fine detail, making it the ideal material for both functional prototyping and end-use parts. Models printed in PA-12 using MJF are resistant to high temperatures (up to 175°C). This printing method occurs within a bed of self-supporting powder, which means no support structures are necessary. This results in a cleaner finish and no wasted filament.
The fineness that comes with printing by MJF technology results in a higher density and lower porosity than when printing by SLS. Therefore, this method is the ideal choice when highly detailed surfaces or very thin walls are needed.
The material Nylon PA 12 itself is also useful as it is chemically resistant to oils, greases, aliphatic hydrocarbons and alkalies.
The potential uses listed above depend on the design specifications of how the model is printed. It is important to remember that the technical properties of Nylon PA12 change depending on the thickness of your model. A 0.6 mm wall thickness, for instance, will result in a flexible model. A 2.0 mm wall thickness, however, will be more rigid.
For more exact specifications, the table below shows the exact properties of Nylon PA12.
Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is a powder-based 3D printing technology invented by the tech giant Hewlett-Packard (HP). It builds models by using powdered material and multiple binding agents. First, a fusing agent is applied for each layer of the material to fuse the particles together. Then, a detailing agent is applied to modify the already fused particles and create fine details and smooth surfaces. Finally, the model is exposed to energy in order to initiate reactions between the agents and the material. When the printing process is complete, the build chamber can be extracted from the printer. The operator (you) can then carefully clear out and remove the parts from the remaining powder using brushes and air blowers.
HP’s MJF technology is much faster in comparison to FDM or SLS. This means you can create complicated models with good mechanical properties in a very short time, making MJF ideal for prototyping or manufacturing.
Thickness & Geometry
The walls of your design must adhere to a minimum thickness of 0.6 mm in order to guarantee the structure will not break. However, support structures can be used for added stability when walls of your model are less than 0.6 mm.
For included texts and images, either embossed or engraved, the minimum thickness should be 0.25 mm. To ensure engraved or embossed text is legible, we recommend letters with a minimum line thickness of 0.5 mm, a depth of 1.0 mm, and an overall height of at least 2.5 mm.
For objects with thin gaps or movable pieces, a minimum clearance between the parts must be kept to prevent them from fusing together. This is also to ensure the excess sand from the filament bed can be blown out and not be trapped.
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.