Glass-filled Nylon is exactly what is says – it’s nylon powder reinforced with glass particles. The resulting powder is 40% glass bead particles (PA-GF). This material is printed via Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology, similar to its parent material, Nylon PA12.
The main benefit of this material is it has a much higher thermal resistance than Nylon PA12 when printing via SLS. This makes Glass-filled Nylon a great option when functional tests are needed for environments with a high thermal load.
Glass-filled nylon material exhibits excellent stiffness, high density, and tensile strength, combined with low specific weight. As a result, PA-GF is ideal for demanding conditions where stiffness, temperature performance or wear resistance is critical. Typical applications include parts enclosures and housings, fixtures, and tooling across a variety of industries.
For more specifications, the table below shows the exact properties of Glass-filled Nylon 3200.
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.
Thickness & Geometry
The minimum wall thickness for this material is 1.5 mm to ensure self-standing stability. If a wall thickness of less than 1.5 mm is desired, support structures can be used for stability.
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.