3D printing with Nylon

Just how flexible are your 3D prints?

The usual run of things with 3D printers is to spit out parts in good old ABS or similar plastics that have a low melting point. Just imagine the world of opportunities that opens up when you can print in flexible – and tremendously fun – Nylon 6?!?

Requiring slightly higher temperatures for extrusion than the more common rigid (but brittle) ABS or PLA, nylon’s slick bendable qualities lend themselves to all kinds of new possibilities. Gears and bearings created from nylon have the advantage of not requiring lubrication and there is also scope for flexible tubes and parts with undercuts such as lids, plugs and phone cases.

“We can literally change the hardness/firmness/tensile strength of a part by changing it’s fill percentage. Want a small keyboard button overlay for a control box…..fill at 25%….want a bearing that has a bit of give to reduce vibration…..fill at 50%…want a hard almost UN-bendable lever….fill at 100% and so on.”

The following video shows some of these capabilities as printed in nylon.

You may be wondering what device is capable of handling the high temperatures and specific requirements of a nylon conversion.

Instructables user taulman has the answer. He’s posted some considerable detail about a nifty machine that he’s been working on. Worthy of a feature all on its own, the 2BEIGH3 is a CNC machine and high temperature 3D printer all rolled into one. Something tells me it’ll be worth keeping an eye on this DIY project.

Instructables via Engadget

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Great concept, will go places, I tellya! 😀

I am amazed every day when I see something new in the 3d printing world. Soon we will be able to print anything with any material it seems.

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