3D Printing Material: Glass-Filled Nylon
On this page you will find all of the information, tips and tricks for a successful 3D print in Glass-Filled Nylon. Specifically you’ll find information on:
Glass-Filled Nylon material
Objects printed in glass-filled nylon are made from a mix of polyamide powder and glass beads. The surface of the material is white and slightly porous. Glass-filled Nylon is more durable and resistant than Polyamide 12. It gives you great freedom in your designs - allowing for both complex and inclosed volumes. The material is great for technical parts that need resistance and loads. The surface of glass-filled nylon is not as accurate as polyamide but it will fit the requirements of technical parts.
Processing times and pricing
The printing price of your design is calculated automatically when it is placed online. As you modify your object (changing size, using hollowing feature, etc.) you will note that the price changes automatically. The pricing is based on a series of factors, including: volume of material used, size of object, and multiple other factors.
The shipping delay for a Glass-filled Nylon object is 5-12 days. This time can vary depending on the current volume of orders being processed. Adding a finish like polishing can add a few days to this time. The estimated shipping time is also calculated automatically as the object is uploaded.
Delivery time should be added to processing time and depends on the delivery option you choose.
Sculpteo uses a process called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) for all glass-filled nylon prints. After your design is uploaded to the Sculpteo website, it undergoes a couple of steps before it is physically created:
- Model transferred to 3D printer
- Object is 3D printed
- Object is removed from batch
- Brushing and sandblasting
Once you transfer your 3D model and submit your order on our website, it is received by a Sculpteo team member, who expertly places the model into the next available batch. The object is then printed through one of our EOS P395 or EOS P396.
SLS uses a highly specific laser that sinters thin layers of our glass-filled nylon powder together one layer at a time. After each round of lasering, the printing bed is lowered and another layer of powder is evenly swept across the top for another round of sintering. This process is repeated until the object is completed.
After the printer cools, the block of sintered powder is removed from printer and the printed objects are removed by hand. A part of the powder that was not sintered is recycled back into the printer for a future print.
The object is then brushed, which removes a large portion of the powder, and sandblasted, which removes the fine powder that the brush may have missed.
Uses and maintenance
Glass-filled Nylon is a great 3D printing material that allows complex and resistant models. It is durable and strong that's why it perfectly fits technical uses. Glass-filled nylon is used in many industries such as the automotive industry. It can be placed near engines and used for parts that require a lot of stresses and loads.
Complex models can be realized in glass-filled nylon, just as enclosed volumes. However, the surface of the glass filled nylon 3D printed objects is limited to 100 µm that means fine details will not be optimally printed. Glass-filled nylon is indeed an engineering material that is used for technical parts that require particular stiffness, high heat distortion temperature and low abrasive wear.
The surface quality of the glass-filled nylon is excellent and designed for uses
in dirty environments.
It is mainly used for parts with requirements on abrasion and wear, stiff housings, parts used under elevated thermal conditions (for example for final parts within the engine area of cars), for deep-drawing dies, or for any other application which requires particular high heat distortion temperature, low abrasive wear and special stiffness.
- Raw: sandblasted but unpolished, surface remains somewhat rough, most economical.
- Polished: polished through mechanical polishing, smoother to touch, layers still somewhat visible on rounded objects.
|Layer Thickness||100 µm|
Our glass-filled nylon 3D printer, the EOS P395 gives us a layer precision of 100 µm (0.1mm).
|Maximum size white/unpolished||190 mm x 240 mm x 315 mm (7.48 in x 9.45 in x 12.40 in)|
|Maximum size polished|| 180 mm x 150 mm x 150 mm (7.08 in x 5.91 in x
The maximum size of your models are limited by the physical size of our 3D printers - nothing can be printed larger than the printer bed or the one of our mechanical polishing machine.
Your object must also respect the minimum dimensions of Glass-filled Nylon3D prints (explained bellow).
Minimum Thickness & Geometry
|Minimum wall thickness||1.5 mm|
|Minimum wall thickness for particular design aspects||2 mm|
The walls of your design must adhere to a minimum thickness of 1 mm in order to guarantee the structure will not break. If the walls of your model are less than 1 mm, we recommend you thicken them or add a support structure to maintain stability.
For an object that is sure to be solid, a minimum thickness of 2 mm is recommended.
Sculpteo offers an online solidity check tool which highlights parts of the print that may be too thin for a print. From there you are able to tweak your design in order to create an object that is an appropriate thickness. To use it, you just need to upload your 3D file, select your material and clic on “Verification” tab.
It is also important to keep in mind that the object is to be printed in a physical form. Thus if a thin aspect is supporting something that is too heavy for it, it may break - even though it is possible with the physics provided within the 3D printing program. We recommend adding a bit of thickness to the places that will get a lot of handling, or that support the most weight.
Keep in mind that our solidity check tool does not detect physical aberrations such as floating parts, unstable position, part supporting too much weight relative to its thickness, etc.. Particular care must be given to the geometry of your design and the most stressed parts must be thicken.
|Minimum size of details||1 mm|
|Minimum size of text||1 mm|
A detail’s minimum precision is mainly determined by the resolution of our printers. However, during the cleaning process, a fine layer of detail can also be lost. In order for a detail and text to be visible we recommend following our recommended sizes at the very least. To ensure a better powder removal (thus a better detail precision), the width of your details must be at least as big as depth.
Enclosed and Interlocking Volumes
|Enclosed parts ?||Yes|
|Interlocking parts ?||Yes|
Our Glass-filled Nylon material has the ability to be printed for some complex designs. An example of a complex design is a volume enclosed within another volume or with articulations. Our glass-filled Nylon 3D printers have the ability to print a fully interlocked object out of the printer, with no support structures to remove.
Minimum Spacing and Clearances
|Minimum spacing between fixed walls||0,5 mm|
|Minimum clearance between parts||0,5 mm|
For a successful 3D print a minimum clearance between objects is required to allow the excess of material to be sand blown out. If this space is not left within the design, the object will be a solid. This is particularly important for articulated objects - as the space left between the walls will define the object’s ability to move.
Clearance should be at least 0.5 mm and depends on your object's size. For big sizes, the clearance should be greater. The heated zone of your object depends on the size, the larger the object the more time it will be exposed to high temperature: if the space left between the walls is too small, it will be weld because of heat spreading.
|Minimum space||0,5 mm|
Objects printed in glass-filled Nylon can be printed to be assembled. As long as a width of at least 0.5 mm is left between the different parts of the object.
Our online hollowing optimization tool has the ability to greatly reduce the price of a print by reducing the amount of material used.
Using the tool requires adding two holes to your model, which will serve as the drain for the excess of powder material within the object. The minimum size of these holes is determined by our website. Otherwise it is possible to hollow your object manually in your 3D modeling software.
|Files with multiple objects ?||No|
This is not possible to 3D print a 3D file containing several objects with glass-filled Nylon.
|Density of laser-sintered part||EOS-Method||kg/m3||1220|
|Tensile Modulus||DIN EN ISO 527||MPa||3200|
|Tensile strength||DIN EN ISO 527||MPa||51|
|Strain at break||DIN EN ISO 527||%||9|
|Melting point||DIN 11357||°C||176|
To learn more about glass-filled Nylon technical specifications, refer to Glass-filled Nylon Datasheet.
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