Nylon PA12 3D printing material

From rapid prototyping to production, discover all benefits of plastic 3D printing with SLS technology using our Nylon PA12 material. Get all information about this plastic 3D printing material!

Colors

Finishes

Characteristics

Surface Look
Details
Strength
Flexibility

Nylon PA12 Material Guide

What is Nylon PA 12?

The Nylon PA12 (plastic) objects printed through Sculpteo are created from a fine polyamide powder, more commonly known as plastic. Nylon PA12 (Plastic) is great for both experienced professionals and beginning designers because of its high precision and low costThe good mechanical properties of this nylon material will be for more advanced additive manufacturing projects and can even substitute injection molding plastics. Thanks to its low concentration of amides, it has small moisture absorption, which implies a good resistance to chemicals.

The technical properties of this material also depend on the thickness of the 3D model you have created. Our 3D printing plastics have different elastic modulus measurements. You will find more technical data about tensile strength, flexural strength, or deflection temperature in the technical segment of this material page.

Unpolished, this material is white, granular, and somewhat porous when it is directly coming out of our industrial 3D printers- these options can be further refined with Sculpteo’s in house polishing and dyeing processes.

Applications: What can you acheive with this material?

This material is well used in the 3D printing industry, as it allows for rapid prototyping as well as finished consumer products. Prototyping with Nylon PA12 (plastic) is a good solution because this 3D printing material is cheaper and faster than other processes. You just have to modify your design with your 3D software and make new iterations. It is a common 3D printing material used for various applications and has really good quality standards.

The biocompatibility of this 3D printing material allows to 3D print objects for medical applications, such as 3D printed prostheses. The high abrasion resistance of this material also allows the creation of movable part connections such as gears or hinges.

This material has a good UV resistance, making it suitable to create parts that are adaptable to every weather.

Pricing​

The printing price of your design is calculated automatically the moment it is placed online. As you modify your object (changing size, using batch control or hollowing feature, etc.) you will note that the price changes automatically. The pricing is based on a series of factors, including total volume, object size, and bounding box – to name a few.

White, unpolished Nylon PA12 (plastic) has the quickest turn around time of our materials. Polishing, painting and particularly large objects can extend the processing 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.

You will have the choice among three delivery options: economical, standard, express. Your choice will necessarily impact the price of your order.

What about the Nylon PA 12 3D printing process?

Sculpteo uses a layer by layer process called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) for all Nylon polyamide 12 (plastic) prints.

The Selective Laser Sintering technology uses a highly specific laser that sinters thin layers of polyamide PA12 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 at a layer height of either 100 – 120 µm or 60 µm until the object is completed.

Finishings available

There are multiple coloring and finishing options available through Sculpteo including dyeing, polishing, painting, smoothing beautifier, and our special Color Touch and Color Resist processes.

Finishing options available after the additive manufacturing process:

  • Raw: Sandblasted but unpolished, the surface remains somewhat rough, it is the most economical option, perfect for your rapid prototyping process.
  • Polished: Polished through mechanical polishing, smoother to touch, layers still somewhat visible on rounded objects.
  • Smoothing Beautifier: Smoothed through a physicochemical process, the objects finished with our exclusive Smoothing Beautifier process have a glossy surface. This brand new process aims at closing the gap between the surface quality of injection molded parts and 3D printed parts. The process brings smoothing to every section of the object and works by sealing the porous surface of your Nylon PA12 (plastic) part.
    This finish is recommended for organic shapes, figurines, but also for electronic enclosures. The Smoothing Beautifier delivers a surface finish that is as smooth as injection-molded surfaces. Due to the nature of this patented process, the result may vary from one part to another. The physicochemical reaction can indeed induce some transformation on the part such as minor geometrical changes or a loss of details. Designs that include very intricate geometries, hollowed parts or sharp angles or edges can suffer appearance transformations.
  • Dyed with Color Resist finish: A dyeing finish with a matte look that resists friction and allows for more consistent color between different production batches.
  • Dyed with Color Touch finish: This finish is available only after contacting our Sales team for customizing your order. With this dyeing finishing your 3D printed part gets a satin look. It withstands daily handling and is the perfect finish for parts that are exposed to external conditions, scratching and rubbing.
Standard layer thickness100 – 120µm
High Definition layer thickness60µm
Accuracy± 0.3% (minimum of ± 0.3 mm)
PA resolution

The picture shows on the left hand side an object printed in resolution 60 µm, and on right hand side resolution of 100- 120 µm

Sculpteo has two layer definitions available. A standard definition of between 100 – 120 µm and a high definition of 60 µm.

Maximum size raw (white/unpolished)675 x 366 x 545 mm
Maximum size polished300 x 220 x 200 mm 
x+y+z ≤ 540 mm
Maximum dyed regular180 x 220 x 220 mm
Maximum size dyed in black  350 x 310 x 310 mm
Maximum size dyed polished180 x 220 x 220 mm
Maximum size matte painted675 x 366 x 545 mm
Maximum size dyed with Color Resist finish280 x 280 x 450 mm
Maximum size dyed with Color Touch finish280 x 280 x 450 mm
Maximum size polished 60µm180 x 220 x 300 mm
Smoothing beautifiermin: 15 x 15 x 0.5 mm
max: 140 x 250 x 90 mm 
Minimum wall thickness (flexible)0.8mm
Minimum wall thickness(rigid)2mm
Minimum wall thickness stemmed elements

0.8mm with support 
1mm without support 

Minimum wall thickness particular design aspects1-2mm


Diagram to show the minimum thicknessof your 3D print model

The walls of your design must adhere to a minimum thickness of 0.8 mm in order to guarantee the structure will not break. If the walls of your model are less than 0.8 mm, you can add a support structure to maintain stability.

A stemmed element is a design aspect which is at least twice as long as it is thick. For unsupported and stemmed elements or parts of the design with a particular design constraint, it is also important to respect a minimum thickness of 1 mm in order to guarantee the object will not break.


Tip

Icon to show that you can ad a support structure to maintain stability

Add a support structure to maintain stability. For example, if you are modelling a bust of a person, you can attach thin aspects of the design like the ears in more places around the model’s head. Doing that will avoid cantilevered and easily breakable elements in the final print.


With a 0.8 wall thickness, your design will be slightly flexible. To obtain more rigidity, we advise a 2mm wall thickness.


Good to know


Thin walls supporting large, heavy Nylon PA11/12 (plastic) models can warp under the weight of itself.

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 click on “Verification” tab.

It is also important to keep in mind that the object is to be printed into real life. Thus if a thin aspect is supporting something that is too heavy for it, it may break – even though it is possible within the physics provided by your 3D modeling software. We recommend adding a bit of thickness to the places that will get a lot of handling, or that support the most weight.


Do not forget

Icon to keep in mind that solidity check tool don't detect physical aberrations

Keep in mind that our solidity check tool does not detect physical aberrations such as floating parts, unstable position, parts supporting too much weight relative to their thickness, etc. Particular care must be given to the geometry of your design and the most stressed parts must be thickened.


Minimum size of details0.3 mm
Minimum height and width detailsEmbossed : 0.4 mm 
Engraved : 0.5 mm
Minimum height and width for a readable text0.5mm
Enlargement ratio1/1


Diagram to show the etching and embossing depths

A detail’s minimum precision is mainly determined by the resolution of our 3D 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.

It’s possible that particularly fine embossings and engravings will not be visible, as the carving could get filled with excess powder that is later unable to be cleaned out. If an embossing or engraving is an essential part of your design we recommend making them as deep as possible. To ens

Enclosed parts ?Yes
Interlocking parts ?Yes


PA details

Our Nylon PA12 (plastic) material has the ability to print the most complex designs of our materials thanks to Selective Laser Sintering technology. An example of a complex design is a volume enclosed within another volume, like a chain or maraca. Our printers have the ability to print a fully interlocked chain, with no support structures to remove.

Minimum spacing between fixed walls0.5 mm
Minimum clearance between parts0.5 mm


Diagram to show the minimum spacing and clearance need to a 3D print

For a successful 3D print a minimum clearance between objects is required to allow excess 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.


Do not forget

Clearance should be at least 0.5 mm, however that is the minumum for small objects. Larger objects require more space between their parts. This is due to the SLS printing process. Our printer beds are heated during the process, and larger objects are heated for longer periods. A small space between large objects runs the risk of melting together as it remains under heat for a long period of time. In some other cases, holes should be added to allow us to drain for the excess powder material within the clearance.


Assembly ?Yes
Minimum space0.5 mm


PA details

Objects printed in polyamide 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.

Hollowing ?Yes


Diagram to optimize the hollowing

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 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


Icon to show that you can't print a 3D file containing several objects

It is not possible to 3D print a 3D file containing several objects with our 3D plastic printers.

Mechanical PropertiesConditionsUnitValue
Density of laser-sintered partEOS-Methodg/cm3min. 0.90 / max. 0.95
Tensile ModulusDIN EN ISO 527N/mm21700 ± 150
Tensile strengthDIN EN ISO 527N/mm245 ± 3
Elongation at breakDIN EN ISO 527%20 ± 5
Melting pointDIN 53736°Cmin. 172 / max. 180

Ready to 3D print with Nylon PA12?

With Sculpteo’s online 3D printing service you’re just a few clicks away from professional Nylon PA12 3D printing. Your 3D model is printed with the highest quality and delivered straight to your door. 

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