Not your grandmothers nylons (unless you want to cook those down and use them)


  • Design Lab

    @pierre, good call.

    I read a bit more about it, and it seems like everything around it is manageable. You make a very good point though, that it would be easier to manage on a separate unit rather than trying to include it into the main/multi-purpose printer.

    One of the biggest issues seems to be the fact that nylon is very hygroscopic (will suck water out of the air), but you can get around it by baking it at low temp in the oven, and storing in a sealed container with desiccant until use. I was even thinking of trying to make a hopper that kept the roll in a sealed box with a drying agent, and then just feed it to the printer through a little hole in a replaceable membrane for the print. This way you would only have to cut off a foot or two of filament for every print, and the rest of the roll would be guaranteed to be dry. So ya, this doesn’t make sense to do for anything other than a dedicated printer.

    I know this sounds like a lot of work, and there are other filaments out there, but hear me out!

    The reasons that nylon interests me so much are

    1. it makes extremely strong parts, and printing with it produces no odour (compared with other high strength ABS alternatives, where apparently this can be a sizeable concern).
    2. nylon is a pretty easy synthesis, and I would like to develop a workshop, or series of workshops on the chemistry of polymers. Plastic is everywhere, and the basic chemistry of it isn’t hard to understand, but is barely taught anywhere. Seriously, there wasn’t any courses available in my chem degree that focused on it for more than 1/3rd of one lecture.
    3. if we did synthesize it, then in theory, we could extrude/spool it on the super-duper-plastic-pooper.

    So yeah, none of this is relevant to the filament order for the current thread here I guess, and I will actually just copy and paste this post to its own thread (so please use that if you plan to reply), but I will still crosspost here because, why not? Maybe some etiquette/posting guidelines would help us manage this digital space (much like it would for our physical spaces). But ya, we don’t have it now, so I’ll still post here just to prove a point (and because I’m curious how many people have an intuitive understanding of forum etiquette. In fact, I’ll start a thread for that too, crosspost this in three locations, and see if people can figure out where the appropriate place to respond is. Admittedly, this is a poorly controlled study, and describing it as such here will certainly skew the results.

    Also the length of the post may prevent anyone from reading and responding to it as well, but lets see…


  • Design Lab

    This is a cross-post from here

    Please use this thread to discuss the playing with nylon aspects of the above post, if you feel you have something to share.

    If you would like to discuss the forum etiquette aspects of the post, please do so here





  • If you’re making nylon from raw materials, I’d suggest injection molding your parts. It’ll be a lot easier and faster than trying to get a long enough extrude that is consistent enough to 3d print from. And the resulting part will be much stronger than a 3d print, which means something if you decided to step up from pla to nylon in the first place.

    How about we make a simple kappa-epsilon mold to try on the machine? Two faced aluminium discs, match drilled to bolt together, turn the circular grooves in the face of one, then throw it on the mill, hack out the straight lines. Add features to the other disc to index the ram and feed properly. We can reuse the second disc for any future single sided molds that size.


  • 3D

    @kile I did read to the end and tried the links to places that I am not authorized to go. Is that a test of how a reader responds to a broken link? I briefly thought there was a high security page that I was excluded from but have decided it is just a link to nowhere. ;)


  • Design Lab

    @pierre that sounds awesome!

    I’m thinking in the longterm 3d printing with nylon would be a good protoyyping step to produce the actual part in the material you are looking for before tooling up for production. Maybe I’m off in my estimation of how long it would take to set up an injection molding.

    I’m thinking really big here, and way downstream, but how cool would it be to start with raw materials, and go through the whole prototyping/design process of making something from chemicals, prototyping with that material on the printer, and then actually being able to make it at small production scale.


  • Design Lab

    @Beth, both of the links are good. I put the posting etiquette one in fireside chat, which I would have thought you should have access to. It probably should have gone in the Meta area, but I’m not sure how to change it now.

    I will look into the access thing for fireside, thanks for bringing this up. Don’t worry, the thread is just another copy of the same post, which no one has responded to (and now I’m wondering how many have tried). Thanks!