While we have previous reported on elastic materials for 3D printing, the limitations on available mediums is notable. An announcement out of the Euromold conference has many in the industry excited as a step forward in printable nylon was announced.
At the conference Stratasys announced what they are calling FDM Nylon 12 which they say is more flexible than the nylon currently used by 3D printers. According to their announcement, the new nylon material “offers up to five times greater resistance to breaking and better impact strength compared to even the strongest FDM materials.”
What has people excited is if this material meets the specifications in Stratasys’s announcement it will increase the types of items that can be printed. While ridged or semi-ridged materials work for some end-products, there are many that require the part or item being printed to have some “give” to them. Items that need to be vibration resistant as well as some parts needed for medical devices will benefit from a truly flexible material.
The company says that the new Nylon 12 material will offer 100 to 300 percent better elongation or stretching then current forms of printable nylon. This increased resistance to elongations has the benefit of higher break and fatigue resistance as well as very high impact strength.
The new material is set to be available in a black for the Fortus 900mc, 400mc and the 360mc production systems. You can get more information on the product here.