Using Nylon 12CF for Innovative 3D Printing
Stratasys recently launched a material in its new family of nylon, Nylon 12CF. This innovative new 3D printing nylon has a very high stiffness-to-weight ratio, and its potential applications are generating plenty of buzz in the 3D printing community. Here’s everything you need to know about Nylon 12CF.
What is Nylon 12CF?
According to a Stratasys announcement, Nylon 12CF is a carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastic, containing 35 percent chopped carbon-fiber by weight. Nylon has the highest impact strength of any FDM thermoplastic, capable of producing tough parts with superior fatigue and chemical resistance.
Nylon 12CF is expected to begin shipping in Q2 2017, and is available for the Stratasys Fortus 450mc Production 3D Printer. It requires both a hardware upgrade and an updated version of Insight software.
Nylon 12CF can produce parts in a layer thickness of 0.010 in (0.254 mm). For mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties, see our materials page.
Applications of Nylon 12CF
According to Stratasys, Nylon 12CF’s high stiffness-to-weight ratio enables it to replace more typical tooling materials like aluminum. The reinforcement of nylon with carbon-fiber creates a rigid, wear-resistant thermoplastic that can be used in end-of-arm tooling, metal forming, jigs, fixtures, drill guides, and bracketry. Stratasys revealed that Nylon 12CF has useful applications in the aerospace, automotive, consumer, and general manufacturing industries as material for prototypes and tooling.
Design engineers and manufacturing engineers will have a particular interest in this product; as a strong, lightweight material, Nylon 12CF can be used in the production of manufacturing aids, components for functional prototyping, and low-volume production parts. Components and parts can be quickly produced for a weight savings over traditional metal tooling components, without sacrificing their high material stiffness. Nylon 12CF also removes many prototyping limitations by eliminating the need to incorporate metals and molding, which speeds up product development times significantly.
Looking Forward: 3D Printing Nylon
Nylon 12CF’s stiffness-to-weight ratio is a game-changer in the world of 3D printing. Not only will engineers be able to work more quickly and efficiently by eliminating the need for metal tooling components, but industries may find themselves open to new 3D printing opportunities. Companies exploring 3D printing for manufacturing applications, like Ford, may be able to produce more lightweight and cost-effective parts with materials like Nylon 12CF.
Is Nylon 12CF right for you?
To learn if Nylon 12CF is right for you, contact one of the experts at CATI to discuss your needs.