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Printing with nylon (Dockwell)

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:49 am
by mikej_w
IMG_1341.JPG
nylon sample print 0.1mm height
I have just printed my first articles using Dockwell 3D Printer NYLON Filament (Solid Natural). Felix 2.0, with updated hotend.

Thought I would share what I learned:

Nylon needs higher temps than PLA. It produces much stronger prints. The big downside is that you will need to dry it before you can use it. I put it in a toaster oven at 175 deg F for 20 hours, and that worked well. Before I dried it, the filament sputtered a lot, was stringy, and much more opaque.

Some people have complained about odors with their nylon prints, but the Dockwell that I bought (from Walmart, online) was odor free (after I dried it).

- hotend temp at 230c, 245c seems too hot, getting some burning

- If the edges curl, a lot of other things go wrong, it will smear on the hotend, burn, and then end up in the print.

- Best I have found for keeping the edges from curling is to print a brim, and use clear elmers school glue (PVA), ON Blue tape, with the table heated to 45 degC (just to dry the glue). PVA glue on glass peels up, and from what I read, PVA and Garolite are the "best" methods. But the blue tape makes a big difference, because the PVA sticks to it better than it sticks to glass. The tape comes up with the print, and then you have to wash the print in warm water to get the PVA & tape off. Not a big deal though.

- Print speed needs to be really slow compared to PLA. 30mm/sec or so. I need to explore this more...

- Retract about 3mm. The filament has a tendency to drip. I also home the printer just before printing, then prime the hotend, then start the print so that it can't drip.

My first print is a test print from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1019228, which is a torture test. It shows problems that will show up in any filament I have tried so far, PLA doesn't look that much better. In this print, the edges were still curling too much, and that made it stringy as it picked up the edges and drug them around the rest of the print.

Overall, I'm impressed. Considering this is only my first print with Felix + Nylon, I think that with a little more work, printing with this filament is going to be a real success.
Look around, Nylon is very strong, and flexible - hinges are really possible. I am going to try some gears next.