Stronger Alternative to ABS and PLA

Stronger Alternative to ABS and PLA

Nylon, a stronger alternative to ABS and PLA printing.

strength durability flexibility 3d printed

The stronger alternative to ABS and PLA printing.  For those who have printed using PLA (Polylactic Acid) relative strength, but mostly known for being the eco-friendliest plastic, however, most brittle. Printing in PLA is the most inexpensive way to go, but the quality matches the price.  Most prints cannot stand over 100 degrees and often during the printing process, PLA material is more likely to have inconsistencies due to its inability to withstand certain temperatures.

Printing in ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – thermoplastic) is very popular for injection molding and making simple parts such as Legos, various household items, small models of engines, or sports equipment. ABS are a stronger filament, less brittle and more heat resistance than PLA, but often doesn’t produce long-lasting, durable functional parts.

The thing with printing in Nylon as opposed to ABS and PLA, is that depending on the number of layers added, nylon is flexible when thin and durable when reinforced. Nylon is more heat tolerant and versatile when it comes to printing fully functional parts; like gears, hinges, unique parts or movable parts.

One of the best machines that prints in Nylon is Markforged 3D printer. By reinforcing the prints with Kevlar, carbon fiber or fiberglass, the print will last even longer and the Markforged printers makes the printing process easy and safe for all users.

The stronger alternative to ABS and PLA printing is Nylon, depending on the type of print/part needed, nylon is longer-lasting, durable, inexpensive and versatile. ABS and PLA are weaker materials that have a tendency to warp during printing. Warping happens during the printing process when the material starts to shrink because of the heat and the size of the part. To prevent that, most printers will allow “rafts” or “supports” that help hold the piece down, but if the part sticks too well to the raft then splitting might occur. Whereas with nylon, it’s overall a stronger material that can withstand heat and by applying a thin layer of Elmer’s glue to the top of the print bed can help prevent warping without additional supports or rafts needed.

Difference between PLA, ABS and Nylon is the quality of the printed part and its durability during the printing process, that prevents from damages such as warping or splitting. Nylon is unmatched compared to PLA and ABS, because of its versatility for functional moving or even assembled parts that doesn’t compromise the surface finish for ready to use parts. For easy printed parts with better strength, consider nylon.


References:  16 Common Printing Problems

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