What is Nylon PA12?

Nylon or polyamide (PA) is one of the most popular materials in 3D printing in the field of engineering and one of the best currently for 3D printing. It is a superior category service and is used to replace functional injection molded parts with very good chemical and thermal resistance.

It is a surprisingly versatile compound, as well as strong and slightly flexible. It has the ability to withstand small degree impacts and pressure while bending. Its excellent mechanical properties make it possible to increase or decrease the flexibility of the part depending on the wall thickness applied in the design. The surface finish has a gritty and granular appearance.

It is primarily designed to be used in fully functional applications and is exceptionally strong even when temperatures drop below freezing. It is characterized by being a super strong material, very rigid, with great resistance to cracking and excellent long-term behavior.

The low absorption of water and humidity allows a biocompatibility in this material, which we can see frequently in medical applications or in connection elements such as gears or hinges.

At Imprimakers we offer custom 3D printing in Nylon PA12.

Features of PA12 Nylon parts

Very high temperature resistant
No printing limitations
Resistant to impacts and chemical attacks
Less economical than FDM or SLA
Porous surface finish
Very resistant to humidity

Available colours


Technology used

Laser sintering, or SLS, is a process that uses a laser as a power source to sinter powder material, automatically pointing the laser at points in space defined by a 3D model and bonding the material to create a solid structure.

First, the powder material is dispersed in a thin layer on a platform within the build chamber. The 3D printer preheats the powder to a temperature just below the melting point of the raw material. This makes it easier for the laser beam to raise the temperature of specific regions of the powder surface while tracing the pattern to solidify a part. The laser scans a cross section of the 3D model, heating the powder just below or just at the melting point of the material. This fuses the particles together mechanically to create a solid part. Unmelted powder supports the part during printing and eliminates the need for dedicated support structures.

We normally use layers between 50 and 200 microns and this process is repeated for each layer until the parts are complete and the finished parts are gradually allowed to cool inside the printer. Once the parts have cooled down, the operator removes the build chamber from the printer and transfers it to a cleaning station, separating the printed parts and cleaning off excess dust.

Examples of this material

Properties table

Density 1,00 g/cm^3 ASTM D792
Softening temperature 180 ºC 0,45 MPa / ASTM D648
Elongation at break 14% ASTM D638
Flex module 1387 MPa ASTM D790
Tension force 43 MPa ASTM D638