Author Topic: right choice of plastic for 3D printed items  (Read 157 times)

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right choice of plastic for 3D printed items
« on: February 02, 2019, 06:03:37 PM »

first some trivia: Currently I'm working on a project for which I need some plastic strips, similar to those in Taco mag pouches but no rip off. After some research I found two options for me. First being injection molding (threw that idea immediatly out of the window after talking to a company and hearing the price) or 3D printing.

For latter I made an account at a company here in Germany to get a quote on prototype production. Now I went to a science school where we learned something about plastics but never to that extend and since then a few years have passed. I was overwhelmed when I saw all the options they offered. With a lot of different possibilities.
They need to be flexible but still durable and UV proof. I heard Polyamide works well for this, but they only offer PA 11 and PA12 and I read, that both have a "glass transition temperature" which could easily be reached in a hot summer day (espacially on deployments to the desert).

Now my question is, has anyone ever made similar items or worked with 3D printed parts for his items? Which plastic should I use? Is the "glass transition temperature" that crucial?


Picture of project:

Picture of the plastics I can choose from
As most of those are acronyms, I save myself the time to edit the picture and just make a short list here:

Silikon - Silicone (who would have thought)
Glassgefüllt - Glass filled
Schwarz - Black
Weiß - White
Transparent - See through
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 06:17:55 PM by Darman »


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Re: right choice of plastic for 3D printed items
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 07:59:07 AM »
I recognize the company that you are using from the material options menu picture!  They do good work.  I have ordered a few of those different materials for prototypes for work.  With 3d printing especially, you need to be concerned with not only the material but the different process that they are printed with.

With out a doubt, I think your best bet is the multi-jet fusion PA12.  It is one of the more durable 3d printed materials I have played with while also still being very flexible.  When HP first released the multijet fusion printer, I was at atrade show and a vendor had printed a large zig zag type spring that would flex an impressive amount.  It is also significantly cheaper than some of the other options.  We have not done much hot testing with the PA12 so I can't completely speak to that but I think it will be similar to most plastics unless you are going to get into a high end engineered resin. 

please let me know if you have any other questions about this, I would be happy to help.  I have a small sample MJF pa12 part that is .100 inches thick.  i will toss it in an oven at 50* C and see how it changes its flexibility.

Edit: I just pulled the piece out of the heat chamber after sitting there for around 4 hours.  It seems a little bit more flexible but not hugely different. 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 10:55:24 AM by 2000xjclassic »