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Nylon has three remarkable strengths. First, it has high impact resistance. It can stand impacts from situation like it was dropped or when parts are constantly banging together. Second is that it is resistant to abrasion. Nylon is an ideal material for when it is used in applications with moving parts because its low reaction to friction. And lastly, nylon is very flexible especially when produced in thinner geometries. It can be twisted and flexed repeatedly without fracturing or breaking the material.
Along with its advantages, using Nylon also has its disadvantages. It is not suitable to be used for heightened temperature applications. Once it breaks, it will have sharp edges. Lastly, it is colorless (white or black for SLS and black or gray for MJF).
HP PA 12 is very ideal to be used in producing prototypes and functional parts.
HP PA 11 on the other hand is more ductile and has higher resistance to impact than the PA 12. Because of these properties, PA 11 is best to be used in parts with movable and flexible features such as living hinges and snap fits. HP Glass-filled nylon has improved thermal stability. Since it contains glass beads, it can produce parts with higher stiffness than that of standard PA 12.
The very first product that was made from nylon were toothbrush bristles. It was almost exactly one year after it was patented on February 16, 1937 by Wallace Carothers. Soon after its first appearance in the market, it started being used in food packaging, car engines. clothing, fishing line, and in 3D printing.