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Successful Prints and Nylon Is Tough

July 2, 2014

Yay finally!  I swapped out the cheapo PLA I got from Amazon for the good stuff from Matterhackers.  Working great!

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For more nerdy fun here’s video of it working…

OK so with PLA mastered I was ready to tackle my dream… a cooler latch with a living hinge!  This has become my “white whale” project.

Many many many test prints later I can say with authority… Nylon is really difficult to print with.  I’ve tweaked my printer and filament profiles every which way but what I get is more like a water filter than solid plastic.  The flexibility is there (essential for a living hinge) but the rest of the piece is nowhere near usable.

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My first attempt. Interesting but non-functional

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After that I printed many many test pieces. Bad de-lamination and rough top surfaces. Top left is an attempt to “bridge”, standard in test pieces. See all the stringy bits? Not good.

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I redesigned it to be solid, thinking that would make those parts more robust. No dice.

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The living hinge part works great! Unfortunately the rest of it is super flexible too.

For now I’m giving up on Nylon… I’ll come back to it.  Thinking about taking advantage of the dual nozzles to print PLA for hard bits and Nylon for flexible bits, all in one part.

In the meantime, time to learn my way around ABS.  My friend Stuart needs a fan shroud for his mini server in a closet, perfect candidate for that material.  Also Greg wants me to print some accessories for the Gumby’s that run his model trains.

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