AMS Spring 2023

Xometry Offers Four New Nylons from Stratasys for SLS 3D Printing

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Stratasys Direct is now offering four kinds of new nylon material through Xometry’s global marketplace. Xometry customers will be able to order parts made from Nylon 11 EX, Nylon 12 CF, Nylon 12 AF, or Nylon 12 HST.

Xometry is the largest marketplace for custom manufacturing, with over 5,000 partner manufacturing facilities. They make their parts via CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, injection molding, and urethane casting, but one of their most popular services is selective laser sintering. Before the recent partnership, Xometry could offer SLS nylon parts in Nylon 12 and Nylon 12 Glass-filled. Nylon 12 is strong, stiff and has good chemical resistance, and Nylon 12 Glass-filled has the same properties, with a slightly higher stiffness.

Xometry’s comparison of the HDT, flexibility and strain of their different nylon materials (Image via Xometry).

Currently, parts in all four new materials are available on Xometry’s website, along with an explanation of what each of the new materials are good for. Overall, the newer materials exhibit lower strain and higher flexibility (see above image).

Nylon 11 EX is a tough, flexible material made using renewable castor oil. Its flexibility makes it popular in ductwork, thin-walled components, and snap-fit designs. It also meets USP Class VI biocompatibility requirements, meaning it can be used for parts in medical devices.

Nylon 12 HST is filled with mineral fiber to make it stiff, even at high heats. Its stiffness means that it’s good as a load-bearing part, and used in structural parts (like housing and enclosures), fixturing, and aerospace and motorsports.

Nylon 12 AF takes a bright metallic shine from its aluminum-filling, and also has good stiffness and thermal conductivity. It’s useful for fixtures, showcasing models, and rapid tooling.

Parts made of Nylon AF have the look and shine of cast aluminum (Image via Xometry).

Carbon fiber filling makes Nylon 12 CF stiff and low-weight, and also gives it a natural charcoal-grey colour. It’s best in high-temperature, high-performance applications, like sports equipment, wind model testing, rapid tooling and drone parts.

Both Xometry and Stratasys are enthusiastic about the new partnership.

“A key component to improving accessibility and simplifying the sourcing of custom components is partnering with trusted suppliers like Stratasys Direct Manufacturing,” said Xometry CEO Randy Altschuler. “That’s why we’re excited to announce that Stratasys Direct is the exclusive provider of these high-performance SLS materials.”

And Stratasys Americas President Rich Garrity echoes that thought. “We have built up the technical expertise and quality processes needed for the most demanding requirements in the world, which is why the world’s leading energy, aerospace, and automotive companies trust us. Joining Xometry’s marketplace will make high-performance nylon SLS parts more accessible to a broader community of manufacturers worldwide.”

Perhaps what makes this most interesting is the fact that Stratasys is now moving way beyond its core 3D printing offerings of fused deposition modeling and inkjetting. With the acquisitions of Origin and RPS, the company has branched out into SLA. Now, it is offering SLS materials. We also know that it has some research into metal 3D printing. Who will Stratasys acquire next? An SLS company?

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