Stratasys launches carbon fiber-­filled nylon 3D printing material

The FDM Nylon 12CF with high stiffness­-to-­weight ratio is capable of replacing metal components in a range of prototyping, tooling and end­-use applications.

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Stratasys Inc. (Minneapolis, Minn.) has launched its FDM Nylon 12CF, a carbon fiber-filled thermoplastic, which is the first high-performance composite material to replace a range of metal applications available for Stratasys FDM technology. The FDM Nylon 12CF is ideal for rapid prototyping, strong, lightweight tooling and end-use parts.

Containing 35% chopped carbon fiber by weight, FDM Nylon 12CF reportedly offers the best stiffness-to-weight ratio among Stratasys FDM thermoplastics, meeting functional performance testing demands in automotive, aerospace, recreational goods and industrial manufacturing sectors.

“The excellent strength and stiffness-to-weight ratio of the FDM Nylon 12CF material is a game changer for us. It means we can prototype almost every part of our product on Stratasys FDM 3D printers in under two weeks, where in the past it could take us over two months,” says Ashley Guy, president and CEO of Utah Trikes.

“I no longer have to constrain my designs because of prototyping limitations. Now I can focus on designing better, more functional parts without worrying about how to shape the aluminum or how to lay up carbon fiber onto the molds. Stratasys FDM Nylon 12CF parts can be 3D-printed faster, with superior stiffness-to-weight performance and with better repeatability than any other 3D printing technology or vendor we’ve seen,” says Guy.

“We believe that the impressive strength-to-weight ratio of the FDM Nylon 12CF is transformative for many industries from consumer goods and recreational goods to automotive and aerospace,” says Zehavit Reisin, vice president, head of rapid prototyping for Stratasys. “It enables designers to develop more practical and functional designs and get them to market faster, without worrying about how to prototype those parts using metal or molding.”

Expected to begin shipping in Q2 2017, FDM Nylon 12CF is available for the Stratasys Fortus 450mc production 3D printer and is compatible with soluble support SR-110. It requires an updated version of Insight software and a hardware upgrade. The material can produce parts in a layer thickness of 0.010 in (0.254 mm).