Nylon is one of the most popular materials in the 3d printing industry. It is also known as Polyamide and is usually found in the variants PA 11 and PA 12. Nylon filament offers great toughness and flexibility. Many nylon copolymers also exist which modify the strength and rigidity of the material to meet specific application requirements. The most suitable technology for 3d printing Nylon is SLS. Nylon PA 11 is more flexible while PA 12 provides great mechanical properties making it ideal for functional prototypes.
When polylactic acid (PLA) is annealed under properly controlled conditions, it provides a significantly stiffer and stronger part with increased heat deflection temperatures. Strength is found to increase by up to 40% and stiffness can be shown to increase up to 25%. Parts made from annealed PLA outperform polycarbonate (PC) and SLS nylon PA2200 in XY axis strength. Furthermore, annealed PLA parts have demonstrated heat deflection temperatures of up to 180°C, equal to that of Ultem. This enhanced strength along with a higher glass transition temperature, allows for a much broader set of practical applications.