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Material Spotlight // Nylon 12CF FAQ

Nylon 12CF on FDM-based Stratasys equipment is a carbon-filled thermoplastic with excellent structural characteristics. The material is comprised of a blend of Nylon 12 resin and chopped carbon fiber, at a loading of 35 percent by weight. This combination produces one of the strongest thermoplastics in the FDM material portfolio—it has the highest flexural strength of any FDM thermoplastic, resulting in the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio. Nylon 12CF is available on Fortus 450mc 3D Production Systems and is compatible with SR-110 support material.

Appropriate uses include strong but lightweight tooling applications and functional prototypes in aerospace, automotive, industrial, and recreational manufacturing. May also meet production part needs for low-volume, high-value applications.

In this featured blog post, Applications Engineer Kaitlyn Bailey at FATHOM discusses the new material and which customer bases use it most, highlighting specific material characteristics that make the durable material stand out // View Data Sheet for Nylon 12CF


How much carbon fiber is in Nylon 12CF?

Nylon 12CF uses a chopped fiber averaging around 150 microns in length, filled at 35 percent by weight with the Nylon 12 resin.

How is the surface quality of Nylon 12CF compared to Nylon 12?

It depends on the geometry—the material can be very nice in Z, but very rough in XY due to carbon fibers in the resin. This is a material for functional testing and use, not necessarily for aesthetics.

3D Printing Nylon 12CFWhat are some particularly notable properties regarding ESD?

Nylon 12CF has ESD properties. The surface and volume resistivity is better than ABS-ESD7—almost conductive, but not quite.

  • Resistivity, Surface (ohms) 3.3×10^6 to 6.9×10^7
  • Resistivity, Volume (ohms) 5.4×10^6 to 3.9×10^7

What industries do you see using this material most?

I can see automotive, aerospace, and sporting goods companies using Nylon 12CF extensively for rapid prototyping and low-volume production. They can focus more on fast, iterative design and prototyping, instead of worrying about how to create prototypes with traditional methods. Additionally, I can see many companies using Nylon 12CF for tooling and jigs/fixtures applications. Due to the strength and stiffness of Nylon 12CF, the material can be used to replace metal, with the major added benefit of being more lightweight. The weight reduction will lessen the strain on operators and robots when using fixtures and tooling made with Nylon 12CF.

Utah Trikes Nylon 12CFWhat should I expect for cost and lead-time for Nylon 12CF?

The price point of Nylon 12CF generally lands between Nylon12 and the ULTEM materials. Lead-time is 4 to 6 business days. Nylon 12CF currently only runs on the Fortus 450mc, which FATHOM has in-house. At FATHOM, we’ve already had considerable interest in the material—we have run a number of builds with success each time and we’re excited to see what our customers do with it.

Is there anything else that piques your interest about Nylon 12CF?

One thing to note is that the material is anisotropic. The strength gains are made in the XY plane due to carbon fibers being oriented along the extrusion direction. There are no major gains in the Z direction for strength when compared to Nylon 12. Designers should keep this in mind when thinking about print orientation.

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Image Credits Include Utah Trikes, All3DP, Stratasys
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