Ponoko

3D Printed - Durable Plastic

 

Material description

Durable plastic objects are printed from a polyamide (nylon) powder. The color is white and somewhat flexible depending on the size of the geometry. It is porous and has a slightly textured finish that can have powdery residue left over from the printing process.

Orders using this material generally ship in 2-4 weeks. Find out more.

Technology description

Durable plastic objects are made on a 3D Systems Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing machine. This machine uses a laser beam to fuse small particles of plastic together, layer by layer.

A thin layer of fine plastic powder is spread over the bed of the machine. A laser passes over the powder selectively fusing it together based on a cross section of the 3D model.

Once the first layer is complete, the bed lowers and a new layer of powder is spread over the work. The process is repeated until the object/s have been printed. The unsintered powder acts as the support material and once the part is complete it is removed using air.

SLS is often used for durable production parts.

Design tips

The minimum recommended wall thickness for Durable plastic is 1mm and minimum detail size is 0.7mm. However, objects need enough strength to be self-supporting.

For example, large, bulky geometries connected with thin structures (like a character with a big head on a skinny neck) could break in handling (especially in shipping) and should be designed to avoid this. If you have features that extend and converge to a point (eg a cone) they should be at an angle greater than 10 degrees.

Nested objects (objects floating within another object), hinged objects, and interlinking objects like chains work well using this material. A gap of 0.3-0.5mm between objects should be used for them to separate correctly after printing.

Hollow geometry requires a hole to clean out the unsintered powder from the inside.

Tips from other designers

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lou says:

111

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Holly says:

How does Ponoko calculate cubic square cm? Is it based on the volume of material actually used or the volume of it finished dimensions?

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Daniel says:

can be sanded and painted? what types of finishes can be made?

Added almost 4 years ago. ( delete )
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Rich says:

Hi pIXoCBal,

Yes you can sand and paint Durable Plastic. We recommend acrylic modeling paints. As always, it's best to do a test sample first!

I should also clarify here that the overall dimensions of your design DO come into consideration if your file is OVER 19cm³.

Thanks!

Added almost 4 years ago. ( delete )
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Paul says:

Ponoko,
Is it possible fir you to print multiple colors on a plastic surface?

Added over 3 years ago. ( delete )
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Josh says:

Hi there!

It's not possible for us to print multiple colors on plastic at present, but we can on Rainbow Ceramic.

Cheers!

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kiara says:

Is it possible to bend this material with ease?

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Josh says:

I'm afraid it doesn't bend easily - it's more brittle than that.

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Niveen says:

What type of glue would be necessary to join pieces together?

Added over 3 years ago. ( delete )
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Josh says:

Either superglue or Araldite should work. =)

Added over 3 years ago. ( delete )
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John says:

Ponoko,
The description mentions that it is porous. Does this mean that it would not be water tight? (IE if I made a cup design, would it leak water over time?)

Added over 3 years ago. ( delete )
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John says:

Can the material be tapped?

Added over 3 years ago. ( delete )
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Christina says:

Hi, in response to your previous question yes, it is pourous, and therefore not water tight. This material hasn't been officially approved as food safe as far as I know, so a cup isn't recommended. Of course for something like a vase you may be able to varnish it and it might work. I've personally varnished durable plastic pieces with wood varnish and it seemed to soak it in well, but never tried anything that contained liquid.

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Christina says:

In regards to being tapped, I discussed it with other members of the Ponoko team, and as long as the surrounding geometry can handle it then it will probably work out. If you try it we'd love to see you post the results on our forum!

Added over 3 years ago. ( delete )
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Olaf says:

Can I specify the print orientation of my parts when printing in the polyamide material? and is the max print size a full 480mm, or do we need ot allow a bit less for material shrinkage?
Cheers
Olaf

Added over 2 years ago. ( delete )
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Rich says:

Hi Olaf!
At this stage we can't guarantee the orientation of your part, as the production manager often has to wriggle several designs round to nest them all into one build chamber. You do not need to allow for shrinkage :)

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Gavin says:

how much would an object taking up the total volume of 480*80*200 mm be?

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Josh says:

Hi Gavin! The key thing here is that you wouldn't want to print a solid block that size, and if it's not a solid block it's not an easy calculation to make. You really want to put together your model and then price it up on multiple materials. Cheers!

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Craig says:

Do you offer this in black?

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Dan says:

We do not offer any coloring at this point. You can dye it yourself if you wish - http://support.ponoko.com/entries/20066883-RIT-Fabric-Dye-on-Durable-Plastic

Added over 1 year ago. ( delete )
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Lisa says:

How do you need files set up? I'm looking at doing a flat design, but with a depth/ thickness. Can an illustrator (vector) file work, or does it need to be rendered in 3d software like CAD?

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Dan says:

Hey Lisa - If your design is 2D with a consistent depth for all the shapes, you may be able to have your 2D designs laser cut instead of 3D printed. If you want to 3D model the design yourself you can check out our supported 3D software here - http://www.ponoko.com/make-and-sell/design-it-yourself

I hope that helps for starters. If you have any other questions please feel free to send through an email to service [at] ponoko [dot] com. Thanks!

Added 8 days ago. ( delete )

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