How does polycarbonate compare to nylon?

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Spikeysonic
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:07 am

How does polycarbonate compare to nylon?

Postby Spikeysonic » Mon May 15, 2017 11:50 am

How does polycarbonate compare to nylon? in terms of use, reliability, jamming problems with moisture in air, flexibility etc etc and any good settings? Ideally the poly pc listed in idea maker

Anubis
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:58 am

Re: How does polycarbonate compare to nylon?

Postby Anubis » Tue May 16, 2017 10:43 pm

They are quite different as far as mechanical properties go.

I print a lot of parts with PC. My experience with nylon is more limited, as it quickly became evident during my tests that it was not what I needed for my application, but I'll try to outline what I found:

PC alloys are stiff and keep their shape very well after printing, like PLA but much stronger. This is good for functional parts, load-bearing frames, and joinery - gears, rugged enclosures, or any parts that are connected to each other with dovetails or other joints will not dent or deform over time. Layer adhesion is good, but for load-bearing parts, attention must still be paid to to aligning the applied force parallel to the printed layers. Yield strength in this direction is very high, and failure generally results in buckling rather than breaking.

As far as printing PC goes, it prints like ABS. It warps slightly less than ABS, but it pulls HARD, so good adhesion is needed and flexible or magnetic buildplates like GeckoTek might need to be clipped down to the bed. It sticks very, very well to BuildTak (BuildTak is PC based).

Nylon filaments perform like you might expect from nylon: it's a bit flexible rather than stiff, and it yields looong before it will break. Joints will deform over time if they are stressed, and it is easy to mar with a metal tool or even with a determined fingernail. This does, however, make it exceptionally durable: mechanical abuse from general wear and tear won't break nylon parts, although repeated flexing beyond its yield point will weaken it. Good for parts which don't necessarily need to retain precise tolerances or where a bit of flexibility is good.

I found printing nylon to be a bit more tricky than PC, as it warps quite a lot and the filament absorbs moisture quickly, causing popping. Someone more experienced with nylon can give better tips than I can.

I don't have a good recommendation for nylon, but for PC I recommend Polymaker's PC-Max. Very good material.

Spikeysonic
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:07 am

Re: How does polycarbonate compare to nylon?

Postby Spikeysonic » Tue May 16, 2017 11:41 pm

What do you mean by pull?

and are you saying I cannot print on buildtak as will never separate and I will wreck my build plate? not its already cracked

Anubis
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:58 am

Re: How does polycarbonate compare to nylon?

Postby Anubis » Wed May 17, 2017 12:59 am

I meant that when it warps, the pull it exerts on the build plate can be strong enough to bend the plate if it is flexible or overcome the adhesive that keeps BuildTak or other build surfaces in place. It's not a big problem, the only cases where I've encountered that is when I printed a really big part on a very flexible build plate such as thin aluminum, or on the very edge of a BuildTak sheet, since the warping plastic will pull the sheet off the bed slightly. The Raise3D stock glass plate is stiff enough and the BuildTak adhesive is strong enough as long as your part isn't printed right on the edge, so it's not an issue if you're using those.

As for the BuildTak, it works very well as a print surface for PC - I use it for my larger PC parts. It does, however, mean you will probably have to set your nozzle height a bit higher than other filaments, because it can indeed stick hard enough to the BuildTak that removing it will damage the sheet. BuildTak (and I) recommends that you calibrate your nozzle height by starting too high at first, and incrementally trying lower heights until you get a good adhesion.
Last edited by Anubis on Wed May 17, 2017 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Spikeysonic
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:07 am

Re: How does polycarbonate compare to nylon?

Postby Spikeysonic » Wed May 17, 2017 1:02 am

can you be specific about the height please as in figures

Anubis
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:58 am

Re: How does polycarbonate compare to nylon?

Postby Anubis » Wed May 17, 2017 1:11 am

With PC-Max on BuildTak, I set with my nozzle about 0.2mm above the bed at the Z home position. But again, I recommend starting your first calibration print a bit higher than that and then lowering it if it doesn't stick well enough. You can probably use a positive Z-offset in the Global tab of the print settings to do this if you don't want to change your nozzle height; this should allow you to keep the calibrated height that you use for other filaments.

Also, I find that printing on a raft is generally a good idea for PC, especially for larger parts. It will spare your BuildTak and help prevent sharp corners from warping. If you use a raft, you might need to change the raft height offset if the raft sticks to the part too well or not well enough.

Spikeysonic
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:07 am

Re: How does polycarbonate compare to nylon?

Postby Spikeysonic » Wed May 17, 2017 8:39 am

any figures for the raft offset? please

Anubis
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:58 am

Re: How does polycarbonate compare to nylon?

Postby Anubis » Wed May 17, 2017 8:33 pm

Spikeysonic wrote:any figures for the raft offset? please

Changing the Z offset is effectively the same as changing the nozzle height. It's just a way to do it with software so you don't change your hardware, since that would also affect how other filaments print. You can try starting at +0.3mm and lowering it in 0.05mm increments until you get good adhesion.


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