PSA: Nylon is not the printing material you want, contrary to what people say

In short i’ve have been seeing various posts about printed parts and everyone eventually says that Nylon ( or an Nylon alloy ) is what the part should be printed out of for the best performance.

Nylon is Hygroscopic, and will absorb moisture. even after printed and will slowly affect its characteristics and will weaken the overall part.

The real reccomendations should be PETG or any material that is not hygroscopic. This means that nylon and PolyCarbonate are inadaquate choices. The best thing to do is DONT try to make it like if it was machined out of metal. design parts that are specifically intended to be printed and keep it in mind.

If you want to print something. consider these materials instead:

Is the part not going to get hot - PLA/PLA+

Is the part going to get hot - ABS/ABS+/PETG

Is the part going to be under stress - PLA+/ABS+/PETG

Do you need dimentional accuracy - PLA/PLA+/PETG

If I had to choose one material - PETG ( if your printer is allmetal, otherwhise PLA+ )

Note: ABS/ASA is quite ductile and suprisingly bendy under stress. keep that in mind if you want to use that material.

Source: Worked with and around industrial printed parts and the people who design them.

EDIT: PLA is also Hygroscopic. at worst it seems like the material will loose 30% of its strength.


PLA is also hygroscopic

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This is music to my ears. I have just got a 3d printer and seem to be managing to get pretty tidy prints out of PTEG.


Thoughts on this data?


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Charts like these don’t have enough info. Usually ductility is missing.

I’ve been trying to figure out properties of filaments too. petg has a good balance unless you need high heat or lots of bridging. Nylon and polycarbonate have good properties but are a pain to work with, almost prohibitively so. Abs is almost not worth considering.

And the more I try, TPU/flex is good for many of our nonmechanical applications. Horrible for motor mounts but might be great for risers, cable brackets, mounts for lights, bumpers, maybe even panel mounts.

Completely forgot about pla being Hygroscopic. will edit it in.

Why would you say that ABS is not worth considering? I always get almost perfect prints with ABS and they hold up really well

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I’m still learning but abs seems to shrink/warp a lot so not as good for dimensionally correct parts. High temp tolerance is just a bit more than petg, and strength of printed parts don’t seem much better than pla, and overall seems not as strong as petg.

And abs smells bad when printing :slight_smile:

Oh I forgot, abs I believe has better UV resistance than pla or petg so will hold up better outdoors.


Ah okay I see where you are coming from. I would agree that it is a bit harder to get dialed in, but once you’ve got the settings finished, I got warp free prints and it was one of my favorite materials to print in.

And yes abs is way better for outdoors cuz it’s not hygroscopic. Would be bad for my enclosures to fall apart because of water haha

Hi, maybe not the write place but, I post this on esk8-fr neighbour fourm :

Did somebody already test that method ?!

I wrote with taulman3d about water resistance of Alloy 910, the Polycarbonate - Nylon blend and described my usecase as exposed to heavy dirt, mud and water. They told me the material will be fine as long as I don’t fully submerge it for extended periods of time. Take it how you want, I didn’t find any soft spots or stuff on my gears after 6 weeks of using them in rainy/snowy conditions.


Now that’s a useful thread! Note that nylon and PETG has their own advantages but clearly for e skate parts PETG is the best. Cost effective and strong, stiffer and easier to print.

When comparing both I got stronger part out of PETG. I was using Taulman Bridge BTW.

Another material which needs to be known is HIPS filament, it is not hygrophobic, and is super accurate to print and resistant. It resists heat too.


Is this just theoretics? or have you tried nylon to say this? I’m asking since I’m printing Nylon pulleys since 13-14 months, they are in all my builds and I live in a very soaked area in Italy, and they all still be like new as the first days.

Moisture, hot, rocks, seem not to be a problem.

I think a lot of people avoid nylon just because is hard to print , I would never say it’s not one of the best materials, since it is, for our applications


I always thought about testing this but was put off by the deformation. iirc tom said about 2-3% shrinkage in z and 5% extension in x and y direction (might have been the other way around). When printing gears that are exactly planned to go along with motor mounts i don’t want either one of these to have different dimensions than what i planned and i don’t think you could exactly plan those deformations ahead.

@Vanarian how hard is it to print this? I heard it’s harder than ABS which is way out of my comfort zone already.

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I’m for sure all the plastics listed here are hygroscopic to some degree. That being said ABS, Nylon, PLA, or PETG are fine depending on where it is used.

You can print it starting around 220 degrees C but 230-240 might be the sweet spot.

If you have a heated bed it is better :+1: if you can print ABS I see no reason why you couldn’t print HIPS (and it doesn’t retract BTW)

I can say, without a doubt, Nylon will outlast petg and abs in any pulley or hub application. Nylon also will not crack or shatter when impacted by rocks or flexed too far. Glass filled nylon pulleys are more durable than aluminum and steel pulleys. We’ve tried, PLA, PETG, ABS and Nylon. Whether it is hydoscopic or not. Nylon is more durable.


Funny we got inverted results.

If you can print it properly sure nylon is strong, elasticity and low friction are a must (if you don’t need stiffness). But when it fails it shreds. Being able to cast it instead would tremendously improve parts structure though (no more layers shredding).

Best settings I got with Nylon were 240 nozzle, 85 bed for three first layers then cooled down bed (else it warped the base), no fan on nozzle.

I didn’t try rock impacts, instead I went for good ol’ hammer experiments and also bolting through on both, I found PETG more durable upon smashing attempts. Layers simply melt together during print, it holds itself until breaking but no “layer splitting”. Impacts remain on surface, internal structure doesn’t get damaged unless hit is strong enough to crack through.

Nylon has this nice rebound against hits and until a certain point, can extend and come back. But layers shreds too easily losing the benefit of the elasticity.

Since I don’t have a more performant printer I wouldn’t go back to nylon, too much restrictions plus steep price (super expensive compared to PETG or HIPS). And again I need stiff parts over elastic parts, this might not be the case for pulleys (people should experiment both if possible).

Maybe you could share your print settings?

Sounds good, i’ve got a CR10 and it should be able to do that. Just need an enclosure for the damn thing because i don’t want the smelly smells that smell in my room. Also thinking about getting a CETUS Printer for those more exotic filaments.

Speed would also be a huge factor as well as what kind of nylon and petg filament you are using (sorry if i missed it in a post above). I know i’m repeatedly praising Alloy 910 but it is really great. Stiffer than Nylon with even more impact resistance, can print my gears with 50mm/s speeds and with glue and a brim there’s no warping at all at ~30°C to 35°C in my plastic bag enclosure. Bridges the Gap between Nylon and stiffer materials for me. For Motor mounts i’m still using PLA but everything else will be Alloy 910 soon.