How to Succeed With NylonX Using Your Pulse XE
Congratulations on your purchase of a Pulse XE! You have the only printer on the market ready to print NylonX out of the box. Now you just need to make sure you're ready to get started and printing strong, functional 3D printed parts. When you want to create a part, prototype, or final product, NylonX is an excellent choice thanks to the strength of carbon fiber and the durability of nylon.
To make sure that you get the best start on your project that you can, we've gone ahead and compiled some of the best practices when 3D printing with NylonX on your Pulse XE.
Printing with NylonX
Be sure to read our "How To Succeed When 3D Printing With NylonX" article to get a better understanding of how NylonX performs and how to best set up your printer to print with it. Since you have a Pulse XE, your printer is already set up to get prints done beautifully, but there are some key features that are required for it:
- Bondtech Extruder with E3D v6 HotEnd - The bondtech extruder means your printer won't slip or underextrude because of its dual drive gears, which isn't required for NylonX but certainly doesn't hurt. The E3D v6 however is required, as it is an all-metal hotend, which means it can reach the higher temperatures that nylon needs to print successfully.
- Filament Runout Sensor - The last thing you want to have happen when printing with any filament is to have your print fail simply because you ran out of filament, and even moreso when it's NylonX.
- Ruby Nozzle - While a hardened steel nozzle would get the job done, the tiny ruby in the tip of your nozzle means that you maintain the heating capabilities of brass and the almost completely wear resistance of the ruby.
- Garolite bed - The woven surface makes it ideal to ensure excellent adhesion of a notoriously warpy material.
- PrintDry - Nylon is one of, if not the most hygroscopic 3D printing materials, which means it will absorb a ton of water from the air. On paper it may only be a small percentage of the spools weight, but that amount is all it takes to completely ruin the properties that are expected for NylonX. The PrintDry will dry out and maintain the temperature of your filament to ensure it never prints wet again.
The NylonX material profile in MatterControl has all the settings you need to print it successfully, from printing temperature to bed temperature. All you need to do is select NylonX and proceed to the next step here.
Printing on Garolite
Before you start printing any big parts, you’ll want to do a couple calibration cubes to optimize your Z offset. Parts can stick so well to garolite that it will actually fuse to it and you’ll need a razor blade to remove the part AND chunks of garolite stuck to the print. We've printed a NylonX Phil on garolite too close and had him fuse to it completely, breaking him apart and leaving just his boots stuck to the bed. Start with a Z offset higher than you might normally use and progressively lower it until the print starts sticking to the bed without warping. It’s better to start too far away than too close for the aforementioned reasons.
You should also use a thin layer of PVA (Elmer's glue stick provided with your Pulse XE) and set the bed temperature to 65°C to ensure optimal adhesion with the garolite print surface.
Printing from the PrintDry
The PrintDry included with your Pulse XE bundled isn't just an add-on, it's a necessary addition to have your NylonX prints come out the best that they can. Nylon is one of the most hygroscopic plastics, let alone 3D printing materials. Even injected molded products made from nylon absorb water, however there's a key difference: the raw nylon is dried first, injected, and then used; nylon for filament is dried, extruded into filament, absorbs water, and is then is printed with. When you print with wet nylon, the water that's been absorbed from the air instantly boils (after all, you're printing at a over twice the boiling point of water) and pops doing two things: creates a small void in your 3D print where the water bubble burst, and on a molecular level breaks down the chains that make up nylon.
Turning a PrintDry to its max of 80°C and leaving your NylonX spool in it for 32 hours will completely dry out your spool. We've tested with a brand new spool that we left submerged in water for a week and we were able to evaporate ever gram of water that it had absorbed. After you've left your NylonX in the PrintDry you can simply take the end of the filament, pass it through the port in the side of the wall, and directly into your extruder, preventing your filament from absorbing more water while you're 3D printing.
Now that you have a full understanding of just what makes the Pulse XE ready to print NylonX and how to use these features, printing with this advanced material will be a breeze. Whether you're printing small brackets or large jigs and fixtures, being able to print NylonX immensely expands your 3D printing capabilities.
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