I used my Solidoodle 2, which took three months to get in the mail, 1.5 months longer than was quoted, to print with nylon today and wanted to report on my experience. Fist off, the nylon wouldn’t stick to my print bed. So I clipped paper to the print bed and printed on that. Seemed to stick fine but then kind of warped a lot later in the print and half way came off of the print bed.
Ventilation. Print with ventilation today and live to print with ventilation another day. Some websites, and here,claim that within proper temperatures that nylon and ABS is safe. However, when I first received my 3d printer, I printed without ventilation in ABS and had a mighty sore throat and head ache. At home it’s hard for us to know exactly what temperature we’re printing at so to be safe, let’s just assume nylon can emit toxic fumes. I used a duct with a computer fan as well as a large room fan pointed at the window for ventilation and I still wish I had more ventilation. I didn’t smell any fumes but I don’t want to risk it. In the future I plan to put my Solidoodle in a case and have the duct go completely outside. I could see some smoke come up through the vent which brings me to my next point. I printed at 190 Celsius. I’ve heard rumors that Solidoodle understates it’s temperature and that this is closer to 220 Celsius on other machines. My thermocouple read 180 Celsius but then again, half of it was exposed to the air so I’m not sure how accurate that is as well.
As for the print, I heard that nylon is softer than both PLA and ABS, which I can verify it is. It’s not quite elastic like a rubber band, but it does give. I printed my one way valve with a flap. The flap blocks air in one direction and opens when blown in the opposite direction. A soft plastic makes a better seal, thus this is a perfect test item for my nylon filament. You can download and print it here. The nylon had some oozing which made the flap stick to the wall. I had to cut this away with a knife. But once I did, the valve worked like a charm, blocking 80-90% of the fluid flow in the reverse direction. I can’t wait to try this print out on elastic ABS and soft PLA!