3D Printing Nylon: How to Print

1. Introduction

Welcome to the world of 3D printing with nylon! If you’re diving into the realm of 3D printing, you might have encountered various materials to use, but nylon stands out for several reasons. As a durable, flexible, and heat-resistant option, nylon offers unique benefits for both hobbyists and professionals. In this guide, I’ll take you through everything from choosing the right equipment to troubleshooting common issues, making your journey into nylon 3D printing as smooth as possible.

2. Benefits of Using Nylon for 3D Printing

Nylon is renowned for its strength and flexibility, which makes it ideal for printing parts that require high tensile strength and good shock absorption. It’s a go-to material for functional parts like gears, hinges, or protective components. Furthermore, its heat resistance is superior compared to more common filaments like PLA or ABS, standing up well under temperatures that would typically warp other plastics.

3. Getting Started with Nylon 3D Printing

When you decide to venture into the world of 3D printing nylon, there are several essential steps and considerations to ensure your success. Nylon is a versatile but challenging material to work with, offering superb results for those who understand how to optimize its properties. Here’s how to get started:

Essential Equipment for 3D Printing with Nylon

To successfully print with nylon, the first step is to equip yourself with the right hardware. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Heated Print Bed: Nylon contracts and expands significantly due to temperature changes. A heated print bed is crucial to control the cooling process and prevent warping of your prints. The bed temperature should ideally be maintained between 70°C to 100°C.
  • High-Temperature Capable Extruder: Nylon requires higher temperatures to melt than many other filaments. Ensure your extruder can consistently operate at temperatures around 250°C to 270°C without any risk of degradation, especially of any plastic components.
  • Enclosure: Although not strictly necessary, having an enclosure helps maintain a stable temperature around your print, further reducing warping and improving print quality. This is especially important in cooler or drafty environments.

Choosing the Right Nylon Filament

Selecting the appropriate filament is critical to achieving the best results in 3D printing. When it comes to 3D printing nylon, consider these factors:

  • Diameter and Compatibility: Ensure the filament diameter matches your printer’s specifications—common sizes are 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm. It’s crucial that the filament feeds smoothly into your extruder without causing jams.
  • Color and Transparency: Nylon filaments come in various colors and levels of transparency, which can affect the appearance of your finished product. Choose a color based on the desired aesthetic of your print.
  • Additives: Some nylon filaments are mixed with additives like glass fibers or carbon fibers to enhance certain properties:
    • Glass Fiber Reinforced Nylon: Increases stiffness and dimensional stability, useful for structural parts that require rigidity.
    • Carbon Fiber Reinforced Nylon: Offers increased strength, stiffness, and lower weight, ideal for functional parts subjected to high mechanical loads.

OVERTURE Nylon Filament

The OVERTURE Nylon Filament is praised for its robust performance and user-friendly features, making it a solid choice for both novice and experienced 3D printers.


  • Odorless & Zero Warping: The filament is engineered to minimize odor and warping, which enhances the printing experience and results.
  • High Stability and Durability: Made from a copolymer of Nylon 6 and Nylon 6.6, it offers excellent strength and toughness, ideal for parts requiring durability.
  • Dimensional Accuracy: With a precision of +/- 0.02 mm, it ensures high-quality prints and consistency across projects.
  • Humanized Design: Features such as a grid layout on the spool and multiple filament clip holes make handling and storage more convenient.
  • Lifetime Guarantee: OVERTURE backs their filament with a risk-free lifetime guarantee, providing added confidence for users.


  • Stringing Issues: Some users report problems with stringing, although this can often be mitigated with proper printer settings.
  • PVA Glue Requirement: For optimal adhesion, the use of PVA glue is recommended, adding an extra step to the printing process.

Polymaker PA6-GF Nylon Filament

Polymaker’s PA6-GF Nylon Filament is another strong contender, known for its stiffness and heat resistance, suitable for more demanding 3D printing applications.


  • Stiff & Strong: The glass fiber reinforcement in the filament offers exceptional stiffness and strength, which is excellent for high-performance parts.
  • Heat Resistant: Exhibits great thermal properties, suitable for applications that undergo higher temperatures.
  • Tangle-Free & Resealable Packaging: Ensures that the filament is protected against moisture and is easy to handle without tangling.
  • Wide Application Range: Ideal for parts requiring high torsional, tensile, and impact strength, such as industrial components or recreational equipment.
  • Technical Support: Comes with lifetime technical support and a risk-free refund policy, which underscores their commitment to customer satisfaction.


  • Abrasive Wear on Nozzle: The glass fibers can accelerate nozzle wear, necessitating an abrasion-resistant nozzle.
  • Special Handling Required: Due to its stiffness, proper setup and handling are crucial to avoid issues during printing.
  • Higher Printing Temperature: Requires higher nozzle temperatures (280-300˚C), which might be challenging for some entry-level printers.

Preparing Your Filament

Nylon is particularly sensitive to moisture and can absorb water from the air, which can compromise the quality of your prints. Here’s how to prepare your filament:

  • Drying: Always dry your nylon filament before use, even if it’s new. A filament dryer or a conventional oven set to a low temperature (around 70°C) for 4 to 6 hours can effectively remove moisture.
  • Storage: Store nylon filament in a sealed container with desiccants to keep it dry between uses. Moisture absorbers will help maintain the filament’s condition over time.

4. Preparing Your Printer for Nylon

To achieve the best results in 3D printing nylon, preparing your printer is just as important as selecting the right filament. Due to the unique properties of nylon, such as its high melting point and sensitivity to environmental conditions, certain modifications and environmental controls are essential to ensure optimal print quality. Here’s a detailed guide to setting up your printer:

Printer Modifications for Nylon Printing

Nylon’s requirement for high extrusion temperatures means that standard printer setups might not be sufficient. Here are the modifications you might need to make:

  • Upgrade to an All-Metal Hot End: Standard printers often come with PTFE-lined hot ends, which are limited to lower temperatures. PTFE can begin to degrade if exposed to the temperatures required to melt nylon (typically above 250°C). Upgrading to an all-metal hot end allows your printer to reach higher temperatures safely and reliably, which is crucial for 3D printing nylon.
  • Install a Printer Enclosure: Nylon prints best in a stable and controlled environment. Installing an enclosure around your printer helps maintain a consistent temperature during the printing process and protects the print from drafts, which could cause rapid cooling and warping. An enclosure also helps in containing any fumes and improving overall safety.

Setting Up the Printer Environment

The environment in which you print with nylon can significantly affect the outcome of your projects. Here’s how to optimize your printing environment:

  • Control Ambient Temperature: The ideal room temperature for printing nylon is around 70°F (21°C). This temperature helps prevent premature cooling and warping of your print. If you are in a cooler environment, the use of a heated enclosure becomes even more important.
  • Eliminate Drafts: Keep your printing area free from drafts, including those from air conditioning, fans, or open windows. Any sudden changes in temperature can affect how nylon layers adhere to each other, increasing the likelihood of warping and other print defects.
  • Humidity Control: Since nylon is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture from the air, maintaining low humidity around your printer can also play a critical role in the quality of your prints. Use a dehumidifier if you are in a particularly humid environment to keep the air around your printer dry.
  • Ventilation: While ensuring that drafts do not directly hit your print area, adequate ventilation is still necessary, especially when the printer is enclosed. This is to ensure that any emitted fumes are safely extracted, maintaining a safe and healthy printing environment.

5. The Printing Process for 3D Printing Nylon

The Printing Process for 3D Printing Nylon

Achieving high-quality results with 3D printing nylon involves more than just setting up your printer correctly; it requires careful attention to the printing process itself. This section provides a detailed step-by-step guide to help you master the printing process with nylon, along with tips on optimizing your print settings for the best outcomes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Printing with Nylon

When you’re ready to start printing with nylon, following these steps can lead to successful results:

  1. Preheat Your Printer: Before loading your nylon filament, it’s crucial to preheat your printer to the correct temperatures. The hot end should typically be heated to around 250°C to 270°C, depending on the specific type of nylon filament. The print bed should be heated to about 70°C to help with first layer adhesion and reduce warping.
  2. Dry Your Nylon Filament: Since nylon is highly hygroscopic, it absorbs moisture from the air, which can significantly affect your print’s quality and strength. Dry the filament thoroughly using a filament dryer or an oven set to a low temperature (below 70°C) for several hours before printing.
  3. Load the Filament: Once your printer is preheated and the filament is dry, load the nylon into your printer. Make sure the filament feeds smoothly into the extruder to prevent any issues during printing.
  4. Begin Printing: Start your print job while closely monitoring the first few layers for any signs of improper adhesion or temperature issues.

Optimizing Print Settings for Nylon

Properly configuring your print settings is crucial for 3D printing nylon. Here are some adjustments you should consider to enhance print quality:

  • Extrusion Multiplier: Slightly increase the extrusion multiplier. This adjustment helps compensate for nylon’s fluid nature when melted and ensures better layer adhesion. Start with a small increment and adjust based on the results.
  • Printing Speed: Lower the printing speed to improve detail accuracy and layer bonding. Nylon prints better when extruded slowly, allowing for precise deposition of the material. Consider reducing your usual printing speed by 10-20%.
  • Temperature Settings: Fine-tune the temperature settings based on the filament brand and your observations. Some nylon filaments may require higher or lower temperatures for optimal results. Observing the extrusion quality during the initial layers can guide your adjustments.
  • Retraction Settings: Nylon is prone to oozing and stringing due to its fluidity when heated. Adjust the retraction settings by increasing the retraction speed and distance. This prevents nylon from dripping out of the nozzle during non-print moves.
  • Cooling Fan Settings: Typically, it’s recommended to reduce or turn off the cooling fan when printing with nylon. Cooling the material too quickly can lead to warping and poor layer adhesion. However, for intricate parts with small layers, a minimal fan speed might be necessary to set the shape correctly.

6. Troubleshooting Common Nylon Printing Issues

3D printing nylon can present various challenges that may affect the quality of your prints. Understanding how to address these issues is key to achieving consistent, high-quality results. Here are some common problems encountered during the printing process with nylon, along with detailed solutions to help you troubleshoot effectively.


Warping occurs when parts of your print lift off the print bed during the printing process, often due to uneven cooling. This can distort the shape and ruin the integrity of your print.

  • Use a Heated Bed: Ensure your print bed is adequately heated. For nylon, maintaining a bed temperature of about 70°C to 80°C is recommended. This helps keep the first layers warm and reduces the risk of warping.
  • Environmental Control: Keep the printing environment stable and warm. An enclosure can significantly help maintain a consistent temperature around your printer, protecting the print from drafts that could cause rapid cooling.
  • Bed Adhesion Techniques: Apply an adhesive to the print bed to improve the first layer’s grip. Options include using a glue stick, hairspray, or a dedicated 3D printing adhesive. Each has its benefits, and your choice might depend on your specific printer model and filament.


Stringing occurs when small strands of nylon are left between different parts of the print, caused by nylon continuing to ooze from the nozzle as it moves across non-print areas.

  • Optimize Retraction Settings: Increase both the retraction speed and distance. This action helps pull the molten nylon back into the nozzle during travel moves, preventing it from oozing out and forming strings. Retraction settings may need to be tested and adjusted based on your specific printer and filament.
  • Adjust Temperature: Sometimes, lowering the nozzle temperature can help reduce stringing, as the nylon will be less fluid. However, be careful not to reduce the temperature too much as it can affect layer adhesion.

Adhesion Problems

First layer adhesion is crucial for a successful print. If the first layer does not stick well to the bed, the entire print can fail.

  • Increase Bed Temperature: If initial layers are not sticking, increasing the bed temperature slightly can help. For nylon, temperatures around 70°C to 80°C are usually effective, but slight adjustments might be needed based on your specific filament and environmental conditions.
  • Use Quality Adhesives: Applying a glue stick or specialized print bed adhesive can greatly improve first layer adhesion. Ensure the adhesive is evenly applied and appropriate for high-temperature printing.
  • Level and Clean the Bed: Regularly check that your print bed is perfectly level. A poorly leveled bed is a common cause of adhesion problems. Also, ensure the bed is clean and free of dust, grease, or leftover adhesive from previous prints.

7. Advanced Tips and Tricks for 3D Printing Nylon

Advanced Tips and Tricks for 3D Printing Nylon

Achieving professional-quality prints with 3D printing nylon requires not only mastering the basics but also adopting some advanced techniques that can further enhance the quality and reliability of your prints. Here are some expert tips and tricks that focus on improving layer adhesion and reducing moisture absorption—two critical aspects of successful nylon printing.

Improving Layer Adhesion

Layer adhesion is crucial for creating strong and durable nylon prints. Poor adhesion can lead to delamination, where layers separate from each other, compromising the structural integrity of the final product.

  • Optimal Bed and Extruder Temperature Settings: First, ensure that your temperature settings are ideal for the specific type of nylon filament you are using. Typically, this means a bed temperature of around 70°C to 80°C and an extruder temperature of 250°C to 270°C. Small adjustments might be necessary depending on your specific printer and filament brand.
  • Use of Adhesives on the Print Bed: Applying a thin layer of glue or a specialized adhesive film can significantly improve the first layer’s grip on the print bed. For example:
    • Glue Sticks: A regular PVA-based glue stick can be an easy and inexpensive solution. Apply a thin, even layer before each print.
    • Adhesive Films: Commercially available adhesive films specifically designed for 3D printing provide a more durable and reusable solution than glue sticks.
  • Adjusting Cooling Fan Settings: Nylon prints better in a warm environment as it helps maintain the temperature gradient between the heated bed and the upper layers, reducing warping and improving adhesion.
    • Decrease Cooling Fan Speed: If your print involves overhangs or small details, some cooling may be necessary, but generally, the fan speed should be significantly lower than for other materials like PLA.

Reducing Moisture Absorption

Nylon’s hygroscopic nature means it readily absorbs moisture from the air, which can severely affect print quality and the mechanical properties of the printed parts.

  • Thorough Drying of Filament: Always dry your nylon filament before use, even if it’s brand new. This can be done using:
    • Commercial Filament Dryers: These devices are designed to safely and effectively dry filament at controlled temperatures.
    • Oven Drying: If you do not have access to a filament dryer, you can use a conventional oven. Set it to a low temperature (below 70°C) and dry the filament for 4 to 6 hours.
  • Proper Storage: Store nylon filament in an airtight container along with desiccants to absorb any moisture. The container should be sealed tightly after each use to prevent moisture from seeping back in.
    • Vacuum Sealed Bags: For long-term storage, vacuum sealing your filament with desiccant packets can provide the best protection against moisture.
  • Monitoring Environmental Humidity: Keep an eye on the humidity levels in your printing environment. Using a dehumidifier can help maintain low humidity levels, especially in areas prone to high moisture content in the air.

8. Post-Processing of Nylon Prints

After successfully printing with nylon, post-processing steps can significantly enhance the appearance and functionality of your prints. Here’s how to handle 3D printing nylon prints once they come off the printer:

Cooling and Removal

Proper cooling is crucial to ensure the structural integrity of your nylon prints:

  • Allow for Slow Cooling: Let the print cool down slowly in the printer or within an enclosure to minimize the risk of thermal shock. This gradual cooling helps prevent warping and stress fractures in larger or more delicate parts.
  • Careful Removal: Once the print has sufficiently cooled, gently remove it from the print bed. If it does not come off easily, use a spatula or a similar tool to carefully pry it off without damaging the print or the bed.

Cleaning and Finishing Techniques

To achieve a professional look for your nylon prints, follow these cleaning and finishing techniques:

  • Removing Strings and Rough Edges: Nylon can sometimes leave strings or rough edges that need cleaning up.
    • Heat Gun: Gently pass a heat gun over the affected areas to remove strings. The heat will slightly melt the nylon strings, making them easy to pull away or blend into the surface.
    • Sanding: Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surfaces. Start with a coarser grit and gradually move to finer grits for a smooth finish.
  • Applying a Finish:
    • Epoxy Resin: For parts that require a glossy and protective finish, consider applying a coat of epoxy resin. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also adds a layer of protection against moisture and mechanical stress.

9. Applications of Nylon in 3D Printing

Nylon’s robust mechanical properties and versatility make it an excellent material for a wide range of applications in 3D printing nylon projects. Its strength, flexibility, and resistance to abrasion and chemicals allow it to be used in environments that are too challenging for other plastics.

Practical Applications

  • Mechanical Components: Due to its durability and strength, nylon is ideal for creating functional parts like gears, hinges, and snaps that require high resistance to wear and tear.
  • Automotive and Aerospace: In these industries, nylon is used to produce lightweight, yet durable parts such as ducts, electrical housings, and protective covers. Its ability to withstand high temperatures and mechanical stress makes it suitable for such demanding applications.

Innovative Uses in Industry

  • Medical Applications: Nylon’s biocompatibility makes it suitable for medical applications. It is increasingly used to print custom-designed prosthetics and orthotics. These applications benefit from nylon’s light weight and the ability to tailor the material to fit the unique needs of individual patients.
  • Custom Solutions: The ability to print complex geometries without the need for molds or tooling allows industries to use nylon for customized solutions that would be too costly or impossible to fabricate using traditional manufacturing methods.

10. Comparing Nylon with Other Filaments

Comparing Nylon with Other Filaments

When venturing into the world of 3D printing, choosing the right filament is crucial to the success of your projects. 3D printing nylon offers unique advantages over other popular filaments like PLA and ABS, making it a preferred choice for specific applications where durability and flexibility are required. Understanding these differences can help you select the best material for your needs.

PLA and ABS Comparison

  • PLA (Polylactic Acid): PLA is one of the most commonly used filaments due to its ease of use and eco-friendly properties. Derived from renewable resources like cornstarch or sugarcane, PLA prints at lower temperatures (around 180°C to 220°C) and does not emit harmful fumes, making it safe for home and classroom use. However, it is relatively brittle and has a low melting point, limiting its use in high-temperature applications or in parts requiring high mechanical strength.
  • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene): ABS is known for its toughness and higher temperature resistance compared to PLA. It requires a higher extrusion temperature (about 210°C to 250°C) and typically a heated bed to prevent warping. ABS is less brittle than PLA and can be post-processed with acetone to achieve a smooth finish. However, it emits fumes that may require ventilation and is not biodegradable.

Advantages of Nylon Over PLA and ABS

3D printing nylon offers several advantages that make it superior in many aspects, particularly for industrial applications or complex mechanical parts:

  • Toughness and Flexibility: Nylon has greater impact resistance and flexibility compared to both PLA and ABS. This makes it ideal for printing parts like gears, hinges, and other functional components that undergo stress and need to absorb impacts without cracking.
  • Thermal Resistance: Nylon can withstand higher temperatures than PLA, and in some cases, ABS, without losing its structural integrity. This makes it suitable for applications in environments exposed to high heat.
  • Chemical Resistance: Nylon is resistant to many chemicals, including hydrocarbons and alkalis, which can degrade materials like PLA and ABS. This property is crucial for parts that might be exposed to harsh chemicals or solvents.
  • Durability: Due to its robustness and resistance to wear and abrasion, nylon is ideal for creating parts that require longevity and durability under tough conditions.

When to Use Nylon Over Other Materials

Choosing when to use nylon over other filaments depends largely on the specific requirements of your project:

  • High-Stress Applications: Opt for nylon when creating parts that need to endure repeated stress and strain. Its ductility and impact resistance make it excellent for protective gear and functional parts in mechanical systems.
  • Thermal and Chemical Resistance: Use nylon for components that will be exposed to high temperatures or harsh chemicals. Its superior thermal and chemical resistance properties make it suitable for automotive parts, machine components, and more.
  • Safety-Critical Parts: The shock-absorbing properties of nylon are perfect for safety-critical applications where failure could cause harm or significant damage.

11. Maintaining Your Equipment for Nylon Printing

Ensuring your 3D printer is properly maintained is critical, especially when frequently using materials like nylon that demand high performance from your equipment. Proper maintenance not only extends the life of your printer but also enhances the quality of your prints.

Regular Maintenance Tips

Regular care and maintenance are essential for keeping your 3D printer in optimal condition. Here are some tips specifically tailored for 3D printing nylon:

  • Keep Your Printer Clean: Dust and debris can accumulate in your printer and affect its performance. Regularly cleaning your printer helps prevent build-up that can clog the extruder and lead to poor print quality.
  • Check and Clean the Extruder: The extruder handles the demanding task of melting and extruding the filament. Nylon, with its high melting point, can leave residues that may block the nozzle over time. Regular cleaning of the extruder and nozzle is essential to prevent jams and ensure smooth filament flow.
  • Inspect and Replace Worn Parts: Components like the nozzle, belts, and bearings can wear out with use, especially under the high-pressure conditions required for nylon printing. Check these parts regularly for signs of wear and replace them as needed to maintain print quality and machine reliability.

Replacing Parts and Upgrading

To handle the specific challenges of 3D printing nylon, you might need to consider upgrading some parts of your printer:

  • Upgrade to a High-Temperature Hot End: If you’re printing with high-temperature nylons, upgrading to an all-metal hot end can allow your printer to reach the higher temperatures needed without risking damage to standard components.
  • Stronger Drive Gears: Nylon can be abrasive, and its tough nature may wear down standard drive gears. Upgrading to hardened steel drive gears can help you avoid frequent replacements and ensure consistent filament feeding.

12. Safety Tips While Working with Nylon

Printing with nylon requires certain precautions to ensure not just the quality of your prints but also your safety and health.

Handling the Material

Proper handling of nylon filament is crucial to prevent contamination and ensure high-quality prints:

  • Use Clean Hands or Gloves: Always handle nylon filament with clean hands or wear gloves. Oils from your skin can transfer to the filament, affecting how it melts and adheres during printing.
  • Cutting and Trimming: When cutting or trimming nylon filament, use sharp, clean tools to avoid fraying the ends, which could lead to poor feed and extrusion issues.

Environmental Considerations

The environment in which you print with nylon can affect both your health and the outcome of your prints:

  • Ensure Proper Ventilation: Nylon can emit fumes when heated, particularly at the high temperatures required for printing. While not as toxic as ABS fumes, they can still be unpleasant and potentially harmful over long periods. Always use your printer in a well-ventilated area to minimize inhalation of these fumes.
  • Temperature Control: Maintain a stable room temperature to prevent fluctuations that could affect print quality. An enclosed printer or a room with controlled temperature can help achieve this stability.

13. Future of Nylon in 3D Printing

The future looks promising for nylon in 3D printing, with ongoing advancements in filament technology and printing techniques.

  • Upcoming technologies: Innovations in composite nylons, which combine nylon with materials like carbon fiber or glass, are enhancing properties like stiffness and thermal stability.
  • Market trends: The demand for durable, versatile materials like nylon is expected to grow, particularly in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and healthcare.

14. Conclusion

Nylon offers a robust option for 3D printing enthusiasts and professionals looking for durability, flexibility, and high performance. Whether you’re crafting intricate prototypes or rugged end-use parts, nylon’s properties make it an excellent choice. Remember to maintain your equipment, follow safety guidelines, and continue experimenting with print settings for the best results.

15. FAQs

  1. What is the best nylon filament brand?
    Several brands are well-regarded for their high-quality nylon filaments; however, it depends on your specific printer and project needs. Research and reviews can guide you to the best option.
  2. How to store nylon filament?
    Keep nylon filament in an airtight container with desiccant packs to prevent moisture absorption, which can ruin the quality of your prints.
  3. Can nylon be mixed with other materials in a print?
    Yes, nylon can be combined with materials like carbon fiber in composite filaments, providing enhanced properties for specific applications.
  4. Is nylon filament eco-friendly?
    Nylon is not as eco-friendly as PLA, but recycling and proper disposal methods can mitigate environmental impacts.
  5. Troubleshooting printer settings for nylon?
    Focus on drying the filament thoroughly, adjusting temperature settings higher than usual, and tweaking retraction settings to reduce stringing and oozing.


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Catherine Reed

Hello! I'm Catherine, a passionate explorer of the innovative world of 3D printing. Over the years, I've delved deep into the intricacies of additive manufacturing, understanding both its vast potential and the nuances that come with it. On this website, I aim to share my experiences, insights, and the latest advancements in the field. Whether you're a fellow enthusiast or someone just starting your journey, I hope my work sparks your curiosity and inspires you to push the boundaries of what's possible!

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