Thread: Black Series
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:10 AM   #6
Member#: 198281
Join Date: Dec 2008
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Virginia
2005 WRX/STi
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Originally Posted by pa9k View Post
Nylon is a proven plastic in automotive applications but of course and 3D printer part has some different properties than traditional manufacturing methods like injection molding. Looking at the surface finish and fine details I'm guessing this is printed on an SLS machine such as the Stratasys Fortus line. Afaik there is no option for glass or carbon fiber impregnated nylon with SLS machines. Would you mind sharing some information on the machine and material used?

These parts look really good, and I'd imagine would be a very popular conversation piece. Have you needed to do any secondary processes to these other than removing excess material?

There are two major concerns with 3D printed nylon, first is that any 3D printed part is porous solely due to the natur of 3D printing. Are any of these components under pressure or vacuum? What have you done to make these airtight?

The second concern about 3D printed nylon is that it is extremely hygroscopic (it absorbs liquid). While this generally has no impact on the performance and durability of the parts it will cause discoloration as it absorbs liquids contained in it. I assume this is one of the reasons these parts are made of a black died nylon. How much long term testing have you done on these products, specifically the catch can, and has there been any sign of it emitting an odor as is absorbs oil and fuel vapors? Have you coated the inside with any sort of sealant to protect against this, as well as make the product airtight?

Sorry for all the questions. Im a total nerd for 3D printing and when I saw (my buddy shared with me) this I wanted to get some more information. Overall I think these look great, its a good application of this technology, and is a really innovative product and process. I look forward to seeing more products like this and learning more about your process.

I'm not going to give away all of our process details, but they are done on an HP and we can use fiber reinforced materials if need be. So far, there has been no need. As you can see by the pics, they are currently in testing... and performing exceptionally well.

Before testing they are all exposed to vigorous bench testing; dependent on the part and usage of course. For example the water pump inlet was tested at temps no cooling system should ever see while at pressures well over double the cap spring rating. After that, we put them in use and so far have accumulated a few thousand miles without issue...

I prefer the black nylon because it tends to be a good match for engine bay bits. The insides do discolor some, but more take on the color of what they are exposed to and not to and decent depth.
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