Over the past few years, one of the biggest buzz words in Additive Manufacturing has been Carbon Fiber, and for good reason! Typically, Carbon Fiber reinforcement is a fantastic way to achieve significant increases in strength and rigidity while keeping overall part weight and project costs down. Recently, Stratasys introduced both a new FDM Carbon Fiber Reinforced material in Nylon CF10, as well as a new line of F-series machines to support it, the F190CR and F370CR. In today’s article, we’re going to get you a bit more familiar with what these advancements can do for you.
What is Nylon CF10?
Jumping straight into it, the new Nylon CF10 material is incredible; it’s an easy to print low-cost thermoplastic composite material that is a blend of several of the industry leading Nylon types. It has 10% chopped carbon content by weight uniformly throughout the entire filament strand. Unlike some competitors on the market that put a strip of carbon fiber in a small area of your part, the new Stratasys Nylon CF10 material has Carbon Fiber Reinforcement throughout your ENTIRE part.
Looking at the stat sheet for Nylon CF10, a few things stand out right away:
- It has very good Tensile Strength for a material running on the office friendly, easy to run F-series systems.
- It has an INCREDIBLY high Flexural Strength of nearly 18k psi.
- The average Tensile Elongation at Break is in a ballpark that rivals Ultem 1010, one of the highest-grade thermoplastics that Stratasys offers, that creates strong FDM parts and is only available on the Fortus 450mc and F900!
What does that all tell me?
Nylon CF10 is a very strong FDM material that hates to bend and deform, making it a fantastic option for its ideal application, replacing heavy/clunky/expensive metal CNC machined jigs and fixtures with lightweight, durable, and inexpensive variants. In case studies, CNC equipment operation labor time is reduced up to 80%, which results in up to a 42% decrease in cost per part, not even factoring in the significantly lower cost in material and other associated machine operating costs. Some other fantastic applications for Nylon CF10 also include Metal Forming Dies, Press Brake Forms, End Effectors, Soft Jaws, Clamping Tools, Drill Guides, Long Term Testing Prototypes, and End Use Parts.
So, what else makes Nylon CF10 stand out from its competition?
And when I say competition, I mean both internally within the Stratasys family of thermoplastics, and against other leading materials and FDM style printers throughout the Additive Industry that fall into a similar price range.
Compared to Stratasys material offerings:
- The only other material from Stratasys with better statistics in the same categories is Nylon 12 CF, which is 30% chopped carbon filled by weight and only available on the Fortus 450mc and F900. These are fantastic industrial pieces of equipment, but also a significant jump in cost and facility requirements from the F-series systems that can run in any office environment on standard 110 VAC single phase power. Also, the Nylon 12 CF material can only print at .010” layer height, incapable of printing in the finer .007” layer resolution and coarser/faster .013” layer resolution that Nylon CF10 can be made at in addition to the .010” resolution.
Compared to its competitors outside of the Stratasys family, Nylon CF10 prints:
- Capable of significantly more complicated geometries since it uses the soluble QSR support material, leading to ZERO geometry limitations!
- Can be printed completely solid with no adverse effects to over geometry.
- Can be machined, sanded, media blasted, painted, etc.
- Its printable in build envelopes that are up to 80% larger in the Stratasys F370CR when compared apples to apples against the top-of-the-line competitor at the same system purchase price.
- Is capable of printing both Semi-Hollow (Sparse) and Fully SOLID parts with 99% proven, repeatable dimensional accuracy.
- F-series machines that run the Nylon CF10 material have a proven track record with a 99% uptime statistic amongst the over 9,000 systems installed in the field as of today!
- The GrabCAD Print software and system touchscreen are incredibly easy to learn and use, meaning anybody in the office can get a print started
FDM Nylon CF10, and the F123CR machines that it runs on, are incredible new additions to an already fantastic lineup! If you would like to learn more, contact us to speak to one of our experts.