QUESTION: What are the benefits of choosing a dual extruder over a single extruder?

ANSWER:  Exactly as it sounds, a dual extruder allows you to print with two filaments at the same time.

At its most basic, this means that a dual extruder allows the user to print two color prints.  But that isn’t the true value of a dual extruder.

The true value of dual extruders is that they allow you to print congruently using two different TYPES of filaments.  And the benefits of that option can be far reaching.

A perfect example of the benefits comes when printing any model with a complex geometry.  One of the ways a model can contain ‘complex geometry’ is with the inclusion of overhanging materials, or model elements that extend from the Z axis at more than 45 degrees.  Such models often require support structures in order to stop the filament from fraying.  There are a few different ways users of a single extruder printer can overcome this problem such as, generating support material using the primary filament, generating 3D printed jigs and supports, or printing the model in multiple parts and then bonding them together.   All of these processes require proper planning, prep time and post production work to make work effectively.

Dual extruder printers excel in this area because they allow the use of secondary materials that are specifically designed for support.   Such materials like Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), HIPS or PolySupport are designed to either dissolve or breakaway completely greatly reducing the amount of post product work required, making not only complex models more manageable, but smaller scale components with finer details.

The use of different materials need not be limited to support materials only.  Some organizations have been working with base primary filaments inlaid with secondary conductive filaments to generate circuit boards, and still others to combine different filaments for structural strength.



QUESTION:  What are the benefits of printing with Nylon filament?

ANSWER:  There are a great number of benefits to printing with nylon, including:

  • Nylon generally is very strong.  Properly printed, a nylon print can have a strength that comes close to aluminum.
  • Nylon has a low co-efficient of friction and good abrasion resistance.  Because of that, it can be very durable.
  • Nylon also has an excellent strength to flexibility ratio.
  • There’s very little warpage.
  • Nylon is easily coloured/dyed. This is because, while it absorbs water, a positive side-effect is that it can do the same for dyes.
  • Very few rough edges after the print is complete. As a result, it produces smooth end products with little need for post-processing.
  • UV resistant and higher chemical resistance than PLA or ABS.

Nylon also has a few more requirements than some other filaments.

  • Nylon is hydroscopic, which means that it can absorb water and so must be kept dry before printing
  • Nylon requires a higher extruder temperatures (260 degrees +)
  • Nylon requires adhesion and a heated bed.

Taulman is widely recognized as being the leader in manufacturing and providing high quality nylon filament.  They have produced a number of lab-tested nylon filaments, enhancing certain aspects – like strength and durability – offering a wide selection of nylon filaments to better suit different uses.