Toughest 3D Printer Material in the Space?

I’ve got a 7 1/2" x 3" x 0.5" adapter plate that I need to print. I need something about the stiffness and toughness of nylon. It won’t take shock, but it will probably get torqued a little bit and shouldn’t break or shatter. It doesn’t have to completely resist the torque, but it should spring back afterward.

Do we have anything in the space that I’m going to get good results out of?


No. Don’t rely on any materials that are at the space. If you need something perfect, especially if you want to print nylon, you will do best by opening a new roll unless you know how and have the time to dry filament well.

Generally 3D printed parts do not perform well under load. How permanent do you need this to be? Will it be in the sun or have the potential to be exposed to higher temperatures?

Possibly consider machining the part from polycarbonate rather than 3D printing it.

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That really sounds to me like a part that should be machined, most likely from nylon. I would not suggest polycarbonate; it is too brittle and therefore prone to breaking and shattering, which makes it hard to even machine.

Going to second not using makerspace materials since they’re pretty free-for-all and the strongest 3DP materials tend to be the most prone to issues from inadequate storage like moisture.

Two top materials I’ll suggest are… actually Nylon (My favorite is Taulman Bridge) and TPU. Those are the two most common 3DP materials you’ll see that are used in BattleBots so you’ll know it’s good stuff.

Nylon has a steep learning curve and requires high-temp dryboxes I don’t think we have at the space yet (We have a couple lower-end ones laying around but I find they aren’t even close to sufficient for drying out Nylon) and warps very easily for printing- especially for a large flat adapter plate like you mention. I print Nylon at home but have to dry it out in my oven for several hours, then keep it in a drybox to keep it dry (my drybox isn’t powerful enough to dry it already-wet nylon though), and for very warp-prone prints, I need to use an enclosure too.

If you print TPU at >50% infill and a ton of walls, its surprisingly rigid. Most people are only familiar with TPU’s properties as a flexible/soft filament at low infill and walls, but TPU is extremely robust and tear resistant and has some of the strongest layer bonds in FDM printing. It’s so underrated as a material. It’s also much easier to print than Nylon, and usually much cheaper too. I’d look into TPU first.

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Were I to print such a thing I’d probably use Carbon Fiber impregnated Nylon or Polycarbonate. I’ve been printing a lot in those lately and they seem pretty indestructible under normal loads.

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I know nothing of 3d printing, but I’ve used 3d printed parts made from TPU on my drones and those things hit solid objects at 90+ mph on the regular and they hold up

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Can you machine nylon? I’ve machined Acetal/Delrin, but Delrin has gotten as expensive as Aluminum nowadays.

Yes you can machine Nylon. I turned down and bored a Nylon rod on the lathe a while back quite easily. I don’t recall which Nylon I used – there are a number of different types

@buzmeg this is what we have in the shop, I believe it’s .55 a ml

@Devmani That was one of the things I was looking at. I presume that Form2 is working? I saw that one of our Form2’s is offline.

If I buy a roll of TPU, can I print it on the machines we have? Do we have the things necessary to dry it out?


Skitty is up and running and you can slot the tray, resin, and build plate on that, but I"m going to be attempting repairs on Calm this week. As for TPU the Prusa’s can handle it but you will need to ensure the correct settings are used in the slicer. (Start with the generic profile and tweak it to your brand)

Is there a specific brand of TPU that is recommended or should I try to pick one that has an existing profile in Prusaslicer? I’m happy to not be uber-cheap if it will improve my probability of things turning out better.


  1. Do we have a powder coated spring steel sheet for the Prusa’s? That seems to be indicated for FLEX/TPU materials.

  2. Did we pick up a filament dryer box? There was discussion about this a while back, but I seem to recall that nothing was ever resolved.

  3. Probably going to pick up a NinjaTek Armadillo filament roll unless somebody suggests something else. That’s a Shore D 75 hardness filament which is kind of in the middle of Nylon’s hardness range.


Ninjatek is usually the ole reliable brand. I’d go with Prusa’s TPU profile and update that.

I’ve had good success with Sainsmart, Overture, Tronxy, and Polymaker TPU. Ninjatek is the old reliable but pricier than usual.

TPU isn’t terribly picky about the bed surface, my friends and I have printed on the standard Prusa beds without issue.

TPU also isn’t nearly as suspect as nylon about needing a drybox BUT if you do leave it out too long, it will eventually get moisture and print steamy and bubbly (which is bad). This takes months though, you can have an exposed roll printing TPU fine for several days. I’m like 90% sure the drybox in our space is one of the $50 eSun/Sunlu/Jayo dryboxes that, objectively, is only good for PLA and ABS but no good for Nylon.

I think if anything, what will affect your TPU’s ease of printing is going too soft, softer than 90A hardness (note: Armadillo’s 75D is wayyy harder than 95A).

tl;dr the current makerspace setup should be fine for TPU the way it is now, just mind keeping it dry when you store it. I think we’re deficient specifically for Nylon out of the filaments I’m interested in printing given our lack of drybox (and we could use a reverse-bowden feed to the Prusa’s extruders too if we ever splurge on the nice PrintDry or Sovol dryboxes).