There are so many different kinds of 3D printing materials out there. If you’re new to 3D printing, you’ll want to know that you’re getting the strongest possible material for your prints, so they last. Carbon fiber PETG and nylon are two great options, but is one more durable than the other?
Between carbon fiber PETG vs. nylon filament, carbon fiber is usually stronger. Nylon can resist high impacts and abrasions while being tough and somewhat flexible. Carbon fiber PETG is very stiff and lightweight but can quickly become brittle. Plus, you need a particular printer to work with it.
If you’re considering learning how to use a new filament in your 3D printer, make sure to read the rest of this article. I made sure to explain the differences between the two materials to choose the one that suits your needs the best. Here’s what you need to know!
Carbon Fiber PETG vs. Nylon: Pros and Cons
Both carbon fiber PETG and nylon are very strong and easy to print. Yet, generally speaking, carbon fiber PETG is considered stronger than nylon. Many people prefer nylon because they don’t have access to the equipment that can print carbon fiber PETG. However, if you’re willing to work with carbon fiber, it offers high levels of stability in any print.
Nonetheless, each material is suited for different circumstances and comes with its own benefits and downsides. To make the most of their benefits, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of these printing materials before choosing a filament to work with.
Pros of Carbon Fiber PETG
- Very stiff, making for more stable prints
- Fibers offer enhanced strength
Cons Of Carbon Fiber PETG
- Filament becomes brittle fast
- More likely to clog the printer
- It needs a special steel nozzle to print
- Tends to ooze or drip
Pros of Nylon
- Very strong, yet still flexible
- Offers impact and abrasion resistance
- It doesn’t have a strong smell during printing
Cons of Nylon
- Can warp easily
- Absorbs moisture quickly and requires air-tight storage
- Not suitable for use in humid environments
Differences Between Carbon Fiber PETG and Nylon
Both materials excel in specific uses but are entirely different from one another. Many people use them when they want durable, strong prints. However, each material has its own set of challenges regarding printing.
Because of these differences between the two materials, you’ll want to make sure you consider why you’re making the print. From there, you should choose the option that better suits the needs of the print.
Nylon is highly durable, flexible, and impact and heat resistant. Many people use it to create objects that endure wear and tear. You can use it to make screws or gears. Carbon fiber PETG is better for cooking utensils or prints that need an excellent structure.
When comparing strength alone, carbon fiber PETG has the advantage. You can see this when comparing their tensile strengths to one another. Carbon fiber PETG can hold a higher weight than nylon before breaking. It has a 50 MPa rating, while nylon usually has 40 to 45 MPa.
While carbon fiber has a higher tensile strength than nylon, it’s not nearly as durable. Nylon can withstand intense use without degrading. However, carbon fiber PETG can hold more weight and is more stable as support.
Carbon fiber PETG is also PETG material with added fibers, making it stronger. It’s incredibly stiff, stable, and doesn’t expand or contract much in drastic temperature changes. However, since nylon doesn’t make use of these fibers, it’s a lot more flexible. You won’t be able to bend carbon fiber PETG too much without it snapping.
How Do I Use Carbon Fiber PETG?
To use carbon fiber PETG, a specially hardened steel nozzle is required for printing. Also, the extruder must reach 392-446°F (200-230°C). While not always necessary, a heated bed at 113-140°F (45-60°C) can also be used. Be sure to reduce retraction distance to avoid clogs from the fibers.
Once these settings are in place, you’ll want to reduce the printing speed to get better final results. Usually, reducing the rate by just 25% can make a huge difference. Clogging is a significant problem with carbon fiber filaments since the fibers don’t melt in the nozzle.
You can also benefit from using a guided filament path with this material. Carbon fiber tends to be brittle, making it easy to snap during printing. Creating a smooth path with no sharp corners for the filament to travel through shouldn’t break!
Overall, using carbon fiber PETG takes a lot of effort. However, you receive a solid, stable print that should last you a very long time.
How Do I Use Nylon Filament?
To print nylon filament, you’ll need plenty of rafts and brims and a heated bed of 158-194 °F (70-90 °C). You’ll also need an extruder that can reach between 437-509 °F (225-265 °C). It’s recommended to use a printing enclosure to avoid warping.
You must store your nylon filament correctly. Nylon left in the air for long periods absorbs moisture, causing it to fail during printing. You’ll need an air-tight storage container to prevent that from happening!
I recommend the SUNLU Upgraded Dryer Box (available on Amazon.com). It does an excellent job at keeping filament dry and safe. Plus, it comes with a temperature setting feature, allowing you to dry out nylon filament that absorbed moisture before. If you plan to work with nylon, you’ll want to have an air-tight container like this one.
In short, carbon fiber PETG tends to be slightly stronger than nylon. However, one isn’t better than the other since they both come with plenty of benefits.
Carbon fiber is stable and robust, although it can become brittle or clog your printer. Nylon is very shock absorbent and abrasion-resistant. However, it can warp and absorb moisture quickly, making it difficult to use in humid locations.
Overall, you’ll want to choose a material suited to the project you’re making! Both work great for making specific kinds of prints.
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I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.