AdvancedTek AE Pro Tip: How to make it easier to remove Nylon 12CF parts from Fortus build sheets
Nylon 12CF, available on the Stratasys Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition, Fortus 450mc and F900, delivers the highest strength and stiffness-to-weight ratio of any Stratasys FDM material. The material’s unique stiffness and strength make it a great replacement for metal components in functional prototypes, tooling applications and production parts.
The rigidness of Nylon 12CF, however, coupled with its strong chemical bond to the support material, tends to make it more challenging to remove from the build sheet. To combat this, AdvancedTek’s Senior Application Engineer Mike Mabie came up with a solution using the Insight software. This modification adds a few additional layers of support material between the single base layer of model material (bonded to the build sheet) and the part itself. This results in a much more suitable location to use a scraper or chisel to safely and more easily separate the part from the build sheet.
Below are the steps to follow in Insight to make these changes:
1. Slice and process part (optimize) as you normally would.
5. Generate supports and then generate ALL toolpaths .
6. Import Custom Groups provided (from known saved location)
7. Set range for layers 2-6 and display that range.
8. Select Wide_gap_support group under Group name and apply to support regions with Dark Gray boundary curve. The easiest way is to use the color selector under the selection tools. After this group has been applied the boundary curves will turn Cyan.
9. Making sure you are still viewing the range, repeat this process for the Intermediate_support group and apply to Light Yellow boundary curves. After this group has been applied the boundary curves will turn Magenta.
10. Regenerate All toolpaths and save the file.
It is very important to leave the first layer alone when modifying these base layers, as this could adversely affect adhesion to the build sheet.
These custom groups will override the machine’s interpretation of the base layers and force them to build using support (even though Insight already shows them as support material – very confusing, we know). We have performed some internal and external testing of this application and so far it has proven well to make it easier to remove Nylon 12CF parts from the build sheet. At this time, we have NOT noticed any issues with part curl, but our part selection certainly has not covered all part geometries.
If you encounter any adverse build issues using this process or if you notice support groups not of the Light Yellow or Dark Gray curve colors, feel free to contact Mike at email@example.com or 651-489-6990 to discuss. Additional groups may need to be created as needed.