Taulman 645 - bridging capabilities

posted 22 Feb 2015, 03:29 by Colin Bell

I've been playing with Taulman 645 again to make several industrial strength parts and wanted to just highlight the incredible bridging capabilities of this material.

Whilst printing a measuring jug which required a minimum of support (quite important in a material of this strength as removing support material can be challenging...) the very thin supports that I'd defined broke free of the bed mid-print, and sagged towards the body of the jug. In virtually any other material this would be the end of the print, resulting in a bunch of spaghetti to clean up. Using 645 though, you can see that the material found the tiniest of purchase on what remained of the support and continued to build up - which is just amazing! Admittedly, the support structure isn't pretty, but it did result in a successful print, despite the support almost failing!

In this picture to the left, you can see that the handle actually fell off the support at the back of the jug. Fortunately, this happened just as the main body of the handle had finished printing (top heavy I guess) so I just let the print continue, as the support for the top of the handles curve was intact and holding.

Now glueing nylon is very challenging, as most solvents and glues won't touch it. The best method I've found is to use a hot air gun that I normally use for soldering SMD components. I set the air flow to high, and the temperature at 245c and evenly heated the surface to be welded after first trimming it down flat with a knife. The best time to join parts seems to be when the surface goes shiny and looks like its just about to turn liquid (not very scientific, I know). I just jammed the two parts together at this point, held for about 45 seconds and then left it to cool. This very effectively joined the parts, and the join seems just as strong as the rest of the print.

I can't get over strength of this material though, I recently used it to make a sliding latch for my balcony door, and it's super strong, whilst still being flexible enough that tolerances on measurements just cease to be an issue in this kind of application. The ability to be able to drill and tap into this material also makes it very flexible for quick parts manufacturing. My only issue now is I've run out, and it's impossible to buy anywhere locally. Ah, well, I'll try some other material instead!