PA 12 (Polyamide 12)

Polyamide 12 (also called “Nylon 12”) is a rigid plastic developed for additive manufacturing. The material marketed by HP (trade name HP HR 3D PA 12, or PA 12 for short) is processed using the Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing process. The thermoplastic material is characterized by high mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance and low unit costs.

black components made of the material PA 12
black component made of the material PA 12
3D printed component made of the material PA 12
additively manufactured component made of PA 12

Brief Information

Multi Jet Fusion Technology

Multi Jet Fusion

PA 12 Colors

gray and black

Multi Jet Fusion build chamber

Build Chamber
min. 10 mm
max. 380 mm

PA 12 production time

Production Time
7 working days
4 working days (express)

Accuracy PA 12

± 0,3 %
(min. ± 0,3 mm)

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Component for a housing made of the material PA 12 with cutout for surface enlargement

Material Properties

Mechanical Properties

  • Tensile strength: ~ 48 ± 5 MPa
  • Elongation at break: 13 ± 6
  • Modulus of elasticity: 1,500 ± 200 MPa
  • Density: ~0.9 – 1.0 g /cm³ (depending on geometry)

Polyamide 12 is a strong, very resilient and durable plastic.
The material properties are largely isotropic (same mechanical indices in all orientations). The thinner the wall thicknesses are designed, the higher the flexibility, especially for wall thicknesses of 1 mm or less.

Thermal Load Capacity

  • Heat deflection temperature (HDT) at 0.45 MPa: 175 °C
  • Heat deflection temperature (HDT) at 1.82 MPa: 95 °C

For continuous loads, 95 °C should not be exceeded. For short-term loads, up to max. 120 °C are possible, depending on the geometry. Especially with thin wall thicknesses (< 2 mm) and/or simultaneous mechanical stress, the load capacity is reduced.

Surface Properties

  • Roughness Ra bottom side: 5 ± 2 µm
  • Roughness Ra top side: 10 ± 2 µm
  • Roughness Ra slope (45°): 8 ± 2 µm

The raw material processed in the Multi Jet Fusion is a powder. This results in a slightly rough surface, similar to fine sandpaper. The stair-step effects (print lines) typical in 3D printing are visible at shallow angles (up to approx. 15°) and are quite fine, since the layer thickness is only 80 µm.


In the 3D printing process (more details on Multi Jet Fusion), a black “ink” (called fusing agent) is printed on the white PA 12 powder. The parts are thus completely black on the inside. A white portion remains on the surface, which consists of sintered white powder grains. This results in the typical gray production color. For technical reasons, this is rather inhomogeneous with light and dark areas.
Optionally, black dyeing is possible, in which the remaining white portion is pigmented. Homogeneous and completely (i.e. also inside) black parts are produced.


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Quality inspection at 3Faktur


The general tolerance is 0.3 mm up to 100 mm outside dimension, above 0.3 %. In the case of large-area, flat geometries, warpage may occur above this.

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Manual black dip dyeing of additively manufactured Nylon 12 part


Blackening & Shot Peening
Recommended for visible parts: Dip dyeing and subsequent Shot Peening for a surface of high optical and haptic quality

Notes on the order

  • Delivery time: + 1 working day
  • Price: depending on number of pieces and size, typical unit costs of approx. EUR 1 – EUR 10; plus VAT
  • Maximum size: 350 x 250 x 150 mm

Vapor Smoothing (Chemical Smoothing)
Chemical surface treatment that produces a non-porous surface with reduced roughness. Major applications are liquid or gas carrying components, components where easy cleaning is required (medical, clean room) or as a basis for subsequent coating processes (reduction ‘outgassing’, reduction porosity, smoothing). More Information

Notes on ordering

  • Delivery time: + 5 working days
  • Price: depending on number of pieces and size, typical unit costs of approx. EUR 7 – EUR 10; plus VAT.

Spray Painting
In spray painting, a coating optimized for polyamide is applied.

Notes on the order

  • Delivery time: + approx. 2 weeks
  • Price: strongly dependent on size and number of pieces. Note: the minimum order for processing is EUR 100 plus VAT.

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Design Guidlines

minimum wall thickness

Minimum Wall Thicknesses
The minimum wall thickness should not be less than 0,7 mm. For longer objects/surfaces or for objects exposed to mechanical loads, you should increase the wall thickness.
Theoretically, wall thicknesses of up to 0.5 mm are possible, but these can be damaged during reworking (including cleaning blasting), so in such cases production is at your own risk.


Hollowed out objects can be printed, but openings (min. 10 mm diameter) must be inserted so that excess material can be removed. For larger cavities, you should plan for several openings. The source material is compacted during the printing process, so excess material is very difficult to remove.


Keep a spacing of min. 0.5 mm for grooves or walls that are close to each other. Individual objects (“shells”) must always be uploaded as a separate file, unless they are firmly connected to each other.


Details up to a size of approx. 0.5 mm can be displayed.

interlocked objects

Interlocked Objects
Interlocked objects can be printed. Please note the minimum distance between the objects of min. 0.5 mm. Also note that the corresponding areas are accessible in order to be able to remove excess material powder.


The object should not be larger than 370 x 274 x 380 mm.

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PA 12 black cover lens


In terms of resilience, durability and replicability in processing, the material is designed for series production up to a batch size of approx. 5,000 pieces. Of course, this does not stand in the way of use for prototypes. Typical applications for polyamide 12 include:

additive manufactured housings of a drilling machine made of polyamide 12


Housings can be produced in high geometric complexity. PA 12 meets the high industrial standards for housing parts (including impact strength, thermal and chemical resistance) and impresses with the very high-quality visual and haptic surface achieved, especially in post-processing. Recommended post-processing: dyeing (incl. Shot Peening) or Chemical Smoothing (Vapor Smoothing).

PA 12 mechanical component

Mechanical Parts

The material is flexible at thin wall thicknesses and rigid at higher wall thicknesses, abrasion resistant and very durable. These properties are of interest for a very wide range of applications, from gears to fasteners to propellers.
If the part is not a visible component, surface finishing is often not necessary. A Chemical Smoothing is recommended when very thin structures are involved in connection with a dynamic load (significant strengthening through chemical smoothing) or when friction occurs (reduction of surface roughness).

PA 12 structural component in black

Structural Parts

Since there are hardly any geometric limits, very resource-saving and highly optimized holders or the like can be produced. Examples include circuit board holders, fasteners or motor holders.

PA 12 component for tools and fixtures

Tools & Fixtures

The production method enables the rapid production of complex fixtures. The material is, among other things, oil-resistant and can also withstand thermal and mechanical stress.

additively manufactured PA 12 component for gas-carrying systems

Gas-Carrying Systems

Complex ducts can be printed, but a geometry-dependent minimum diameter is required – feel free to contact our customer service with your application. For this application Chemical Smoothing is recommended, as this technology seals the slightly porous surface in its raw state.

3D printed arm orthosis made of PA 12

Data courtesy of Invent Medical


The (almost) unlimited design freedom (patient-specific design) and resistance of the material make PA 12 a very good material for orthoses. The material is approved for skin contact. In addition to PA 12, the elastic TPU is suitable for this application.

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symbolic images ``costs``


Get an instant price quote for your 3D file.

The prices are calculated depending on machine volume, model surface and material input.

Minimum order
EUR 50,- plus VAT (EUR 59,50 incl. VAT) / order

For higher quantities, ignificant reduction compared to the standard price are possible. Get an instant quote.

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