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Air conditioning ventilation - PA 12 - in enviro - Credit to HP (3)_edited.jpg

Material Selection Guide

Selecting a 3D printing material often requires balancing a variety of attributes to achieve the intended results. Use this materials selection guide to help you make an educated choice based on your end-use application and your desired material properties. 

Another important consideration is the finish applied to the part, which enhance the look and performance of the part. Tempus 3D offers a variety of industry-standard post-processing options to help achieve an optimal result.

All materials and finishes are suitable for a broad range of applications and demanding industrial environments.

What is the best material for my application?

Each material has unique properties that make it suitable for specific applications. The chart below is based on HP's recommendations for the best use for each material. Post processing can improve the performance of some materials. 

Nylon PA12
Nylon PA11
Nylon 12 GB
Nylon PA12 White
Impact Resistance
Dimensional Capability
Level of Detail
Flat part
Temperature Resistance
Chemical Reistance
Low Moisture Absorbtion
Flat Part

How do the material properties compare?

Compare materials based on their specific properties. More technical specifications can be found on the material's page.

Tensile Strength
Elongation at Break (XY, Z)
Heat Deflection Temperature
Melting Point
Tensile Modulus
Nylon 12
48 MPa
20%, 15%
175 ℃
187 ℃
1,800 MPa
1.01 g/cm³
Nylon 11
52 MPa
50%, 35%
185 ℃
201 ℃
1,800 MPa
1.04 g/cm³
Nylon 12 GB
30 MPa
10%, 10%
174 ℃
186 ℃
2,500 MPa
1.30 g/cm³
9 MPa
120 - 150 ℃
75 - 85 MPa
1.1 g/cm³
30 MPa
60 ℃
187 ℃
1,600 MPa
0.89 g/cm³
Nylon 12 White
49 MPa
17%, 9%
175 ℃
1,900 MPa
1.01 g/cm³
Nylon 12 Color
46 MPa
20%, 14%
189 ℃
1600 MPa
1.03 g/cm³

Note: all figures are approximate and dependent on a number of factors, such as machine and process parameters. When performance is critical consider independent lab testing of the materials or final parts.

How are the materials commonly used?


Nylon PA12 is the most popular general-use plastic, and is used for a broad range of products. It balances strength and detail with high environmental stability. This material is resistant to water, chemicals and UV light, and is certified biocompatible.​

HP-MJF nylon 12 glass bead_edited.jpg

Nylon PA12 GB has glass microgranules added for enhanced stiffness. Used for technical parts that require stiffness and low abrasive wear. This material also resists warpage, so is recommended for flat or long, thin parts. Applications include enclosures and housings, jigs and fixtures, tooling, threads and sockets, and parts under sustained load.​


Nylon PA11 is a high-performance material used for highly ductile, robust parts. It has excellent chemical resistance and enhanced elongation-at-break. Compared to Nylon 12, Nylon 11 is more flexible, less brittle, and better for thin walls. Applications include thin-walled ducts and enclosures; snaps, clips and hinges; orthotics, prosthetics and sports equipment.

5e5c93c52089e53ef8986791_Cube printed with HP JF 5200 3D and BASF UltrasintTM TPU01 (2).jp

TPU is an elastomeric material which is tough and flexible. It is ideal for parts that require high elasticity, shock absorption and energy return. Used for dampers, cushions and grippers; industrial tubes and pipes; gaskets, seals, belts; orthotics, prosthetics, and sportswear.

Air duct 3D printed with HP 3D Polypropylene (Courtesy of HP) 640x427_edited.jpg

Polypropylene is durable, flexible, lightweight, airtight and waterproof. This material has the greatest resistance to chemicals of all our 3D printing materials. It is ideal for applications that come in contact with fluids such as piping and containers, as well as medical devices, orthotics, and industrial goods.​

Invent-Medical-Helmet_130-v1a.jpg 26 kb 1200x800.webp

The excellent properties of PA12 are combined with its white colouring, which can easily absorb dyes of different pigments. Nylon 12 white is durable and resistant to moisture, grease and hydrocarbons. This popular plastic is used for a broad range of applications, and commonly used as a base for light, bright dyes, paints, and coatings.

Consumer goods 3D printed with HP MJF 580 CB Nylon PA12 (Courtesy of HP).jpg

Nylon PA12 color produces engineering-grade parts that combine the excellent material properties of Nylon PA12 with full CMYK color. Applications include presentation models and consumer goods. It is also used for color-coded jigs and fixtures, and full-color medical models. 

Learn More

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