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Special dye for synthetic materials, to obtain finishes in different colors.

Usually nylon or polyamide (PA) filaments are sold in natural or white color, but due to the enormous potential of this material, the need arises to obtain finishes in different colors. For this purpose, the ideal solution is to use a special dye for synthetic materials, such as RIT dye.

Nylon is a hygroscopic material, which means that it has the capacity to absorb humidity from the environment (which is why it is necessary to store it free of moisture in the filament state). The wetted filament affects the quality of the impression, since the moisture penetrates towards the nucleus of the filament, causing alterations at the moment of the fusion. However, in finished parts, water-based tinting only penetrates the surface layer and does not cause appreciable dimensional variations. For this reason it is always recommended to dye the final piece and not the filament.

While there are daring users who dare to dye the filament to create multicolored printed pieces, we do not recommend this method for the reason explained above. In addition, using tinted filament can deteriorate the extruder of the 3D printer, such good finishes will not be achieved and the properties of the nylon will decrease considerably.

The dissolution of the dye in water is carried out perfectly without any other addition (serves the chlorinated water from the tap). At a certain temperature, said solution will penetrate the nylon surface better and permanent dyeing of the 3D printed piece will be achieved in less time and achieving better finishes.

The only recommended dye for nylon is the American RIT in liquid format. The RIT dye is a product of development since the time of the First World War. The development and research of more than 100 years have achieved that today RIT dye is the most suitable for all kinds of uses and especially for nylon. Hence, the motto of the brand since its inception is: "Never Say 'Dye' ... Say Rit!". Dyes in powder form are also not recommended due to the added difficulty of achieving a uniform solution and with the appropriate water-dye ratios.

It should be remembered that nylon is one of the most durable materials on the market since it has an excellent resistance/flexibility ratio. It also has very little deformation and enjoys greater UV and chemical resistance than PLA or ABS. Nylon is the only material with a good tinting capacity, by taking advantage of the characteristic of hygroscopy. The nylon also leaves very few rough edges after printing, with the consequent production of smooth final pieces and without great need for post-processing.

When preparing the dissolution of the water with the desired dye color, attention should be paid to the water-dye ratio, since this parameter will be the one that most affects the final result of the piece of nylon printed in 3D, together with the temperature of the mixture during the dyeing. In the "Tips for use" tab, it is explained in more detail how the process of tinting the pieces should be, although in a conceptual way it should be clear that the two main parameters that influence the obtaining of a lighter or darker finish are the time that the piece is introduced into the mixture and the proportion of water-dye.

In the following image, this variability is shown for the same example of a piece that has been submerged for different times in the same mixture, and therefore, with the same water-dye ratio. In order to replicate the same results over time, it is very important to record the traceability of the entire process, noting proportions, times and temperatures used.

different tones of the rit dye

Image 1: Variation of final color of the pieces as a function of the time of tinting

The colors available for being the most common are the "Graphite Black", "Racing Red", "Narcissus Yellow", "Sapphire Blue", "Apple Green", "Apricot Orange" and "Sandstone". As an example, below you can see the results obtained with Nylon 645. We remind you that they do not have to be the only ones possible since as we have said you can vary the intensity depending on the dye-water ratio, as well as the Tinting duration.


Rit Dye More for synthetic and nylons

Image 2: Representative color for standard time of the 5 available colors (From left to right: Natural untreated, Black, Red, Blue, Green and Yellow)

The following articles discuss the process of dyeing printed pieces with nylon: Make:Magazine articleMarkforged article.

With the RIT dye you can also dye polyester, nylon, polyester and cotton, acrylic or acetate fabrics. In fact, the majority use of RIT dye and for which it is known all over the world is for the dyeing of clothes.

The process of dyeing with the liquid dye RIT consists of a few simple steps, which is important to perform them properly because if the dyeing process is not executed well it could leave parts that are not tinted or with different shades. The recommended steps are the following:

  1. Select Color RIT dye: All RIT dyes available on our website are especially suitable for nylon materials.
  2. Preparation of the 3D printed nylon piece: Only the support material should be removed and the underside of the printing should be cleaned of the excess lacquer or adhesive used, otherwise the nylon will not absorb the dye properly through that face. The Buildtak adhesion sheet can be used in printing or raft can be used to avoid this problem.
  3. Material and utensils needed: Apart from the dye and water, you will need a pot and/or a microwave, a container or cup, a pair of pliers or tweezers to handle the pieces and a paper towel. The best thing is that the container or cup can be isolated, so that the heat does not escape easily. Make sure you never use the drinking cup after using it to dye parts.
  4. Preparation of the solution: The proportion of water to dye to be used will normally be 5:1. To obtain a darker result, a solution with a concentration of up to 3:1 can be used. You must calculate how much volume of liquid is needed to completely submerge the piece and pour only the dye into the container. When the water is boiled, it should be mixed in the same container where the dye has been poured.
  5. Tinting process: The piece must be grasped with the help of pliers, tweezers or wires (depending on how the piece is best lent to hold it) and immerse it in the solution previously made. It is important to do it immediately while the water is still hot, otherwise, the piece of nylon will not absorb the dye well. The ideal temperature of the water-dye mixture is between 60ºC and 80ºC. Below 60 °C the dye will not filter well in the piece and above 80 ° C the piece can deform or bubble. You can install systems of temperature control of the solution, recommended only for a large volume of tints and for professional use. Once the pieces are introduced, it is normal to leave them for 1 minute, but this is a variable of choice for each user. The longer the piece is left in the darker solution, the final color will be. What you usually do is take out the pieces every few seconds to see what color you are taking. In the image of the main description it can be seen how varying the time a lighter or darker finish is achieved.
  6. Rinse and dry the piece: Once the piece is removed from the solution, it should be rinsed with running water to clean excess dye. Next, place the piece on the paper towel and let it dry for a few minutes.
  7. Other tips:
  • The dye solution can be reused but will lose effectiveness. The dye is less effective when it is cold. If the dye mixture has cooled down and you want to reuse it, you will simply have to reheat the solution over a low heat until it boils again.
  • If a large volume of solution is going to be heated, it is advisable to heat it constantly and keep it within the limits established above.
  • Keep the solution warm: if you have a large volume and are concerned that the solution does not remain at the optimum dyeing temperature, a laboratory heating plate can be used to keep the dye temperature within the desired range.
  • To carry out the tinting process it is important to use an apron or old clothes to avoid spoiling it when splashing occurs.
  • The can must be shaken before using the dye.
  • Safety guidelines:
    1. Do not discard the dye through the rainwater drain, as it can be reintroduced into the drinking water.
    2. The dye is irritating to the eyes. If dye enters the eyes, they should be rinsed immediately with water.
    3. Do not eat or drink the dye, as it can cause gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If dye is consumed, rinse your mouth and drink plenty of water. Do not induce vomiting.
    4. The dye may cause skin irritation in susceptible people. Wash thoroughly after handling.
    5. It is recommended to use rubber gloves to protect hands from stains and the use of hot water. No mask is required for quantities of domestic use.
  • RIT dye: It is not toxic. It is safe for disposal and septic systems. It is not a carcinogen: it does not contain any Proposition 65 chemicals. It does not contain chemical materials or products that are hazardous to acute health hazards, chronic health risks or reactive hazards. Not flammable Stable for storage in the original packaging. Meets ASTM D-4236 standards.
Manufacturer Nakoma Products, LLC
Colors "Frost Grey"
"Yellow Daffodil"
"Black Graphite"
"Red Racing"
"Blue Sapphire"
"Apricot Orange"
Green - "Peacock Green"
Pink - "Super Pink"
Brown - "Chocolate Brown"
Purple - "Royal Purple"
Quantity 207 ml
HS Code 3212.9


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