TPU the flexible filament
Thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU, is a very common form of elastic polymer, or elastomer, capable of being used on any properly equipped FDM 3D printer. Of the many kinds of flexible 3D printer filaments, TPU is slightly more rigid, making it easier to extrude and use. It is a medium-strength material with very high flexibility and durability, able to withstand much higher compressive and tensile forces than its more common counterparts PLA and ABS.
When printing, TPU exhibits minimal warping and shrinkage and, like PLA, doesn’t require a heated bed, although it is recommended. The ideal print temperature is between 190 and 210 °C, but this may vary from manufacturer to another.
TPU doesn’t produce any notable levels of fumes while printing, but it’s not considered to be food safe. And though it’s a non-soluble material, it is hygroscopic, meaning that it will slowly absorb moisture from its surroundings, degrading over time.
One downside to TPU is the printing speeds, which are rarely higher than 30 mm/s. This is because it’s difficult to push the proper amount of filament through the hot end, resulting in prints taking a lot longer to complete.
To print high quality parts properly without jamming, a direct drive extruder is recommended. However, with the proper settings and calibration, decent quality prints can be achieved using a Bowden setup.
Before doing any large, time-consuming, or difficult prints, we recommend doing a few small test prints with TPU in order to fine-tune your settings.
TPU filament is commonly used to 3D print a wide variety of items. For everyday use, TPU is great for making custom phone cases, rubber mats, and stress toys.
In the RC area, TPU can be used for tires or shock absorbers and is even occasionally utilized to make O-rings and seals. In the world of DIY, TPU is fantastic for flexible parts or casings as well as parts that need to have resistance to sudden impacts and movement.
In short, if you need to make a custom rubber piece quick and relatively easily, TPU is your go-to material.
Diameter: 1.75 mm
Material: Flexible TPU
Net Weight: 1 kg
Recommended Printer Settings
Print Nozzle: 0.4 – 0.8 mm
Extruder Temperature: 190 – 210 oC
Print Bed Temperature: 40 – 60 oC
Cooling Fan: On