Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is an elastic material with properties similar to rubber. Easier to print than other flexible 3D printer filaments, TPU works with most printers designed for PLA or ABS....
Use this filament anywhere you need a strong, elastic part.
Elasticity is the main reason for printing with TPU filament. The material bounces back when deformed without losing its strength or durability. Compared to other flexible 3D printer filaments, TPU is much easier to handle. You get less warping as the part cools so you will not need an enclosure to manage temperatures. And since TPU 3D printing does not generate noxious or toxic fumes, you do not need extra ventilation.
Even some basic 3D printers work with this filament as TPU print temperatures are similar to PLA or ABS. But the flexible nature of the material does require some care when printing. Direct-feed extruders produce the best results since friction in Bowden tubes can snag the filament. Print slowly and avoid retractions to keep the filament flowing consistently. TPU plastic parts do not take well to post-processing, however, so factor this into your designs.
TPU material properties make it the perfect choice when you need a part to bend, flex, squish or stretch. Objects that need to dampen vibrations or resist impacts are good targets for TPU 3D printing. You can also make shoes, costumes and other wearable objects more comfortable by going with TPU filament.
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