TPU filament or Thermoplastic Polyurethane is a very common form of elastic polymer, or elastomer for FDM/FFF type 3D printers. Usually, ABS and PLA are the standard go-to plastics for 3D printing. However, many people turn to TPU when they wish to produce bendable prototypes. This is due to TPU’s unique flexibility. The material is able to bend easily without affecting its design as it is highly flexible and durable.
However, in comparison to other flexible 3D printing filaments, TPU filament is more rigid. It has a rigidity between hard plastic and soft silicone. Therefore, it is easier to extrude and print with this material. As TPU is a thermoplastic, it can be melted, extruded, then cooled back into a solid which is necessary when 3D printing using fused filament fabrication. You can use TPU to achieve different material hardness, from soft (Shore 30A) to very hard (Shore 100A). Hence, the material is used both as soft engineering plastic and tough rubber. In addition, the medium-strength material is resistant to oil, grease, abrasion as well as many chemicals.
TPU filament is an excellent material for creating products in many industries. In terms of consumer products, the material is ideal for making footwear, phone cases, rubber mats and stress toys. It can also produce drive belts and automotive instrument panels in the automotive industry. It can produce medical devices. In conclusion, TPU is a versatile material with the right balance between toughness and durability. It serves as a great thermoplastic that bridges the gap between plastic and rubber.
- Nozzle Temperature: 220-240 °C
- Recommended Bed Temperature: 65 °C
- Filament Diameter: 1.75mm (tolerance ± 0.05mm)