Individual 3D printers have been working with PLA and ABS filament for a long time. With 3d printers development, perhaps now is the right time to try some special filament, say TPU filament. Still not familiar with this filament? No worry, this article will show you what is TPU, how it differs from PLA and other commonly seen 3d filaments, and what you should pay attention to when 3d printing TPU filaments.
What is TPU filament?
We can metaphor the TPU to spaghetti. When we buy spaghetti from the market, it is tough and fragile. After being boiled, it becomes al dente, soft and rubbery. TPU, the ‘spaghetti’ filament for you and your 3D printer. The most popular characteristic of TPU filament is its flexibility. On YouTube, TPU filament is quite a popular topic in 3D printing filters. The creator made their own TPU products, even shoes.
Usually, flexibility is the first reason for users to think about why use it to make shoes. Flexibility is only the most obvious TPU filament character. In fact, we could conclude the advantages in 4 points:
1) Strong flexibility
The elasticity between 10~1000Mpa. Bending will not change the TPU product’s integrity and structure. The Pics below are from Youtuber @RCLifeOn. He printed a pair of TPU shoes for himself
2）High mechanical strength
Shows in three dimensions: bearing capacity, shock resistance, damping
3）Wide range temperature resistance
Possess integrity from -40~120℃. Maintain elasticity and physical performance even under -35℃
4) Excellent oil resistivity
TPU could resist oil products (mineral oil, animal oil, and lubricants). Free from the most organic solvent.
Different demands could be covered by this filament. For consumer users, the TPU 3d printed decoration printing project is funnier and more varied. For professional users, the excellent physical performance of TPU helps in pattern production. Particularly for the parts that require high breaking elongation, high tension resistance, and capacity. For example, in shoes, cable, clothing, automatics, pipe, and sheeting.
Better performance on TPU 3D Printing
For TPU 3d printing, in actual operation, nozzle block is an unignorable problem. To avoid it, the direct extruder is the better choice if you have it. The latest Voxelab 3D printer, Aquila S2 , is a high-temp direct extruder 3d printer. To compare with other TPU-available 3D printers, undoubtedly, Aquila S2 plays the best cost performance and printing effect. Voxelab Aquila S2 is brilliant in filament variety: 8 filaments in totally for your free choice. Save your budget and achieve the new filament at the same time.
Another tip for TPU printing is the printing speed. It is recommended that slow down the feed rate. Increased speed may result in a nozzle jam. The proper speed is 35mm/s.
Already have a Voxelab Aquila printer, and want to upgrade to the direct extruder version? There is a little tip to save your wallet. Voxelab provides the separated direct extruder for you to DIY 3D printer and make it fit TPU filament printing. The direct extruder could be equipped on both Aquila S2 and Aquila X2.