GV 3D Printing
Best TPU Filament. Best Flexible Material For 3D Printing
Best TPU Filament Brands, Properties, Settings And Much More..
TPU is a type of thermoplastic polyurethane that has been used for many years as an engineering plastic. Polyurethanes are polymer chains with alternating carbon and nitrogen atoms. TPUs have high elasticity, low moisture absorption, good chemical resistance, and excellent abrasion resistance. They also have very good heat stability at elevated temperatures (they do not melt or soften). All these properties make them ideal for 3D printing applications like flexible filaments where they are easy to use and produce strong prints with any FDM-style machine.
If you are in a real hurry then check out the Best TPU filaments that we found to be the best after carrying out various 3D printing projects with them.
The best TPU Filament for you is the one that suits your needs. This article will help you get started with choosing the right filament for your project. Our goal here is to make sure our customers are happy with their purchases and have a great experience using the products. So we want to share with you what makes these brands worth considering before making up your mind on which product to buy!
Best Flexible Filament
Best TPU Filament For Beginners And Professionals
Best TPU Filament Brands
Best Manufacturers Of TPU Flexible 3D Printer Filament
SainSmart Flexible TPU 3D Printing Filament
- Compatible with most 3D printers. Recommended for printing objects, which will be impacted more than normal ones.
- Specially formulated plastic with an increased amount of flexibility, with rigid structure. Recommended for printing objects, which will be impacted more than normal ones. SAINSMART filament is 100% TPU. TPU is essentially polyurethane, it belongs to the TPE class of thermoplastics.
- Recommended for printing objects, which will be impacted more than normal ones. Flexible Filament does not feed well on all 3D printers. It’s better to work on direct-drive extruders.
- SainSmart filament has passed strict quality assurance procedures and we are confident in our product quality and consistency!
Overture TPU Flexible Filament
- Overture TPU filament is compatible with most desktop 3D printers. It works on Makerbot, UP!, Prusa i3, and many other popular 3D printers.
- The 1.75mm diameter makes it easy to load into your printer, while the spool size allows you to print more material without having to change the spool mid-print.
- This filament is made from high-quality raw materials to ensure a consistent diameter and roundness for smooth feeding through your printer nozzle. It is developed through a unique manufacturing process to achieve dimensional accuracy +/- 0.05 mm on each spool of TPU Filament.
PRILINE TPU 3D Printer Filament
- PRILINE TPU flexible filament is compatible with most 3D printers, such as MakerBot, Lulzbot, FlashForge, Ultimaker, etc.
- Just like PLA/ABS filament, you can print it on any 3D printer that uses 1.75mm filament. No special hardware or software is needed!
- PRILINE TPU flexible filament has high quality & low price. Made of high-quality TPU material to ensure a great printing experience.
- It’s easy to print and no warp and also has a nice glossy shine when finished printing!
NOVAMAKER TPU 3D Printer Filament
- Compatible with all FDM/FFF 3D printers, including MakerBot, UP!, Printrbot, Ultimaker, and more.
- Simple to use: just load it into your 3D printer and start printing! OVAMAKER TPU filament is compatible with RepRap’s standard 1.75mm extruders and hotends, but we recommend using a heated bed for best results.
- High-quality TPU filament by OVAMAKER. This filament is made from 100% virgin raw materials that have been tested for their chemical properties (such as heavy metals) under the highest standards of quality control before being used to produce our filaments.
NinjaFlex TPU Filament
- NinjaFlex is compatible with all FDM 3D printers, including MakerBot and Afinia.
- The filament’s low-tack surface allows for easy loading into extruders without the need for a vacuum system. It also has a wide processing temperature range of 250°C to 275°C (482°F to 536°F) and prints reliably on standard build plates.
- NinjaFlex delivers consistent diameter and roundness, making it ideal for direct-drive extrusion systems. Its consistency in diameter and orality (roundness) outpaces other polyurethane materials
- NinjaFlex is made from a specially formulated thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material that offers an unmatched combination of strength and flexibility for truly unique prints.
- With a diameter tolerance of +/- 0.05 mm and roundness tolerance of +/- 0.07 mm, you can be sure your parts will fit together perfectly every time!
TRONXY Flexible TPU 3D Printers Filament
- Works perfectly with most FDM 3D printers on the market.
- This filament is dried and vacuum-sealed to ensure they reach you in perfect condition.
- Manufactured with premium quality materials, ensuring that your prints will last for years to come.
- Manufactured with premium quality materials, ensuring that your prints will last for years to come.
Amazon Basics TPU 3D Printer Filament
- Compatible with most common 3D printers, including MakerBot, UP!, FlashForge, and more.
- Easy to use and offers excellent layer-to-layer bonding. Holds up well to more rigorous wear and tear. The spool’s built-in gauge shows the percentage of material remaining and the approximate length remaining.
- Engineered to reduce jamming; resealable storage bag included to protect filament between use. Vacuum-sealed packaging in a desiccant bag to keep the product fresh, dry, and dust-free for optimal 3D printing results.
Overview Of Flexible Filament
What Is TPU Filament?
Thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU, the filament is a very common form of elastic polymer which is the result of blending two types of plastic and then heating them to create a long chain of polymer molecules. TPU is often used to make things that stretch a lot, such as clothing, bags, and shoe soles. TPU was first introduced in the 1990s and was originally developed by DuPont to make automobile parts.
In FDM 3D printing TPU filament is used like PLA or ABS to create durable objects that require elasticity. TPU has some similarities with both ABS and PLA, but TPU is usually more flexible and has fewer brittle failure points. TPU tends to have a slightly ‘lubricating’ feel when printed, due to the TPE additives that help TPU filament survive in an extruder without clogging up. TPU filaments are generally matte in color due to the TPE additives that are sometimes found in TPU filaments. PLA TPU filament blends also exist on the market.
TPU Filament Properties
TPU filament has some similar properties to TPE (‘thermoplastic elastomer’) and TPC (thermoplastic copolymer), however, TPU can also be used to make things that TPE and TPC cannot, such as tools and parts for machines.
- TPU is a very tough material with excellent physical properties: TPU has a much higher elastic limit than TPC or TPE and has a lower coefficient of friction than TPE. TPU also withstands repeated stretching and can be bent repeatedly without cracking.
- TPU filament is compatible with most types of 3D printer filament extruders that are able to handle TPA, PETG, ABS, PLA, and other thermoplastics. TPU filaments can also be used to make TPU objects in TPU machines, such as Tuff-Bot.
- TPU filament is often biodegradable and is sometimes compostable: TPU filament does not contain a significant amount of chlorine (unlike TPE and TPC) but TPE or TPC may be added during TPU production in order to make TPU objects compostable.
- TPU filament is comparable to TPE, TPC, and TPA: TPU has some similarities with both ABS and PLA, but TPU is usually more flexible and has fewer brittle failure points. TPU tends to have a slightly ‘lubricating’ feel when printed with, due to TPU’s TPE additives. TPU filaments can also be used without TPE in them (like TPA). TPU is typically much more durable than TPA.
- TPU filaments are available in a wide range of colors: clear, white, black, grey, and even translucent ‘invisible’ materials are available. TPU filament has some similar properties to TPE (‘thermoplastic elastomer’) and TPC (thermoplastic copolymer).
Benefits to using TPU 3D Printer Filament
Drawbacks Of 3D Printing TPU Filament
How To 3D Print TPU Filament
Guide To 3D Printing With TPU Filament
Printing with a TPU filament is a tricky business. You need to use the right nozzle temperature and bed temp, as well as avoiding warping or shrinkage – which you can avoid by printing at slower speeds and using appropriate materials like ABS for support structures! The type of printer body also matters: direct drive printers are best suited because they more easily accommodate specific temperatures that work for this material.
- Nozzle temperature: 210-230 °C (may vary)
- Bed temperature: 20-60 °C (but not required)
- Warping: Minimal
- Shrinkage: Minimal
- Print speed: Around 30 mm/s (may vary)
- Strength: Medium
- Flexibility: Very high
- Durability: Very high
- Abrasion resistance: Very high
- Soluble: No
- Hygroscopic: Yes
- Food safe: No
- Fumes: Minimal
- Recommended extruder type: Direct drive (or Bowden with calibration)
Your printer’s nozzle temperature should range from 210 to 230 degrees Celsius for printing with a TPU filament, whereas the bed temperature range should be 20 to 60 degrees Celsius. Warping and Shrinkage can’t happen much because of these settings that are specific for this type of material. The flexibility and durability is high, which suits the need of print results on TPU filaments if you have a direct drive or Bowden extruder calibration system in place as well.
A direct drive extruder is best for printing high-quality parts without jamming, but if you want to get decent quality prints with a Bowden setup and the right settings, it can be done. Before performing any large time-consuming or difficult tasks that require precision machinery as 3D printers do, we recommend doing small test prints first using TPU filament just in case there are some minor adjustments needed before going full throttle on your project.
The Plastic Parts On The Printer
The first and most obvious application of TPU filament is as a material for printing parts on the 3D printer, such as extruder nozzle nozzles, hot ends, feeder gears, fans, and so on. This kind of part usually does not need high precision, so it is fine if the surface of TPU filaments has some small bumps or sinkholes.
Small Plastic Figure Or Ornament
TPU filament has good elasticity and flexibility, which makes it be applied widely in printing the plastic figure. It is widely used in printing small figures on cellphones, computers, such as mobile phone strap buttons, decorative buttons for children’s clothes, and so on.
One of the major application fields of TPU filaments is at the place where users need protection, such as the phone buttons or the lamp power switch. Because of their good elasticity and flexibility, TPU filaments can keep their original shape even if is pressed for a long time.
RC car tires
You can get tires with a tread pattern that is tailored to your needs. For instance, you could make the tire look like it’s wearing off in areas where you want more traction or create patterns on both sides of the wheel at once by printing them together!
Get your bike grips customized with color to match the rest of its design. Customizable grip colors allow you to have a unique look that is eye-catching and complements any type of bicycle or electric scooter!
There is no shortage of creativity here. if there’s anything sliding around while we’re trying to work our current job then what? There has been one solution posted online from user “Katie” who suggested printing off some stable feet which should fit perfectly onto desks or panels – just make sure they match up snugly so nothing slides anymore!
Quick Tips For Printing With Flexible Filaments
High extruder temp, low bed temp
It is recommended to maintain the extrusion temperature at a range of 200-220°C. Also, it’s best not to use your heated bed for this process because it may interfere with other print parameters and cause problems or issues such as stringing in prints depending on what you’re printing. It should be noted that if you have an active heated bed during 3D Printing, make sure it’s set between 20-60ºC so that we don’t risk filament strings getting caught up around any moving parts due to differences in tractions from different materials being printed simultaneously using the same printer nozzle.
We don’t recommend using rafts when printing, it can make things more difficult. A base layer of a raft has much higher extrusion rates than the rest of your 3D printed object does – so you’ll need to design around that difference in order for everything to come out alright and not have any issues with warping or cutting off at sharp edges.
Slow feed rate
The flexible filament can be tricky to print, and printing too quickly may cause your extruder to clog. You should also keep in mind that the slower you go, the less likely it is for flexible filaments will bend under high stress, which means they are more stable at a lower speed than with higher speeds. A recommended setting would be 5mm-25mm/s, but if this doesn’t work out well enough for you then don’t hesitate to try 35 mm/s-your printers might just need some time adjusting with these new materials!
Reduce filament travel
In a Bowden extruder, the filament is flexible and can bend as it’s pushed by an extrusion head. To avoid kinks during printing, you should shorten the distance that your filament has to travel when using PTFE tubing – which is closer in size to what you are feeding into your printer.
The humble plastic TPU filament that we use to print things is delicate and flexible. It doesn’t like being pulled back too quickly, which would cause it to break or stretch as the extruder pulls it through a heated nozzle. Make sure you don’t over-extrude so your printer can be used with different materials in the future including more complex ones such as ABS plastics!
With normal filament, the extruder pulls on it from a spool and as it’s used. However, the flexible filament may stretch instead of unwinding when being fed into the machine because there is resistance against its use.
Don’t get stuck
Flexible filaments are excellent for adhesion on glass and aluminum surfaces. However, if you have a grippy build surface like PEI I would recommend using painter’s tape or even oil to prevent them from sticking too hard to your build surface.
Keep it cool
A cooling fan is a must-have for 3D printing. The first couple of layers should not be printed with the fan on because you need to wait until there’s good bed adhesion, but any time after that it can help retain finer details and prevent sagging during long prints.
Reduce layer height
Numerous factors affect the performance of your 3D Printer, including how you set up and calibrate it. Setting a reduced layer height can have significant benefits for many aspects. Printing with more layers per inch (which is measured in millimeters) requires significantly less plastic filament to complete any given print project as well as relieving extra stress from both the extruder and heated bed which will prolong their life span.
The best way to keep your filament dry is by storing it in a refrigerator. If you store them in a humid environment, then heat the filament at 200°F for 6 hours and let them cool down before removing them from the oven. You can also use vacuum drying which will only take an hour!
Is TPU Toxic?
It is not unusual for children to put toys in their mouths, and the TPU filament used for these objects can contain impurities as well. Even though it’s been shown that medical applications of this material are safe, it should be kept clear from ingestion at all times since it’s a synthetic thermoplastic that could have additives such as antimony.
What is Shore Hardness?
Shore Hardness (abbreviated SH) is a scale developed in the 1920s by Stanley G. Shore that measures the hardness of materials, specifically those used in plastics. It was developed to standardize the measurement of rubber and plastic hardness so that comparisons between different types of material could be made. The scale runs from 0 to 100 and is based on the amount of force required to indent a sample of rubber with a standardized steel ball. The scale, in general use, often goes as low as 0 (hard) to about 70 (soft). A measurement of 100 would be defined as “brittle.”
What is a PTFE Hotend Liner?
If you’re experiencing too much friction, causing extrusion issues with your flexible filaments, it may be worth investing in a Hot-End with a low friction PTFE liner. However, PTFE can’t get much hotter than 220C+, so the positioning and temperature you print at are worth considering before using them.
What Is the Difference Between TPU and TPE?
TPE and TPU are two standard filaments. They have their differences, but one thing they do share is that they can both be stretched or flexed easily enough to make a 3D print flexible without breaking the filament apart as you go along your design process.
TPE and TPU’s major similarities lie in how well it holds up under heat-stretching conditions while also being able to maintain its strength during use due to being thermoplastic derivatives (a type of polymer). These qualities allow for new designs using Flexi filament which bends more than regular ABS plastics would ever dream about withstanding so much abuse from such extreme temperatures!
TPE Flexi Filament VS TPU Flexi Filament
Thermoplastic elastomers are a mixture of hard plastic and soft rubber so that they can be used effortlessly by the user to take advantage of both its elastic and thermoplastic properties. TPE basically covers all materials with flexible qualities including Thermoplast polyamide (TPA), Thermoplast co-polyester(TCP), and thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPE).
TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane. It is a new subdomain of one of the more common types of 3D printing filament around. This makes it ideal for tough builds that can take a licking and keep on ticking, as well as making objects easy to print with flexible filaments like TPE or PLA because they’re rigid enough not to stretch out in the mid-printing process!
Things to Consider Before Buying TPU Filament
Some 3D projects break and some bend, but the same materials can be used for both. The type of material you choose depends on your project’s purpose, flexibility is also key to ensure that it won’t snap when bent or broken.
There are different types of materials available in order to create a three-dimensional (3D) object such as hard plastic models and soft silicone ones which produce flexible objects for more sensitive purposes like jewelry modeling. Finding the perfect one may not always be easy because they vary depending on what kind of model needs making, But at least we made things easier by narrowing down our choices.
What kind of flexibility do you want for your TPU? There are many things that affect the hardness level. For example, a Lego block is much more rigid than a marshmallow because it has an upper shore number of 100A while the latter only has 10A. To get medium-flexibility material pick TPU with 60-70 A on its hard scale and decide from there if you’d like something tougher or softer to touch!
TPU filaments can contain harmful chemicals that when used for a long period of time could make people sick. If you are buying TPU to create children’s toys, try using something with less harsh substances and always wear full coverage while working on it just in case there is an accident.
Printers are used to make models or applications from TPU filaments. There is a variety of printers on the market, but not all filament types work with every printer due to differing specifications for thickness and size. Some use 1.75mm while others need 1.25mm filament so check your specific model before making that final decision!
The best TPU filament is a valuable material to have in your 3D printing arsenal. It can be used for many different applications and has several benefits that will make it worth the investment if you are looking to explore new materials. Printing with this filament is a great way to create products that are durable, flexible, and soft. We hope this article has been helpful in helping you better understand how to use TPU for your 3D printing needs and we look forward to seeing what cool things you print!