Printing 3D models with Flexible Material – TPU

How to print our flexible products from TPU very simply?

TPU is an easy filament to print, but it is important to set up printing correctly for its properties.

1 Go Slow

Pro tip: do not print on high speeds. TPU typically prints best at slower speeds. (15mm/s – 35mm/s)

2 Highest Temperature

To ensure a proper bond between the layers, print out at the filament’s highest temperature. Printing with higher temperatures will allow the filament to melt faster and to flow easier from a nozzle.

3 Retraction

This feature is very useful with rigid filaments like PLA and ABS, however, with TPU filaments, retractions can be challenging and can result in clogging. That’s why it is highly advisable to disable retraction to prevent stretching and compressing of the flexible filament in the nozzle. We designed most models without need of retraction, but several parts needs a travel while printing. You can easily cut the strings after printing.

4 Over-extrude

Increase the Flow (Cura) or Extrusion Multiplier (PrusaSlicer) to 105% As TPU filaments can improperly extrude during the printing process, resulting in improper bonding of layers and perimeters. One way of dealing with this issue is to slightly increase your extrusion multiplier.

5 Placement of the material

The filament will be stretched while pulled which can lead to under-extrusion. Place the spool above the printer so the filament unwinds downwards which can reduce any resistance. It is advisable to have a printer with direct extruder. It is important for the path in which the filament travels to the melt zone to have tight tolerances, which can prevent any kinking or coiling.

Design your own printable products

Learn how to design cool and functional printable furniture, accessories and decorations. The rules of design for printing without supports and optimal shapes to create highly aesthetic products printed with fine filaments and also creating objects with unusual and naturalistic textures.

Design Printables Course Stories