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TPU and TPE flexible filament settings 3D printer

TPU and TPE are flexible 3D filaments that print easily and have good mechanical properties

TPU stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane and is a type of TPE. TPE stands for Thermoplastic Elastomers. TPU has better properties than TPE and is generally harder than TPE; the hardness of flexible filaments is expressed in Shore A; the rough rule is that TPE goes up to 90 ShA and TPU goes up to 90 ShA.

Because flexible filament is not rigid, it bends and deforms faster, making 3D printing more difficult. That is why we have listed here the settings for printing TPU and TPE flexible filament:

  • Print speed: 15 - 35 mm / sec. (TPU can be faster than TPE)
  • Always start as slowly as possible! When you have the right flow, you can increase the speed a little.
  • Always check that the flexible filament is not kinked or double pressed by the extruder
  • Extruder: Direct drive if possible!
  • Retractions: Disable retractions at startup. When you have the right flow, you can slowly tweak retractions.
  • Retractions: Trick: use the same speeds for flexible filament! So the retraction speed equals your
  • print speed. Perimeters and any infill also at the same speed.
  • Nozzle temperature: 215 - 240 ° C
  • Heated bed: 50 - 90 ° C
  • Fan cooling: Yes, but expand the first layers due to warping. Then not too hard!
  • Enclosure: not necessary, but no superfluous luxury
  • Bed adhesion: Yes, Gravity Spray or Magigoo
  • Minimum nozzle diameter: from 0.25 mm
  • Nozzle: Regular brass is sufficient
  • Storage: Always keep your filament in an airtight bag at room temperature in a dry environment

Look at flexible filament or Flexfill on www.plasticz.nl for more information.