TPU or ThermoPlastic Polyurethane is flexible filament. It’s an ideal filament for prints requiring some flexibility such as;
- Phone cases
- Parts for drones
- Door stoppers
- Vibration supports
- Any other object where some malleability/flex is required.
This filament has some great qualities. Whilst it is flexible, it is still a little rigid which makes it much easier to print.
An incorrect myth of TPU is that all Bowden style extruders cannot print TPU. A very important aspect of printing with TPU is the setup within the hot-end. The Infographic below illustrates the importance of the extended tubing towards the gears necessary to guide the TPU filament to the hot-end. Without this guide, the softer nature of the TPU material will either not find purchase to the connecting hot-end or will buckle during a print and the filament will wind itself within the hot-end housing.
Helpful Printing Tips;
Extruder Temp: Ideal printing temp is between 200C – 220C
Heat Bed Temp: Between 70C-80C
Speed: It is best to print TPU slower than you would any other filament. Typically 15mm/sec is ideal, however, printing at 30mm/sec can still give great results.