Customization appears to drive the globe more and more. The goal of the hour is to create items that meet costumers’ expectations. A big part of it is 3D printing, which takes personalized solutions to a whole new level. While rubber is the material of choice for flexible and elastic applications, it is unfortunately not 3D printable. As a result, we’re looking for rubber-like materials that work with 3D printing. Here’s what flexible 3D filaments are good for.
What Are TPEs?
TPEs are polymers that combine the qualities of rubber and plastic. Put another way, they easily stretch and twist while still maintaining some firmness. TPEs come in various shapes and sizes, and their chemical structures vary. Some are more elastic than others. As a result, different producers can experiment with chemical formulations to develop filaments as elastic as rubber bands or as flexible as tires. TPEs are soft and pliable, with excellent electrical characteristics. They are good materials for 3D printing since they resist fatigue and attenuate vibrations.
Types of TPEs
TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane, is the most common flexible filament. It is sturdy and long-lasting, making it more rigid than other choices. The advantage of a rigid filament is that it can easily flow through the extruder!
An alternating sequence of short-chain and long-chain glycols make up TPC. It is another type of flexible filament. TPC is an engineering-grade material because it contains both soft and rigid parts. While people employ it in various industries, it is not commonly used in hobbyist 3D printers.
Best Uses of Flexible Filaments
The typical lifespan of a flexible filament in a high friction situation is abysmal. These printed parts shine most when applied to gaskets, seals, and other “tight fittings.” Furthermore, flexible filaments can often occupy the role of specialty parts in any type of prototype generation!
We hope you have enjoyed our article on what flexible 3D filaments are good for! If you are looking to purchase PETG printer filament, be sure to reach out to Filamatrix today!