Processing parameters:

Extrusion temperature: 240 °C
Platform temperature: 60 °C
Printing surface: Scotch Blue Tape, Kapton (large distance in z-direction)

Since TPU is much more flexible compared to other plastics used in 3D printing, there are a number of requirements for the machine and process parameters in order to ensure a stable process. The filament path from the motor to the hot end must stabilize the filament over the entire area. Even small non-stabilized areas lead to the filament buckling under the load of the feed and getting caught in these areas. Since the filament reacts very slowly to sudden changes in the feed rate, it is advisable to select a low printing speed. In contrast, the idle speed should be selected very high, as TPU tends to pull fine threads after the nozzle is set down. Here it is also helpful to select the retract setting in the slicer a little higher.

Since TPU is a very hygroscopic material, the pre-drying of the material is essential for the production of stable components.

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Since TPU has excellent resistance to scratches and cuts, it is difficult to machine. The plastic can be glued using cyanoacrylate glue (superglue). In order to screw TPU components together, for example by means of two-component printing, inserts made of a stiffer material, for example ABS, should be inserted into the component at the same time or glued in later.

Solubility / Persistence

TPU is resistant to fats, oils, aqueous solutions and most solvents. Not resistant to acids and alcohols

Areas of application

Due to its high flexibility and the excellent tensile strength, TPU is suitable for the manufacture of precisely fitting three-dimensional seals or precisely fitting damping and cushioning elements. In addition, TPU has excellent tensile strength, which makes it suitable as a material for flexible joints and connections. TPU is also often used in sports for the production of protectors or fitness armbands, as the plastic is dermatologically harmless.

Like most plastics, TPU only has low thermal conductivity. As a result, it is not suitable for applications with high-frequency cyclic loads such as Wheels or toothed belts.

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