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Materials Guide - TPU

TPU printed part

TPUs are flexible filaments known for their elasticity. They are materials that can be stretched and bent easily. TPUs are popular in 3D printing because of their elasticity and ability to produce flexible, resilient objects.

Why TPU?

TPU filaments offer excellent inter-layer adhesion, favoring print quality, while their flexibility makes them ideal for prototypes, shoe soles and other components requiring resistance to deformation. They are also highly effective in terms of impact and wear resistance. This adaptability in 3D printing further broadens the scope of TPU applications, making it the material of choice for projects requiring both strength and flexibility. The degree of flexibility will depend on the hardness of the filament used, indicated in shore A.

Spider diagram for TPU

Benefits

  • Highly flexible
  • Dimensionally stable
  • Very good inter-layer adhesion
  • High impact and cut resistance
  • High resistance to abrasion and wear
  • Excellent resistance to oils and greases

Disadvantages

  • Hard to print
  • Highly hygroscopic
  • Low printing speed required
  • Very poor bridges and overhangs
  • Hard to remove brackets

How to print TPU?

Printing in TPU can seem daunting at first, with its unique challenges and precise requirements. But don't worry, we're here to guide you through the process.
Parameters to be adjusted according to your 3D printer

Extrusion temperature

220°C to 240°C

tray temperature icon

Plateau temperature

50°C - 70°C

Print speed icon

Print speed

25 - 40 mm/s

Adhesion

Uhu glue

Cooling

20%

Questions / Answers

It's important to reduce printing speed, as TPU's flexibility can cause it to bend during rapid movements, leading to clogging in the extruder.

TPU has a unique melting temperature, so adjusting the printing temperature when switching to TPU is necessary to ensure correct melting and adhesion.

The tray temperature needs to be adjusted as different materials have different glass transition temperatures, which affects the way the TPU adheres to the tray.

Shrinkage requires careful adjustment with the TPU; too little shrinkage causes threads and too much can lead to clogging due to the filament's flexibility.

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