Flexible, elastic filaments have opened up a whole new range of functional parts 3D printers can produce, and now German RepRap says their latest, TPU 93 material, is ideal for creating prototypes for handles or seals quickly and inexpensively.
German RepRap GmbH was originally established as the German RepRap Foundation back in 2010, and since that time, the company has developed and marketed 3D printing solutions based on RepRap Fused Filament Fabrication technologies. The company also markets 3D scanners, filaments, software, and accessories.
Their X400 machine marked the first entry from a German firm for a large-capacity 3D printer for professional users. German RepRap builds 3D printers for professional for use in product development, prototyping, mold and model making, architecture, and design. They also offer 3D printer kits for prosumers.
With their TPU 93 filament, the company offers a thermoplastic polyurethane ideal for products such as cable sheathing, and it can also be used as a coating for “soft-touch” surfaces on vehicle interiors. It’s soft, UV and ozone resistant, and offers excellent weather-proofing and abrasion resistance.
TPU 93 filament features a very high degree of flexibility – in fact, according to DIN EN ISO 527 testing, the material is capable of achieving a 500% stretch before the breaking point – and it has a Shore hardness of 93. This level of hardness means the filament is more resistant to oils and greases than TPE-type filaments and more elastic than soft PLA.
As it also has a high resistance to infiltration from microorganisms, TPU 93 is also applicable to medical technology end-uses.
German RepRap says TPU 93 has been optimized for processing in 3D printers and offers excellent flow characteristics. The material processes at 190–215°C and does not require a heated build platform. It does, however, requires extruders which feature a gapless filament feed such as the DD3 extruder used on the German RepRap X350.
It’s available in 1.75mm diameter on 1 kg spools, and TPU 93 is sold at the German RepRap online store as well as by authorized dealers worldwide. Each spool of translucent TPU 93 is priced at €74.79 from the German RepRap store, and for $149.99 from 3DChimera, the authorized US reseller for German RepRap.
Have you ever used any of the German RepRap products, printers, or filaments? How about this latest filament? Let us know in the TPU 93 forum thread on 3DPB.com.