Meet Our New Rubber-Like Material!
by elizabeth | September 12, 2019
We’re back from our summer break and have exciting news to share: we have a new and improved TPU offering! Plus, this rubber-like material is now available in the US!
Our Research Project Manager Giovanni Vleminckx has been working hard on getting this material ready for production, which is still fully flexible like the old TPU, but now even more resistant to abrasion and wear.
What are the main benefits of this material?
- It has a very high level of design freedom, with walls only needing to be 0.8 millimeters thick.
- It’s strong enough to allow us to make even large parts.
- With our new offering, we have a higher production capacity, meaning we can increase volume and print speeds while maintaining short lead times.
- Smoother surfaces: We conducted a survey in which 85% of respondents said that the visual and tactile properties of the new TPU are better or much better than the old one
- More detail: Features are even sharper with the new TPU.
- Color: Our new rubber-like material is a slate gray color instead of an off-white.
- 3D printing technology: Our new TPU is made using an adhesive agent and heat to fuse powder together in a process called Multi Jet Fusion (MJF). Our old rubber-like offering was made by fusing powder together using a laser, which is called Laser Sintering (SLS). Check out our 3D Printing Technologies page to learn more about the difference.
What is the rubber-like material?
Like our old rubber-like offering, items made with this material are able to bounce back to its original form. As Giovanni puts it, “TPU has an excellent shape memory. For example, you could drive over this TPU lattice cube, as well as the whole sphere, with a car and it would return to its original shape. This is a unique feature you would like to have in everything where you have these lattices incorporated, where you want to regain the shape that you originally have, but still have the possibility that your part can conform to certain deformations.”
Why use TPU?
TPU is great for prototypes or end-use parts. It’s great for fashion pieces, jewelry, shoe soles or squeezable gadgets. It’s already used by industries for applications that require good shock absorption, as well as applications such as air ducts, complex tubing, grippers, skiing goggles, and more.
What would you print in our new rubber-like material? Get started by uploading your 3D model!