Blog
Apr 24

TPU98A@df: Tips, tricks, settings & recommendations

 

What is TPU98A from Dutch Filaments?

 

TPU98A is a specifically formulated flexible filament for easy & high speed printing on both direct and Bowden style 3D printers. It features an exceptionally high softening point (138℃) and can be stretched as far as 450% before reaching its breaking point. The use of a heated bed is not mandatory (though recommended) and TPU98A can even be printed straight onto (clean) glass.

TPU98A is the flexible filament for (semi)professional users who do not want to compromise and require a high mechanical flexible filament that prints easily. TPU98A is an extremely usable flex-filament with a wide variety of different applications such as Orthopedic insoles, Prosthetics, Vibration dampers and many more.

Features:

  • Strong & Flexible
  • Works on Direct & Bowden style 3D printers
  • Printable at speeds of >75mm/s
  • Exceptionally high softening point of 138°C
  • 450% elongation at break
  • Resistance to oils, greases & microorganisms
  • Easily print watertight objects

 

How to print with TPU98A flexible filament:

When compared to rigid materials, flexible materials are often more difficult to print. Even though we took great care of making one of the most easily printable flex filaments it is still recommended to read this article to better familiarize yourself with the do’s and don’ts of flexible 3D printing.

Several factors are extra important for flexible filaments and need to be considered when printing;

Prepare your 3D printer well

Design of the feeder & hotend

Several types of hotends and feeders are available on the market. With this article we will focus on the below mentioned 3 types.

Dutch Filaments recommends to stay away from the 1a/1b setup if at all possible in order to avoid printing issues. It does not mean that it is impossible to print with this setup though in practice this means you will have to print slow (30 – 40 mm/s) and will have to spend a decent amount of time on tweaking your print settings & feeder tension.

When properly dialed in TPU98A will print like butter at extremely fast speeds (>75mm/s) on both Direct (2) and Bowden (3) setups. It is still important to spend time on finding the perfect tension settings and temperature settings in order to avoid problems during printing.

 

Proper tension settings

Much can be said about accomplishing correct tension settings on your 3D printer. Unfortunately there’s such a wide variety of different systems that it is impossible for us to discuss every specific 3D printer.

In practice most Direct drive printers will feature a spring loaded system or don’t allow for much tweaking of the tension. The recommendation is that you make sure that your feeder has a tight grip on the filament but does not over-compress the filament which can cause grinding of the filament.

Example of a spring loaded direct drive

For Bowden drive printers it is crucial that you have either an 2 / 3 type setup as less “filament restricting” setups (like for example UM2) will cause mayor issues when you try to print faster than 30mm/s, and even then it can cause issues due to the feeder design. The recommendation for the tightness of the feeder on a bowden drive printer is basically the same as a direct drive printer.


A surprising example of what can (and likely will) go wrong when you don’t have the right feeder for printing flexible filament.

 

Complimentary UM2+ slicer settings (Cura, Simplify3D)