When used with Markforged composite printers, Smooth TPU 95A, a rubber-like material, enables product designers and producers to quickly produce flexible, impact-absorbent parts.
Markforged Smooth TPU 95A enables manufacturers to produce high-quality, flexible parts on demand. Manufacturers may now create anything from prototype consumer products to production parts on a simple and dependable platform.
Flexible parts have always been difficult for manufacturers to make in small quantities. Custom geometries made with these materials typically need one-off tooling, which results in high start-up costs and lengthy lead times. A very small number of 3D printing systems, if any, are capable of producing parts with the consistency and mechanical qualities needed for manufacturing.
What is Smooth TPU?
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), a material that resembles rubber is used to create flexible, impact-resistant parts. TPU is one of a select few materials used to create items including gaskets, seals, shock absorbers, hoses, and drive belts.
Markforged Smooth TPU is a 3D printing material that offers the same functionality as traditionally produced TPU parts while enabling our customers to create bespoke part designs on demand.
What are common Smooth TPU applications?
- Seals and gaskets
- Shock absorbers
- Protective coverings
- Straps, bands, and drive belts
- Non-marring work holding and grips
- Wheels and treads
What are the Benefits of 3D Printing TPU?
The conventional approaches of manufacturing flexible polymers with a rubber-like consistency typically involve lengthy lead times, high start-up costs, and complicated processing procedures.
Because of the significant investment in tooling that is necessary, manufacturing with these kinds of materials is typically only feasible for use in large quantities. The production of flexible, rubber-like parts, which are typically costly and difficult to obtain in small numbers, is made possible by the capability of certain Markforged 3D printers to print using smooth TPU 95A.
With >500% elongation to break and a 95 ShoreA hardness, Markforged Smooth TPU is suitable for:
- Replacing traditional manufacturing to make high-value, flexible, impact-resistant parts for end use when large quantities aren’t needed.
- Maintaining production lines when legacy components are no longer available
- Prototyping for design validation before ramping up production
3D Printing Elastomeric Materials
While the cost benefits of 3D printing TPU are obvious, these filaments are difficult to 3D print in practise. They frequently result in jams, blockages, and ongoing printer adjustments from print to print. After all that effort, the surface quality of a final product is frequently subpar and unacceptable.
Markforged have combined their materials, hardware, and software, capabilities to create a dependable TPU printing solution. You won’t need an engineer to fine-tune print rates, nozzle temperatures, or retract settings because they’ve already done it for you!
While there are other TPU-enabled additive manufacturing systems available today, few, if any, offer the durability, consistency, and convenience of use that Markforged does. Users simply click print and get back to work, as with all Markforged materials.
What is the Functionality and Versatility of Markforged Smooth TPU?
The advantage of the Markforged smooth TPU solution is that it produces functional parts suitable for industrial applications.
Although SLA and DLP TPU solutions promise higher feature fidelity, these cured resin parts cannot withstand the pressures and stresses of real-world applications. Competitive FFF solutions may have comparable tensile and elongation capabilities, but they lack the accuracy, uniformity, and surface quality of Markforged Smooth TPU.
Markforged is bridging the gap to create a solution that satisfies customers’ practical and high-quality needs. Adjusting slicer settings, Markforged mimics the same flexibility of an 85 ShoreA gasket, a 90 ShoreA drive belt or a 95 ShoreA shock absorber all on the same spool of filament – Smooth TPU 95A.
Which Markforged 3D Printers support Smooth TPU 95A?
Smooth TPU will be available for purchase the 12th of September 2022. Colours available are black and white. The material will print on Mark Two (Gen 2) and Onyx Pro (Gen 2) Desktop Series 3D printers upon launch.
The new material is also expected to be available by the end of the year on all Markforged Industrial Series printers equipped with the newest A3648 extruder.