This week I went to Pittsburgh for the Rapid + TCT expo, a large gathering of 3D printing companies largely targeted towards the industrial sector. I knew going in that my friends at MatterHackers were going to be there, and I said, “Hey! I know you guys make some interesting filaments, bring some to Pittsburgh for Filament Friday!” and of course they obliged. They brought me two spools when we met up at the afterparty hosted by 3DPPGH and HackPittsburgh. This week, we are going to look at their Pro Series TPU – a flexible filament.
MatterHackers Pro Series of filaments are made in the USA and are held to rigid quality standards. Their TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is a flexible – like Ninja-flex – but with a little more rigidity. This is nice because while you may want something to be flexible, it’s great to be able to choose how flexible you want it to be.
Using the Flex settings on the Prusa i3 Mk2, I got a great print first shot with this filament. I found it to be a little less stringy than I’m used to with flexibles, but it didn’t handle overhangs quite a cleanly as I have seen in some others. I did get some gaps in my print where there were some feeding issues, but I feel like this came more from my spool holder than it did from the material itself.
Even though Pro Series is a little more stiff than Ninja-Flex, you will still need a machine with an extruder compatible with flexible materials, or you will find yourself with filament trying to escape rather than extrude.
If Ninja-Flex is just a little too wiggly for you, give MatterHackers Pro Series TPU a shot to stay flexible, but not too flexible.
Check back every Friday for weekly reviews on 3D printing filament.
If you have a filament you would like us to try out or are a producer of filament, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to make it an upcoming installment of Filament Friday!