3D printing was a hot topic in the 21st century. People have been working with 3D printers and trying to create a lot of objects. Flexible filaments are a widely used material and can be used to create any complex elastic design. Since this is 3D printing, let’s discuss 3D printing with flexible filaments.
If you are new to this field you can face many challenges and it may not be easy. However, printing with flexible filament is easier than it looks. This concept is widely used from TPE to Soft PLA. When we talk about design, these filaments are actually printable rubber and because of this, it can create complex elastic designs that might otherwise be impossible. These filaments are available in different variants. There are different colors, hardnesses, and chemical makeup that you can use to give your product different properties.
What is flexible 3D printing?
Most people want to know what exactly is flexible 3D printing. If you’ve printed with PLA filament, you know that it is tough and brittle. The products from which the models are made are mainly made of rubber, which can be heated and given the required shape as needed. This doesn’t work with 3D printers. You have to combine different materials like rubber polymers with plastic polymers to get a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). You can also create thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), thermoplastic polyester copolyamide elastomer (PCTPE) or soft PLA. These materials are used in many industries to make various items. Most of these items are used in a vehicle. If you print with resin filament, you can also make edible products. Rules of 3D printing
There are certain rules that need to be followed when using the flexible filament for printing.
- No pull back when printing
The first rule is that there should be no withdrawal. It is better to turn off the retraction while printing. Constantly extruding and retracting can cause problems. The printer has to fill the hotend with more filament and can cause defects in the final product.
- Keep the filament dry
It is imperative that you dry the flexible filament every time. This can be accomplished by placing the filament in an oven at 200 ° F for about 6 hours, then turning the oven off and cooling to room temperature. Most filaments will break if you use them wet. The water droplets can also leave voids in the final print that may not look good. Keeping the filament dry is good for the end product. The resins come in many forms, so they can easily be used to create 3D printer objects. A high quality resin is mostly used for printing with resin filaments. It helps create a naturally smooth surface.
- Slow down
You can print very quickly with certain filaments such as PLA or ABS because they are hard material and easy to move around on the product. This does not apply to flexible printing. If you slow down the whole process, there is less chance of error. You can start 30mm / s as the top speed at startup. Certain printers may require you to work faster or slower, but the 30mm / s works best.
There are certain myths when it comes to using flexible filaments for printing. Many believe that you can’t use this on Bowden printers and it won’t even print well. With recent advances, the biggest improvement has been to limit the filament path. This will ensure that the filament won’t come out of the bond and stay in place.
The first layer
It’s always important to get the first layer right every time you print. To do this, you need to make sure that the printing surface is level. In addition, the extruder must be at the correct height from the bed and the nozzle must be the correct distance from the bed. Last but not least, the base should be made of good material and adhere to the flexible filament. Make sure the temperature is correct too and temperatures that are too high and too low are bad for the end product.
The steadily growing interest in 3D printing and the invention of new methods of creating a model have made this a very important work. Soon the way we make and handle objects and even food would change.