Making TPE Filament for FDM –

Making TPE Filament for FDM -

In the recently published “Investigation into filament extrusion of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) for modeling melt deposition”, the authors Wang Zicheng and Mohammad Nouri wrote a dissertation on thermoplastic elastomers in 3D printing from granules to filaments and found ways to get around this Optimizing materials All the advantages of plastics and rubber, with deformability properties that border on the 4D range, stretch and then return to their original shape.

TPEs are useful in applications such as electronics, home appliances, the automotive industry, and even packaging materials. The authors point out that with such strong advantages, the 3D printing industry started paying more attention to TPE.

Advantages and disadvantages of a flexible 3D printing filament (Simplify 3D®)

In this study, the aim was to find the best parameters for filament extrusion in terms of temperature and speed – using the 3Devo filament extruder, which can extrude more flexibly with four heating units.

“The extrusion speed is another important parameter in filament extrusion, which has a direct effect on the configuration of the filament,” the researchers say. “The extrusion speed can be accurate to 0.1 rpm on the extruder. The second aim of the investigation is to find out the optimal extrusion speed at which the high quality filament is efficiently produced.

“As soon as the first optimal parameter was found, it was used for the next parameter in the following experiment. The basic method is to create a circulation flow until all the information is confirmed. “

The order of the key parameters is experimenting

A diameter tolerance was set for the key indicator, which represents a fluctuation in the filament during the extrusion process.

Diameter measuring sensor and filament puller

The researchers focused on problems with inconsistent material flows and examined surface friction and how such aspects can be reduced by a lubricant additive.

Investigation method

The 3Devo Filament Extruder already offers standard temperatures and speeds for materials like PLA and ABS, with most materials regulated to increase from heating 4 to 1.

Overall, the research team found that the optimal extrusion temperatures for TPE-SEPS from heater 4 to heater 1 were ° C. The optimal speed was 2.4 RPM, which not only allowed adequate roundness and consistency to be maintained, but also maximized productivity.

“The smear test lives up to expectations because the smear additive covers the surface of the filament and linearly decreases the surface friction with increasing percentage. The feasibility of printing increases with the percentage of lubricating additive. Special printer settings and printheads are required to achieve the highest quality. The most common mistake in the printing process is the inconsistency of the extrusion. Too much surface friction in combination with poor material stiffness is the main cause of this defect. The filament is capable of printing flat products of low height and of promising quality, ”the researchers concluded.

“When it comes to the feasibility of printing, this investigation only focuses on one possible cause, which is surface friction. Other aspects are the printhead or the parameters of the printer during manufacture have not been investigated. Each test setting could be recorded and analyzed to find the identical setting for the extruded filament. “

Thermoplastic 3D printing continues to be an ongoing refinement as researchers continue to explore FDM thermoplastics along with high performance materials and more. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion on this and other 3D printing topics on

[Source / Images: ‘Investigation on Filament Extrusion of Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) for Fused Deposition Modeling’]

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