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The new MattFlex 40D from Fiberlogy is a strong incentive to get even more people interested in flexible filaments and promises high-quality prints. It has a matte finish that hides the bonding of the layers, and its surface reflects light to a minimum.
Rubber-like filaments are still a novelty for many 3D printers. For some, it’s a real challenge, where each satisfactory result is hard-won with hours of trial and error. In the meantime, users who have already tried and mastered this material can realize projects on their printers that cannot be realized with conventional materials such as PLA, ABS or nylon.
How do you print with “rubber”?
The basic idea is that optimal results with flexible filaments can only be achieved on printers that are equipped with the direct system. The Fiberlogy Flex filament family now works just as well on Bowden printers as the popular Enders.
The key to success lies in the selection of parameters, but also in the correct preparation of the machine. It starts with reducing the pressure on the extruder. Too much pressure can cause the filament to “leak” or block it. It is also a good idea to reduce the amount of withdrawal. Retracting the filament excessively or too quickly can quickly clog the nozzle.
Most important, however, is the printing speed. It is usually recommended to print flexible filaments at a speed of around 20 mm / s. However, with Fiberlogy MattFlex 40D as well as FiberFlex 40D, excellent results can be achieved at 45 mm / s. Even 60 mm / s with a direct extruder should not affect the result.
The last step is the proper preparation of the substrate. The filaments of the Flex family adhere very well to both PEI and glass substrates. If you run into problems, you can try using blue masking tape. In this case, however, the adhesive tape remains on the underside of the model, which must then be removed with water or a sharp tool.
After printing, the model can be easily removed by heating the bed and gently levering it with a spatula. Pulling on a model firmly held on the table only tears off the lower print layers.
Flexible filaments – new possibilities
But does this whole “fight” over rubber printing make sense? Absolutely! Flexible filaments open up new possibilities.
Its strength and resistance to harsh conditions make this material suitable for a wide variety of practical applications. From model and robotic tires, seals and vibration-dampening pads to clothing components and straps for watches and smartwatches, the list of areas where MattFlex 40D is proving its worth can go on forever.
Compared to common filaments such as PLA or ABS, we have much more influence on the properties of the model itself during print preparation. The number of contours, the density of the filling and its structure influence the hardness of the end result, which means that a model made of filament with 40D Shore hardness can ultimately be softer than a model from its counterpart with a hardness of even 20D (approximately 90A). At the same time, it becomes easier to print. With materials from the Flex family, such as MattFlex or FiberFlex, the user primarily decides how the end model of his efforts will behave.
Rubber-like materials are very worthwhile in the field of 3D printing and their widespread use is a strong argument for adding them to the list of commonly used filaments.
MattFlex 40D will go on sale in early October 2021. It will be available through Fiberlogy’s network of branded retailers.
Printing specifications for MattFlex 40D:
- Nozzle temperature: 210-230 ° C
- Bed temperature: 50-70 ° C
- Closed chamber: not required
- Fan: 50-75%
- Flow: 105-110%
- Printing speed: <60 mm / s
- Surface: glass, masking tape
- Retraction: 1-2mm
- Retraction speed: 10-30 mm / s
In order to be able to remove the pressure more easily, it is recommended to heat the bed to 110 ° C