3D printing in TPU

TPU is an elastic thermoplastic with rubber-like characteristics and great mechanical properties. TPU 3D printing can be used for prototypes and functional parts.

BASF baut das Arbeitsgebiet 3D-Druck weiter aus und stärkt seine Marktpräsenz bei Powder Bed Fusion mit neuen Produkten und Formulierungen. / BASF is expanding its 3D printing activities by strengthening the market presence in the area of powder bed fus

About TPU

TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is an elastic polymer with outstanding physical properties, high thermal stability, and good chemical resistance. This 3D printing material has been engineered to simulate rubber-like features by combining strength with great elasticity and durability. TPU has good abrasive properties and is extremely resistant to wear, tear and dynamic loading. For that reason, parts that are 3D printed in TPU can be easily compressed and flexed to a degree that other more common plastic materials (ABS and PLA) cannot.

The powdered form of TPU creates highly detailed and precise parts with excellent surface quality. Another advantage of 3D printing in TPU is that it is a real all-rounder able to create flexible, semi-rigid or rigid parts that can withstand temperatures of up to 80° C.

Such characteristics are driving the growth in the popularity of 3D printing in TPU for high-performance parts in industrial environments. There is a wide range of applications in the automotive, machinery and aerospace industries. Depending on the application, the recycling rate of TPU can go up to 100%. The material is suitable for impact-absorbing parts, grips, sealings, wheels, cable sheathings and hard-soft systems.

Strengths

✦ Simulates rubber-like characteristics

✦ Outstanding physical properties

✦ High resistance to tear and wear

✦ Large, complex parts

✦ Good chemical and thermal stability

Weaknesses

✧ Long lead times

✧ Not biocompatible

✧ Some TPUs will degrade in wet conditions

Common APPLICATIONS of TPU

– Tooling and jig

– Air dutcs

– Automotive door handles

Available technologies on our TPU 3D Print Service

SLS

Selective Laser Sintering builds components with high accuracy and durability in a wide range of materials.

FDM

Fused Deposition Model produces strong, accurate and stable parts in a wide range of plastics.

CHARACTERISTICS OF 3D PRINTING IN TPU

SLS

FDM

Max. Bed Size (mm)

1000x1000x1000 mm

1626x864x711 mm

Max. Bed Size (in)

39.4×39.4×39.4 in

64.01×31.02×28 in

Layer Height

30-150 μm

130 μm

Accuracy

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

Smoothness

★★★★☆

★★★☆☆

Flexibility

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

Rigidity

★★☆☆☆

★★☆☆☆

Biocompatible

No

No

Food Safe

No

No

Watertight

Yes

Yes

Recyclable

Yes

Yes

General technical data for 3D PRINTING IN TPU

Density

0.8 g/cm3

Young Modulus

5.4 MPa

Yield Strength

Not tested

UTS

465 MPa

Elongation at Break

200-550%

Hardness

Shore A60-D80

* These values are meant to give a general idea of the material. Actual values may vary according to chosen material brand, 3D print service and build condition. Please refer to the Beamler online quoting platform for actual technical data of each material brand. 

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