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22Feb/160

Alchement TPU Filament

20160221_184343I delved into my first TPU filament.  There weren't a lot of options on Amazon, indeed there was a dearth of filament choices as all were unavailable.   But I found a vendor that had some in stock through Amazon and the handful of reviews were good. The only moderate review was from someone trying to feed it through a bowden tube and honestly why would you downrate a product for that?   It's like giving a gasoline car a bad rating because you tried to run diesel through it.

Anyway I got my filament, a nice red although the reds always seem to be slightly orange hued to me and this was no different.  It was packaged in a plain box, no fancy (i.e. costly) color printed box or labels.   It was well sealed in plastic with a silica gel packaged inside.20160222_100256

I was a little apprehensive about trying it since I'd read bad things about flexible filaments, they drip, they ooze, don't retract, retract more, and the postings had people printing this particular brand all over the place from 200 to 240C.

But I created a new profile for TPU based on my PLA profile. I increased my extruder to 225C as that seemed to be right in the middle of the manufacturer's recommendation.   I left my bed at 60C.  I turned the print speed down to 25mm/s.  Retraction I left alone at 1.35mm which has worked for me in both PLA and PETG.20160221_184321

I printed a calibration cube first just to see what would happen.   it came out great although a little undersized.  19.57mm x 19.78 mm.   With PLA my MendleMax 3 will print somewhere between .05 and .1 mm off 20mm.20160222_093223

It worked so well I then looked to see how it would do on overhangs and with oozing between pin towers.   It worked extremely well as you can see.  Interestingly the most whiskering I got was after it was done with the overhang piece and still printing the pins.   Up to that point the pins were very good and then immediately after the overhang piece was finished they started to get a little blobby and with whiskers.

20160222_093105It might be worth having a sacrifice piece if you're going to be printing some thin verticals to help wipe off the excess.

Still I was so happy with the quality of the print that I did a 3DBenchy test.  These images are it next to my first 3DBenchy in PLA which I believe I printed the same day I tightened the last bolt on the printer.

As you can see it's very good quality.  Note that both were printed at a .25 layer height.    In the pictures that show both boats the one on the left is the TPU one.

I'm going to print myself a watchband next.  I also have a kilo of Hatchbox TPU coming in that will be able to do a direct comparison between the two.

 

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