Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a popular material for 3D printing. This flexible filament can be stretched, bent and curled to make things like custom phone cases or stress toys.
The search for the best 3D printer for flexible filaments can be overwhelming. The following article will provide some insights into what you should look for.
Below, we have given you the 5 Best 3D printers for flexible filaments, so let’s get started.
Best 3D Printers for Flexible Filaments
The best in the town so far. Its latest technology and plenty of features will make you a fan of it. Let’s discuss some of the enchanting features of this product. QIdi Tech X-Pro has a dual extrusion system that allows you to mix colors of your own choice while printing.
If you are a fashion or a graphic designer, you would know the importance of a dual extrusion system in any printer. Furthermore, it also has an Aluminum build platform which protects it from any type of internal and external damage.
Now here comes the interesting thing! Have you heard of a touchscreen printer before? If not! Then note it, Qidi Tech X-pro 4.3-inch touchscreen with an elegant design.
You can operate it manually, as well as it has a built-in automatic system. To help cool the print, Qidi Tech X-Pro has an Airblown Turbofan that covers all the corners of your print.
When we look for the best 3D printer for flexible filaments, there are certain things that we need to consider. It’s important to note that we are talking about the best.
A significant problem that we see in most printers is that the ink depresses while printing or gets faded, but the magnetism of the build plate in this printer restricts that. The thing we can assure you about it is its accuracy.
In short, Qidi Tech X-Pro is a complete package for you at the most reasonable price. The temperature of its dual extruders can go up to 250 degrees Centigrades which is adequate to support flexible materials. In our list of the best 3D printers for flexible printing, Qidi Tech X-Pro has got first place.
Below we have given you the complete pros and cons of Qidi Tech X-Pro to help you understand the product better. So, continue reading.
- Built-in Wifi
- Touch Screen
- Compatible with smartphones, Laptops, PCs
- Easily assessable
- Voice-less (quiet) printing
- Elegant Design
- Coloured Screen
- Very Flaky Firmware
- A little bit expensive
The second remarkable printer in our list of best 3D printers for flexible filaments is Ender 3 V2. Its price is quite economical as compared to Qidi Tech X-Pro and pretty much affordable.
Ender 3 V2 has a new and elegant design that has attracted the attention of many of the customers. The main problem that the users have mostly complained about in the printers is their noise, it is pretty irritating. Ender 3 v2 is designed so that to eradicate any sort of noise.
Furthermore, this printer has a quick start-up with a quick heating system and is operative on the voltage ranging from 115 to 230 Volts. The normal voltage in our homes is 220v, so you don’t have to connect any special appliance with it to make it operative. It’s the best option for you if you are looking for the best printers at the most economical prices.
Another important thing about the printer is that you don’t need to be proficient to operate it. It’s beginner-friendly and very easy to operate. This version of Ender 3 V2 has a 32 Bit board which renders the printer has a better data storing capacity, fewer firmware issues, and more room for upgrades.
A feature in this printer that would truly amaze you is that it has resume printing support with which you can do uninterruptable printing whenever you want. This feature increases the importance of this printer up to a considerable range. With resume printing support, you can now resume from where you left off.
Now that you have a better understanding of the features and benefits, let’s take a closer look at how Ender 3 V2 works. As explained above, this printer is effortless to operate. You just have to put the object you want to print on the slab of the printer, insert the details you want to see in your print, like size, color, etc. and then wait. Your print will be there in no time.
- Noise-less printing
- Glass print bed coated with carborundum
- LCD Screen; colored
- Tensioners belt
- Easily assessable
- Alternative power supply
- Power Recovery
- Fewer features in the display
- Not all filaments support carborundum
AnyCubic Mega-S is my favorite printer because of the features it offers. It is designed very well by considering even small specifications.
Let’s first talk about the outer structure. AnyCubic Mega-S consists of a rigid metal frame with a protective layer of zinc to prevent rusting. Another feature of the rigid metal frame is that it lessens the shaking of the printer while printing which aids in improving the print quality.
It’s the best choice for beginners because it’s very easy to operate and you don’t actually need to know much about it. Unlike the last version, AnyCubic Mega-S has an upgraded extruder titan, which provides perfect extrusion to your 3D print.
If you have used a printer before, you would know the importance of an extruder in a printer. It reduces the risk of clogging and improves print accuracy. The 3D printer has an LED screen with a touch screen feature, and excitingly, the touch screen is as operative as the touch screen of your mobile phone.
With the lifetime technical support offered by the company and the 24 hours professional customer care service, this printer is 3rd on our list of the best 3D printers for flexible filaments. It’s important to mention here that this printer fulfills all the demands of flexible filaments to work correctly.
Apart from all the other benefits, I like this printer’s resume print and sensor deduction feature most. You might have heard about it, but do you know how does it work?
AnyCubic Mega-S 3D printer can resume printing in case of any power shortage and any immediate or accidental stoppage of power. With only one click, you can continue your printing after the power outage. On the other hand, the sensor pauses the prints and sets on or off the alarm when your printer is out of filament.
- Touch LED screen
- Power Recovery
- Filamant shortage sensor
- Easy to operate
- Rigid Aluminium frame
- Spool Holder (Filament)
- Poor print-platform alignment
- Coils of filaments supported are small
Almost all the 3D printers have almost the same pricing; it’s up to you to choose the one with the valuable features that would benefit us the most. First, let’s talk about its design, FlashForge 3D Creator Pro has a unique and elegant design that is pretty different from the other printers in the market. It’s important to note here is that FlashForge 3D Creator is a professional 3D printer that requires a little attention for proper working.
Let’s come back to the design again, this creator pro is a closed unit, and the product to be printed is placed inside this unit. This printer requires you to maintain a particular and constant temperature inside the printer throughout the printing process; it’s essential.
Like Qidi Tech X-Pro (1st product), FlashForge 3D Creator Pro also has a dual extruder that allows the users to print dual-colored materials. This printer doesn’t support many filaments but doesn’t get us wrong; it’s best for the people who want to use the Printer in-home or for education purposes.
The printer has a solid and elegant build plate that is about 6.3mm thin and is made up of aluminum. The interesting thing is that it is temperature resistant, so it won’t get wrapped up or worn out, even if you keep the temperature above the required.
Apart from printing, FlashFoge 3D Creator Pro will benefit you in another way, and that is in supporting your filament. Even if the quality of your filament is not too good, this printer will back your filament to produce the best quality print.
As we are looking for the best printer for flexible filament, FlashForde 3D printer contains everything we are looking for? So don’t waste your time and order your one before the order expires.
Below we have given the pros and cons of FlashForge 3D Creator Pro, so continue reading.
- Friendly for Beginners
- Rigid Aluminium frame
- Temperature-resistant build plate
- Dual and direct drive extrusion system
- Can be connected with USB or SD Card
- Bit Noisy
- Poor Bed Levelling options
MakerGear M2 have more of a classic style and is ranked fifth in our list of best 3D printers for flexible filaments. Now, before heading further, you must know that this printer is only for professionals. You will have a pretty hard time understanding its features if you are buying for the first time.
Anyhow, MakerGear M2 has a metallic frame, and inside the frame, there is a very strong base plate for supporting stuff you want to print. Regarding extruding, MakerGear M2 has a single extruder, but that’s adequate to deal with and support a wide variety of filaments.
If you are a beginner but want to buy this printer, you need to take the session regarding operating this printer. When it comes to quality, no one can beat this high-end deluxe 3D printer. When it comes to protection, MakerGear M2 is made up of CNC machined aluminum, fabricated steel, precision linear guides, and many other high-end pieces of equipment.
Professionals trust this printer because of the features it offers. To make it easy for you to choose, we must mention that MakerGear printers have won numerous reliability and durability awards. In case we couldn’t totally explain the product, you can contact their customer service which is available 24 hours.
- Quite versatile
- Very Durable and Reliable
- Various Connectivity options
- Classic Design
- Easy bed leveling
- Temperatures resistant
- Very Hard to use
Factors to Consider when Purchasing 3D Printer for Flexible Filaments: Buying Guide
Choosing the best 3D printer for flexible filament is definitely a difficult task. Let’s take a look at some of the most crucial aspects which you need to consider while buying your 3D Flexible filament printer.
The printing technology is definitely the most important part when it comes to 3D printing. You need to think about the results, the design, and the product you want beforehand. It might be difficult in the beginning the figure out what you need exactly but once you are done with it, making your buying decision will be pretty easy.
Nobody wants to spend so much money on something which won’t provide them with quality work. Precision is highly important when it comes to 3D printers. Before making your choice, it is always advised that you research the quality and precision of the printer so that you are satisfied with the final results.
If you are a tech geek then figuring out the tech difficulties won’t be an issue for you. But if that’s not the case, then you should prefer user-friendly 3D printer having updated software guiding you all the way through its process and everything that you need to know.
The size can vary from printer to printer. But you should always prefer the 3D printer which fits your workspace. As there’s a lot of work and production, so you should make sure that you have ample space to fit the 3D printer so that there won’t be an issue in the future.
When we talk about materials, it’s highly important that you understand the technology that your printer uses. As different printers are compatible with different materials, so you should be aware of that. With the right printer, you’ll be easily able to execute your tasks and print whatever you want with the chosen material.
If you want to produce limited parts, then you may go for small 3D printers. But if you are someone who’s looking to produce multiple parts with smooth printing then you will need a large 3D printer for this task.
What is the most flexible filament for 3D printing?
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is the most commonly used flexible material within 3D printing.
What is the difference between PLA and TPU?
PLA is the material of choice for beginners because it’s easy to print with, environmentally friendly. TPU on the other hand, requires more effort but offers superior durability so it’s perfect if you need flexible parts that can return back into their original state after being bent or squished.
What is the difference between TPU and TPE?
TPU has many properties that make it a better fit for 3D printing than TPE. TPU filament is more rigid. It isn’t as hard as other types of filament. TPU usually has a smooth finish, while other materials have a more rubbery feel to them. TPU has better resistance to abrasion than most TPEs and it doesn’t shrink too much when heated up.
Are TPU fumes toxic?
TPE and TPU 3D printing filaments are both non-toxic materials, but they should be kept away from food to avoid any contamination. Additionally, these plastics don’t wear away easily which means that the material will last longer than other types of plastics.
What is TPU good for?
TPU is a high-performance plastic that’s used in many different products. It can be found on the outside of devices like tablets and phones, as well as being an excellent material for casters wheels or automotive instrument panels.
Buying a 3D printer for TPU can be quite challenging. But before making any decisions, it is important to know all the specifications that are important and see how they compare with existing models so you buy an appropriate one.