French 3D printing service provider Sculpteo now offers a new flexible material for selective laser sintered parts: TPU Thermoplastic Polyurethane.
The flexible powder-based material allows for the creation of functional objects with a Shore hardness level of 65A, and therefore to reproduce complex mechanical properties. 3D printed objects are very flexible but strong at the same time. The granular and grainy finish is very characteristic of this material.
“This new type of material puts 3D printing at the same level as traditional production methods by – finally – making it possible to create soft, flexible objects that are truly functional rather than simply prototypes. We are enthusiastic about the first applications conceived by our clients using this completely new material. From medical applications to the world of textiles, we are committed to working alongside the industry leaders of today and tomorrow“, said Clément Moreau, CEO and co-founder of Sculpteo.
While still on beta, Sculpteo has been testing the new material with clients to help them work on real-life cases, such as printing organ models for surgeons to train on before carrying out surgical procedures. Another partner is young designer Anastasia Ruiz, who imagined a collection based on the principle that 3D printing can be truly wearable and accessible with a reasonable price tag. In her “Virus” collection Anastasia used 3D printing as an additional material for her designs.
You can find out general information about the printing process along with design guidelines on Sculpteo’s website.