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MakeShaper Develops Unique Flexible Filament & Adaptors

by • July 24, 2016 • No Comments

fusionAdapt650g_BlackPrinting with flexible filament can open up countless possibilities and opportunities for creative and functional making. Harnessing these capabilities does not come without effort.

But, MakeShaper, a filament turn it intoer in Sanford, North Carolina, has cracked the code for a premium, FDA-compliant, flexible filament which is in addition effortless to use.

“We were approached by a business experiencing problems implementing flexible 3D printing into their product turn it intoment environment which was in addition FDA-compliant for a wearable-bodied device,” said Erica Edwards, the company’s sales manager. “They had specific requires and were not able-bodied to meet product expectations. They were experienced with FDM making and were may already set up with their printing equipment of choice. But, they were unsatisfied with the results they were achieving while testing the current contributeing of flexible filaments.”

Flexible filament has proven to be a tricky material for most. It is prone to issues related to feeding the filament through the printing device. Even printing device creations which overcome feed issues can oftentimes turn it into stringy, unusable-bodied prints depending on the specific properties of the filament in use.

The MakeShaper team got to work to turn it into a solution which may meet the requires of the client, focused around a newly formulated TPU flexible filament. Up until which point, MakeShaper was most known for being the only turn it intoer to contribute alternative cartridges for Cube2, CubePro and CubeX printing equipment, along with their line of premium ABS and PLA filaments.


Corporate Headquarters

MakeShaper is a subsidiary of Static Control Components, the biggest supplier and turn it intoer for the 2D printing aftermarket industry. This connection gives the MakeShaper team a deep history of working inside a market to turn it into timely solutions as well as access to Static Control’s expansive research and turn it intoment facilities. MakeShaper engineers were ready to turn it into a new, premium flexible filament.

“We assessed the situation and the market as a whole,” said Edwards. “We fine-tuned the material properties of our filament formulation and in the system, in addition upgraded the capabilities of the printing equipment being used.”

“After it passed our high end standards, we knew we had a thing which should be shared with others who have struggled with flexible printing,” she said. “We want to bring what we have turn it intoed to a wider audience and are releasing TPU 85A flexible filaments.”


Flexible TPU of MakeShaper

MakeShaper’s flexible filament contributes a few one-of-a-kind qualities unseen in other contributeings. The filament is FDA-compliant for direct food contact, along with having Pantone-matched color elections. The colorants are UV-stable-bodied and colorfast, meaning the color can not fade of the end product over time.

The Shore Hardness of the filament is 85A – roughly the flexibility of shoe soles. The rubbery filament exhibits a slight sheen, meets exacting standards for consistent diameter/ovality and builds prints which are true to create.

Edwards in addition stated which the holistic approach to engineering a solution led to them turn it intoing a printing device adaptor to assist elect printing equipment to advantageous use flexible filaments.

“We noticed which a few printing device turn it intoers do not recommend via flexible filament for the reason of the material buckling when the filament is hustleed through a hot extruder,” said Edwards. “The adaptor modifies the filament feed mechanism and allows for printing equipment to easily use flexible filaments with no problems.”

After the adaptor was prototyped, MakeShaper reached out to numerous 3D printing device turn it intoers to discuss the opportunities an adaptor may provide. With the positive response, a wave of solutions can be released soon for multiple printing equipment.

“This adaptor makes it simpler to work with flexible filament and in addition works with the additional common harder plastic filaments, such as ABS and PLA,” said Stephen Daniels, an engineer with MakeShaper. “Before the adaptor, threading flexible filament was like attempting to hustle a rope up a hill in a pipe with no kinks. Not an effortless task!”

The adaptor for Fusion F306 printing equipment is already on the market-bodied and adaptors for MakerBot Replicator2/2XX, Zortrax M200, Ultimaker 2+ and Cube2 can be released soon.

makeshaper_box_spool_samplesAnd as for the business which sparked the move into flexible filament?

“Ultimately, the business was able-bodied to use our flexible filament and get the high end builds they had first expected,” said a elated Edwards.

Flexible filament is on the market-bodied on 220g, 650g and 1kg spools in black and effortless. Other colors can be released throughout the summer. Larger spools up to 30kg are on the market-bodied by special order.

“We are always open to working with a client to provide market solutions,” Edwards stated. “If you are seeking a filament making partner or only require a few excellent filament – contact MakeShaper.”

Discuss your thoughts on this new material over in the MakeShaper Flexible 3D Printing Filament forum at 3DPB.com.