TPU - Material Datasheet
Updated: Jan 19
TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is utilised less within 3D printing, it’s primary characteristic is that it is flexible and printed components will flex. TPU is picked specifically for its characteristics in products such as elasticity, resistance to abrasion and wear.
TPU is used within end products such as power tools, medical devices and caster wheels. The parts can be 3D printed and then used in combination with another material, such as a hand grip cover for a power tool handle.
Clever design with TPU can allow for wrapping around existing products as the material can flex and fit over a part.
TPU is available in several colours. TPU printed parts have medium strength, it is not as strong as a high performance material such as CF Nylon but is as strong as PETG.
TPU prints a lot slower than other materials due it’s elastic nature and difficulty pushing filament through the nozzle, the thermoplastic part of TPU allows it to be printed from a 3D printer.
The amount of flexibility within an endpart will depend on the print settings, for example changing wall thickness, layer height and infill percentage will all affect the end result. Increasing the wall thickness, layer height and infill will reduce the amount of flex within the design but will increase strength.