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Printing in TPU

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  • #31
    Yes, the SlotIt torque-limited hex drivers are good. Or at least mine is, and I know a number of folks who have them and like them too.

    Can they be adjusted? Says so in the ads. I've never tried it. The amount of torque my wrench applied out-of-the-box seemed right.

    You are also supposed to be able to replace the hex shaft -- something else I haven't tried. But a great feature if it works.

    Short version -- buy one. You'll like it.

    Ed Bianchi

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    • #32
      I've been dabbling with TPU over the last couple days. I was donated some by someone who was tired of messing with it. I started off by putting in my dehydrator for a couple days. I knew that extruder tension should be low, so after taking care of that, I loaded it up. Went just fine. After fussing with which flex steel sheet I would print on and getting the right offset for TPU, I printed one of thse:https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2674048 which I've printed before in PLA, but as I happened to get red and white/clear, I figured what the heck! Better than printing yet another chachki for my shelf. It went pretty well, actually. When it was done, I knew that getting it off the plate would be a challenge. I had used a textured plate, which I've heard is the best one to use for my printer and TPU, but boy howdy was it still holding on tight (most other materials self-release when it cools down). I was patient and a steady pulling force, and it peeled up without damage. PHEW! As they're no good in singles, I went ahead and printed the rest of the red TPU. It was only about 6 of those barriers worth. Then I moved to the white stuff. It's not being so cooperative. It finished the prints, but the first layers were real messy, and wanted to come apart when I peeled up the print. I'll figure that out, but to be honest, is hasn't been as much of a headache (yet! knock wood!) as I expected.
      Last edited by MrFlippant; 07-09-2020, 08:37 PM.

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      • #33
        I have continued to use a thin layer of hairspray on a glass plate when printing TPU. It does seem to be the best compromise between adequate adhesion and workable separation.

        The hairspray I use is labeled 'Extra Hold'. There's a chance a different spray might be an even better compromise. 'Wimpy Hold'? 'Flaccid Hold'?

        The never-ending search for TRUTH just never seems to end.

        Ed Bianchi

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        • #34
          Originally posted by HO RacePro View Post
          I have continued to use a thin layer of hairspray on a glass plate when printing TPU. It does seem to be the best compromise between adequate adhesion and workable separation.

          The hairspray I use is labeled 'Extra Hold'. There's a chance a different spray might be an even better compromise. 'Wimpy Hold'? 'Flaccid Hold'?

          The never-ending search for TRUTH just never seems to end.

          Ed Bianchi

          Comment


          • #35
            My latest prints in TPU -- soft faces for my new 5 inch bench vise -- wouldn't work with hair spray as an adhesive. The edges of the print tended to peel, and eventually the part came loose before it was completed.

            Also, I was having severe trouble with the filament feed's stepper motor overloading and skipping while printing the first layer. That's a big problem with TPU because the filament is not very stiff and tends to bend over and bind in the filament feed if there is too much back-pressure.

            I found I needed to lower the bed to reduce the back-pressure on the first layer. One-half turn on each of the adjuster screws worked. I also raised the bed temperature from 50C to 70C. Instead of hair spray I used glue stick for the bed adhesive. All those changes seemed to work. The first layer went down rather thick, but without issues, and the entire print ended up fine.

            The print was finished long before I checked up on it, and the bed and the part had cooled to room temperature. I was surprised that I could pick the part off my glass build plate easily by hand. Usually TPU parts have been difficult to separate. My take on that is that by printing with a hotter bed and then letting things cool completely there was enough differential heat shrinkage of the part, stressing the bonding interface, to almost completely break the adhesion.

            My apologies if that last sentence sounds like technobabble. The point is that the plastic part would shrink a lot more than the glass build plate. Glass does not expand or contract with temperature nearly as much as TPU. When things cool down those changes in size -- even though they only measure thousandths of an inch -- create stresses that make the part want to pop free.

            Just in case you are wondering, my soft faces fit very nicely on my bench vise and look like they'll provide the cushioning I was looking for while still being tough enough to stand up to many years of use. I had not been able to find the right size soft faces for my vise. And I've not been impressed with the magnetic soft faces I've purchased for my other vises. The soft faces I designed have an interference fit so they pop on and off -- no magnets required. Good, solid retention. So making my own design was worth the time and effort.

            Ed Bianchi

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