Get Flexible: The Pros and Cons of Using Flexible 3D Printer Filament
In a competitive 3D printing market, companies are always looking for new ways to stand out from the pack.
One way to do this is by offering flexible 3D printer filament. But is it worth the extra cost?
In this article we'll look at the pros and cons of using flexible 3D printer filament. We'll also discuss how it's made and some common applications for flexible 3D printer filament.
What is Flexible 3D Printer Filament?
Flexible filaments are made from a thermoplastic material that can be melted and extruded through an FDM 3D printer. When cooled down, the material becomes hard and rigid again. This makes it possible to print objects with complex geometries or very thin walls without any support material required.
While flexible 3D printer filament may not be as popular as PLA and ABS, it can be a useful addition to your 3D printing toolbox. Flexible filaments are usually made of polyurethane or TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). They are great for making prototypes, tools, and even toys.
Pros of using flexible 3D printer filament:
Prints objects with complex geometries
Flexible 3D printing is a very new technology that has been gaining popularity over the last few years.
This type of filament is made from materials such as Nylon, TPU, and PVA. These materials are designed to bend and flex but not break.
The main benefit of using flexible 3D printer filament is that you can print out items that have more than one function. You can make something that can be a keychain, phone strap or even a bracelet!
Another benefit of using flexible 3D printer filament is that it is much easier to print. You don't need any special equipment or extra steps in order to get your prints done properly. This makes it an ideal material for beginners who are just learning how to use their printer properly.
Flexible 3D printer filament also comes in different colors so you can color coordinate with whatever project you are working on at the time. The color options are not limited just to solid colors either - there are also translucent options available for those who want their creations to have more detail than just a single color would allow for.
Flexible filaments have many applications in various industries. For example, they can be used to make medical devices, toys, prototypes, and even clothing.
Flexible filaments can also be used to make parts that are more comfortable than rigid plastic ones. The flexibility allows them to conform to the human body without causing discomfort or injury.
Cons of using flexible 3D printer filament
Flexible 3D printer filament is not as strong as rigid filaments such as ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), which is commonly used in household appliances like printers and vacuum cleaners. This means that it may break under high stress or strain conditions such as bending it too much or dropping it on the floor from a height.
If your goal is to create rigid parts or if you want your final product to be stiffer than it would be with PLA or ABS, then flexible filament isn't the right choice for you. The main disadvantage of using this kind of filament is that your finished product will be less durable than one made out of more common materials like PLA or ABS.
Flexible material is more expensive than standard materials like PLA and ABS because of the difficulty involved in making it. It requires more steps in the manufacturing process and uses more machinery than standard materials do, which drives up costs.
The biggest downside of flexible filament is its tendency to warp when it cools. This means that the item you've printed may not come out exactly as expected because it will have warped during printing or post-processing. The warping can also cause defects in your print job if you're not careful.
Besides, it requires a higher extrusion temperature than other materials do — typically around 240°C (464°F). This means that your printer will have to run hotter than normal while extruding the filament through its nozzle, which could potentially damage certain parts of your machine over time if you don't take proper precautions.