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Anyone tried TPU or TPE filaments?

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Posted · Anyone tried TPU or TPE filaments?

Hey Guys,

 

I was talking to a co-worker about printing and different filaments and he mentioned he had some TPE and TPU filaments which are essentially polyurethane but one is more rigid than the other one. 

 

I got to thinking if printing gaskets would be possible and for what? It seems it's resistant to oil and fuel but I'm thinking more in terms of service temp, could I print my own 2" dialectric union gaskets when one is leaking and it's 2 AM and no one else has one? would it hold up to 140*F water? 

 

Could be cool to be able to make my own electrical enclosures and then make a gasket for them as well.

 

Anyone have any experience with these?

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Posted · Anyone tried TPU or TPE filaments?

I think they are going to be too stiff. And blobs, irregularities and print lines are not going to help making it water-tight. Unless you would squeeze it extremely hard between thick steel flanges. If you don't want to store gaskets, or originals can not be found anymore, I think you would be better off cutting new gaskets from a sheet, with a knife or a Dremel tool? Or use self-curing silicone or similar paste?

 

For comparison: transparent PVC tubing for aquariums is much softer than TPU. But when I tried to use that recently to make a seal for my water-cooled disk grinder, I had a lot of problems getting it water-tight. Even the slightest amount of corrosion and oxidation on the surface of the metal, caused leaks. So, even soft PVC is not flexible enough to follow these tiny irregularities and close the gaps.

 

But if you would try it anyway, let us know the result. It would be interesting to know.

 

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Posted · Anyone tried TPU or TPE filaments?

Okay cool, good to know.

 

I'll probably give it a shot and see, after some googling it seems that it COULD work, but it might not work as you are describing. 

 

Perhaps it could work for making water tight gaskets for enclosures, maybe not for pressurized applications.

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Posted · Anyone tried TPU or TPE filaments?

I just tried a gasket with Ultimaker's TPU (BLACK) and it worked.  The material doesn't like to bridge all that well, but it printed really nice on the S5.  The gasket will be used for a junction box we use at work, which doesn't have to be an awesome seal, just enough for splashing.  I can't really test it underwater because the enclosure itself is full of holes.  But just from my experience I would say this would be water tight in an application where there is enough clamping force throughout the gasket surface (I light smear of silicone would also seal the deal).  The pliability of this stuff is great, it seams tough too, I am sure I will find new uses for this now that I have tried it.

 

Next print I will try "enable ironing"  for a smoother top layer.

 

-Jared

 

 

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Posted · Anyone tried TPU or TPE filaments?

Awesome, thank you for sharing that.

 

I'm going to try to make a strain relief today for a cord and see how it works.

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Posted · Anyone tried TPU or TPE filaments?

Well, 

 

I ended up using Ninjatek Armadillo since the Ninjaflex wouldn't feed.

 

Turned out okay, not as flexible as I wanted but probably enough.

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