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What's the softest, most rubber-like material Ultimaker can print?


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Posted · What's the softest, most rubber-like material Ultimaker can print?

The title says it all. 


I'm looking to print something that is like rubber or silicone for a client. 

 

Even if there's no such filament that soft and flexible, what would be the closest possible filament to work with?

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    Posted · What's the softest, most rubber-like material Ultimaker can print?

    I have no experience with soft filament myself, but from what I have read here on the forum, very soft materials tend to be very difficult to print. Pushing them through the tube and head is somewhat like pushing a rubber band through a keyhole. Doesn't go very well. Oiling the filament, and printing very slow, and a higher flow-rate, do help a bit.

     

    What about printing a mould in standard PLA, sanding and smoothing it, and then casting silicone in it? Then you get the real stuff: chemically inert, temperature resistant, and flexible silicone, but with your own custom design. And you can re-use the mould, if well designed. Combines the benefits of 3D-printing with casting real silicones.

     

    In the mould design, use good draft (slanted walls), and allow enough room to flex the silicone when removing it. It should not get stuck in narrow areas, as these are hardest to remove. And print slow, cool and in thin layers to minimise layer lines, because they will make it hard to remove the casting. Also sand off and smooth the inside of the mould: this really makes removal easier. In multipart moulds, which I would recommend for complexer designs, be very sure to seal off the seams with wax or plasticine. Otherwise, if you use a slow-curing silicone, it will leak away: it gets into the tiniest pores of only micrometers.

     

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    Posted · What's the softest, most rubber-like material Ultimaker can print?

    The softest material among the Ultimaker partner materials have a hardness of 85 Shore A. This is pretty much the limit you can go with a Bowden printer for professional usage. Hobby users might try hacks like oiling the inside of the Bowden tube for printing even softer material.

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    Posted · What's the softest, most rubber-like material Ultimaker can print?

    I have printed Ninjatek Cheetah (95A)  and I know Ninjatek Ninjaflex (85A) is also no problem to print with a bowden style printer (without oiling the filament). I don't know if there are softer materials to print!

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