With 3D printing technology coming a long way, we can now print with a broader range of materials, including Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) filament. TPU filament is a soft, flexible material perfect for various applications. So, what’s the fastest you can print TPU filament?
The fastest you can print with TPU filament is 100 mm/s. This speed is achievable with a direct drive extruder and a high-flow filament, like TPU95-HF. However, if you are looking for the highest quality prints, slow the print speed down to around 15mm/s to 30 mm/s.
In this article, I’ll explain the recommended speeds to print TPU filament, why you should stick to that speed, and how to increase the speed beyond the recommended limit. I’ll also give you tips on getting the best results when printing with TPU.
What Is the Best Speed for Printing With TPU?
The best speed for printing with TPU filament is 15 mm/s to 30 mm/s. This speed yields the best results in terms of print quality and consistency.
If you exceed the recommended print speed for TPU filament, you may experience difficulties with adhesion, stringing, or print quality.
Moreover, TPU can be challenging to print with, especially at high speeds. That’s because TPU has the consistency of silicone or rubber. If you speed things up too much, the stream of molten filament coming from the nozzle may string, blob, stretch, or stick to the hotend.
As a result, it is crucial to follow the recommended print speed for TPU flexible filament to ensure the best possible print quality.
However, as I mentioned earlier, 3D printing is moving quickly in terms of technology. Newer high-flow TPU filaments, such as the TPU95-HF, can reach high-peak speeds of 100 mm/s with decent extrusion.
You can purchase the Polymaker High Flow TPU Filament directly from amazon.com today and test it yourself.
Here’s a video demonstrating how to print TPU at high rates of speed using the new high-flow TPU95-HF filament:
How To Increase TPU Print Speed by Using a Direct Drive Extrusion System
Most 3D printers come with a default setup that includes a Bowden tube extruder. However, did you know you can print TPU beyond the recommended speed limit using a direct drive extrusion system?
This system works by directly applying pressure to the TPU material, making retraction and extrusion more effective. Direct drive extruders are also excellent for printing TPU since TPU can easily get stuck inside a Bowden tube, creating a jam.
Note: Before using the direct drive extrusion system, you’ll need to ensure your motor is powerful enough to handle the increased speed.
How Does Print Speed Affect Your TPU Filament?
TPU filament is a popular material for 3D printing due to its flexibility and durability. However, these qualities can make TPU filament challenging to print with.
The Problem With Printing TPU Filament Too Quickly
Printing TPU filament at too high of a speed can have several negative consequences:
- It can cause the filament to have a rippling and wavy appearance.
- It will increase stringing and artifacts.
- It can also cause the filament to become tangled or jam the extruder.
- Finally, it can increase the risk of the filament clogging the printer nozzle.
To avoid these problems, printing the TPU filament at a lower speed is critical.
If you are still determining the correct speed, starting with a lower speed is best, and gradually increasing it until you find the sweet spot.
The Problem With Printing Too Slowly
While you should print TPU at a slower pace than most other filaments, there is such a thing as too slow.
Printing TPU too slowly can lead to several problems, such as deformation, layer delamination, and warping. These issues are usually a result of overheating since the filament will stay in the hot end for a more extended period.
However, lousy layer adhesion results from rapid cooling on the print bed. If your printer takes too much time to print the next layer, the previous one will have cooled by the time your nozzle comes back around. Thus, the new layer won’t be able to fuse with the previous one when printing too slowly.
Printing Speed: TPU vs. Other Common Filaments
TPU is a type of elastomer, or flexible plastic, with several advantageous properties. It is strong and durable yet pliable and lightweight.
Because of their unique properties, TPU is a common material in the automotive, electronics, and medical industries.
TPU, however, trails all other 3D printing filament types in terms of printing performance. Here’s a thorough comparison of the ideal printing speeds and benefits of TPU and other filaments:
|3D Printing Filament
|ABS is a strong and durable material that is resistant to chemicals and temperature changes.
|PETG is a strong, durable, and versatile material well-suited for various applications. It is also easy to print with and has a high success rate.
|PLA is one of the easiest and softest plastics to 3D print with. It’s the best choice for beginners and is one of the few recyclable filaments.
|TPU is significantly more flexible than ABS and PLA. This flexibility makes TPU ideal for applications that require parts that can bend or deform, such as phone cases, belts, and shoe soles.
|Nylon filaments are strong and durable, making them ideal for functional parts that must withstand high temperatures or consistent stress.
The Ideal speed of printing 95a TPU filament is 15 – 30 mm/s. This speed allows for proper filament cooling and results in fewer errors. Additionally, it helps maintain the quality of the print.
However, with new technology, we are beginning to see the emergence of new high-flow TPU filaments that can withhold a speed of up to 100 mm/s.
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I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.