Flexible PLA test

by swepet, published

Flexible PLA test by swepet Jan 17, 2013
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Flexible PLA test by swepet is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Testing flexible PLA. Tank tracks, wheel with tire, and a flexible joint.



Flexible PLA is an amazing material, useful for a lot of things :-)

This is just some test pieces i did to test what is possible to do with flexible PLA.

The first tanktrack i uploaded was bad, i have fixed it now, sorry about that !

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i have not tried printing with this, but i think using corn starch might be better than oil. maybe someone can try that. just food for thought.

Printing with Nylon won't have the same effect?

Tried to print this. Prints came out pretty good (will publish Cura profiles soon).

But the tank track won't fit at all. It seems to be too short to fit...

(Btw, your oil trick did wonders)

Sorry about the tank track, i must have messed up the bottom inner circle when i cleaned up the file before uploading it.. I have uploaded a fixed version now, just printed it and now it works.. The oil was a successful act of desperation :-)

Nice page, I will put a review up there (in a couple of days).

can you share the print settings you used? maybe share me the .ini file if you like.

i have a roll of soft PLA from ultimaker but i couldnt get it to extrude properly yet. it is so soft it wil form a snake shape in the bowdentube and creating a unbeleavable friction... printing at 10% speed.

I have the same issues. Bought a roll of flexible PLA from the Ultimaker shop but can't seem to get it to extrude properly. Even at low speeds and high temperatures it just grinds away while extruding close to nothing.

I print on rubber canvas and flexible PLA melts right onto it and doesn't release while regular PLA adheres nicely and creates nice smooth surfaces.

="thingiverse-53c94cef17f0ee088aca6e081ccc3882:disqus" href="http://disqus.com/thingiverse-53c94cef17f0ee088aca6e081ccc3882/swepet doesn't oil give fusing problems between layers or other difficulties? I don't like the idea of contaminating my bowden with oil.

I just take oil on my fingertips and put on the filament before i input it in the bowden. I think the layers bounds just fine. I spent hours trying to print before i tried with the oil. Also it is better to print objects in the front left corner, so that the bowden is bend as little as possible..

"rubber canvas"???

It is used in offset printing for conveying the ink from the aluminium printing plate to the substrate. It's a rubber blanket with a canvas backing to keep from deforming. Works perfectly as a printbed.

They are used in offset printing for conveying the ink from the printing plate to the substrate. it's a rubber blanket with a canvas backing to keep from deforming. It works perfectly as a printbed.

Is there an online source for rubber canvas?

They can be bought at professional print supplies shops. You can best go to a local offset printer and ask them if you can have a used one. These things get dented and replaced on a daily basis in most printshops.

I printed using Cura default settings but at 20% speed... I had that problem also, I put oil on the filament before I drove it into the Bowden tube, then it worked :-)

This is very exciting. I've just gotten some Nylon, and it is promising - it prints well and the objects are flexible and nearly indestructible, with the caveats that (1) it really wants to warp, and (2) nothing else sticks to it.

So, if flexible PLA gives the same flexibility but has the same printability as PLA (warping, sticks to other PLA) that would be awesome.

swepet - in reply to

I think will stick good to surface and other PLA, and so far I have noticed none warping. I have heard nylon is very dangerous, that the fumes can kill you.. ?

The Taulman 618 nylon was tested - no fumes.

Does anyone sell this in 1.75mm diameter?

are you printing on painter's tape? I've been having some problems getting my models to stay fixed to the platform.

Yes blue painters tape, but not all brands work. Out of four different brands I tried only one worked good, eurocel

e34.00 + e28.00 shipping to Oz for 0.75Kg, will be a while before I will be using it...

I thought I would have to upgrade my extruder to run nylon if I wanted something flexible, but this could be just the ticket. Does anyone know of a source here in the States for 3.00mm Flexible PLA? Boy does this open a pandoras box with a 2nd extruder and a flexible material. Does it heat bond to regular PLA or would I need to design in mechanical features to dual extrusion designs?

I think it will bound to regular PLA, it feels very sticky when hot. I have heard nylon is very dangerous.

Will this work on a Replicator 2?
Where do you get it?