Flexa Soft, a TPU powder for small SLS 3D Printers
Additive manufacturing applications often demonstrate the facility of the technology to produce hard objects. On the other hand, soft objects that are 3D printed are often manufactured using FDM technology.
Today, the manufacturer of Lisa 2 proposes the market a material that can enable people to manufacture soft parts using SLS technology.
This new material is unveiled, just a few weeks after, the PA11 Onyx, a powder dedicated to desktop SLS 3D Printers. Thanks to its various properties (high elongation at break, high impact, abrasive and chemical resistance), it ensures robustness and enables the product to cope with in any hostile environment.
One of the main differences between SLS and other manufacturing techniques is the capacity of SLS to bring out precision in surface quality prints made from polyamides -PA.
The TPU-based material (thermoplastic polyurethanes) offers unique softness, between 40 – 55 in Shore A type scale. It can be applied in applications that range from fashion to medicine.
In the medical industry for instance, the material might serve for trial surgeries. Sinterit explained that “when you 3D print an organ from a hard material, it is difficult to cut it with a scalpel. But with Flexa Soft it is much easier”.
According to those who have already try out the material, the latter imitates the hardness of some tissues. Furthermore, models made from this powder “can easily take the desired shape under load or pressure, retaining its geometry when unloaded”.
As for the fashion industry, the material enables the maker to adapt a clothe to the wearer’s body.
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