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  1. #1

    What plastic materials can I print?

    I need to print bendable plastics.
    Not necessarily completely malleable... but something that has bend.
    A drinks bottle lid for example.

    I haven't bought a printer yet.
    Will be buying this week. Just wanted this confirmed.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    TPU filament may be of use to your objective. It's very flexible right off the spool and usually requires a direct drive printer (genuine Prusa i3 - good choice) although I've printed with my bowden tube Sigma R16 with some effort. I won't try again, as it's far too much effort with a high failure rate, but on a Prusa MK2s, our local makerspace (library) has had quite good results. Slow speed is critical.

    I've also printed flexible with OBC filament although it's a bit stiffer than TPU. At the very rigid end of the scale there's a product known as soft PLA, but it may be just flexible enough for your design.

    If you'll be buying a printer this week, it's probably not a genuine Prusa, so much the sorrow, but be sure to get direct drive for the extruder.

  3. #3
    Technologist
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    Another choice for flexible printing is polypropylene. It is possible to print polyp on most simple machines - I have don quite a lot using an unmodified Ender 3 pro, the only problem has been print bed adhesion. Polyp pretty much only sticks to more polyp but when i've tried to print it onto Polyp sheet it has welded itself down irremovably so had to resort to printing onto polyp packaging tape applied to a glass substrate.

  4. #4
    Guys! You've thrown a spanner into my plans!
    I was planning to buy a Creality Ender-5 Pro.
    So, is that no good for what I want?
    I'm going to hold back on buying until I hear back from you guys.
    Thanks.

  5. #5
    I wonder if the OBC filament I used is polypropylene based, as the documentation specified printing on packing tape, which worked fine.

  6. #6
    @starplanet, it is a bowden tube printer, so it's rather risky if you go that route with the intention of printing flexible filament. You could probably buy a remote direct drive system and adapt it to the Ender-5 but by then you'd have spent enough to get a genuine Prusa, which is direct drive.

  7. #7
    Tell me what I should be looking to buy in that case?My budget was £300.(I wanted to build helmets and other fancy things - but to be honest... not at all important - the soft plastic is much much more important. So OK if the printer has a small bed.)Thanks.

  8. #8
    The only one I found in your price range is the sovol sv01 which appeared in the list of best direct drive extruder printers for 2021. It lists as a negative having a manually leveled print bed, but that's almost expected at the low price it lists. Every other printer I've found in your budget is bowden tube type.

  9. #9
    Technologist
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    195
    I have been printing all sorts of materials on a simple Ender 3 plus a Bowden printer and have no problem printing PolyProp so no problem. for your helmets' the larger printer might be better. I don't think the Bowden feed will be a problem but the choice of filament brad might be. Having spent much of the last decade working with polymer chemistry I can say there are more formulations of Polyprop than you can shake a stick at. The brand I use is OOznest polyP which works for me!! You could also try a semirigid Nylon I use Spectrum PA6 Low warp printing on to a Tufnol sheet. but this is a premium nylon and consequently expensive. Have tried some of the economy nylons but with no luck.

    To print a large hollow shape like Helmet it would be good idea to print it in sections to avoid huge overhangs.

  10. #10
    Technologist
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    United Kingdom
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    195
    Ps if you do decide to take my advice and print in sections you might want to look at the Two Trees Sapphire 2 pro its under £200 on offer at Banggood but don't expect any aftersale help from them.

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