TPU Filament

Flo and I have been exploring 3D printed braille this year.  The files for Goodnight Moon included designs for braille plates to be part of the book (they weren’t a complete set, so I went a different direction for the braille in that case).  The first plate I printed out was very sharp!  I learned that 3D printed braille does not work well when printed horizontally, but should be printed vertically.  Flo’s experience with the vertically printed braille worked much better!

At a recent conference, we ran into a gentleman from Imagination Technology.  He suggested we try using TPU filament for a softer product, and gave us a sample to try!  Thanks!

I attempted to load the filament into one of our Tinkerine DittoPros.  The filament was too soft to feed through the nozzle, so after a few attempts I moved on.

The filament fed well into our Ultimaker 2+ and I was ready to go!  Our friend at Imagination Technology said that I could use the settings for PLA but print at the lowest possible speed.  I dutifully turned the speed down to 10% and got started.  It was slow!!  The 1 1/2 hour print was suddenly going to take 5 hours.  I tried speeding it up to 30%, but then the filament only came out in dots.  When I went back to 10%, the filament wouldn’t stick properly to the build plate.  As the nozzle rounded the corner of the oval skirt it was laying down, the filament would drag, resulting in sharp corners.

I’ll need to do a little more research and then try again.  I’m looking forward to seeing the braille this TPU filament produces.

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