Among the materials compatible with Sharebot SnowWhite, our laser sintering (DLS) professional 3D printer, TPU is one of the most interesting. TPU is a thermoplastic polyuretane and it is used to realize elastic object which are not resistant to scraping and collisions, but also with high memory form.
The two most important settings to sinter TPU are:
–temperature of the building chamber or temperature of powder bed.
-The energy transferred to the powder which depends from the laser power and it is reduced by the laser speed (this parameter is proportional to the time the laser remains in a precise point);
TPU powder requires to transfer a bigger amount of energy than the Nylon: the usual setting is at least 30% of Power and a 20.000 of Rate. Despite that, TPU is easier to print than other materials because it doesn’t have any warping effect (usually caused by thermic shock).
The value of energy transferred changes the flexibility of the model: increasing the energy, the object stiffness is increased too. These two features allow to easily build elastic or rigid objects.
TPU is used in different professional fields to realize small and precise objects with great resistance and flexibility: an exemple is the production of consumer goods like glasses, juncture, internal covers of mobile phones and other elctronics devices.