3D printing services get flexible with materials

3D printing services are getting more “flexible” with their material choices these days. Flexible, as in squishy. News out of Shapeways and i.materialise this week show off their spongy new materials.

Shapeways had experimented with a flexible material last year but it unfortunately wasn’t quite ready for prime time. They moved on to a black, rubber-like material called Black Elasto Plastic, which also ended up being discontinued.

But great news: Shapeways continued working on the original flexible material all this time and it’s finally almost ready for order. Here it is in action:

shapeways flexible matieral

The folks over at i.materialise are also on to their own squishable material. They are only on their initial tests (update: available to manufacturing and prototyping customers now), but here are some photos of the yet unnamed material — without a video we’ll just have to assume that it unsquishes too (see update below).

materialise flexible material 1

And here is it working to stop a window door handle from noisily slamming against the wall:

imaterialise flexible material 2

Here’s to hoping that both these show up in the material selections at Shapeways and i.materialise in the very near future.

Update: Apparently, the flexible material from i.materialise is the very same TPU-92A-1 material that we wrote about earlier this month. Here’s the video we had published in that article:

  • http://www.materialise.com Vanessa

    You can find out more about the material being tested by i.materialise, TPU 92A-1 here: http://www.materialise.com/press/launch-of-the-first-fully-functional-flexible-material-in-3d-printing

    It has already been released for Materialise manufacturing and prototyping customers and is undergoing further tests at i.materialise so that it meets the needs of their customers as well.

    • https://3dprinter.net Mark Fleming

      Thanks for the update.

      • http://www.materialise.com Vanessa

        No problem. Be sure to check out the videos as well. Iris van Herpen worked together with Julia Koerner and engineers here at Materialise to use the material and send a flexible dress down the Paris catwalk during Paris Fashion Week (Haute Couture). You will see that we also tested the material by driving over it with a truck…among other things.

    • https://3dprinter.net Mark Fleming

      We’ve updated the article to reflect your input.

  • Pingback: Marble is the next 3D printing material thanks to recycled marble dust. - 3D Profiling

  • Pingback: Marble is the next 3D printing material thanks to recycled marble dust.