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Flex, TPE, TPU  

Eminent Member
Flex, TPE, TPU

Flex, TPE, TPU, what's the difference?

Well, I found the difference between TPE a TPU, but what is this Flex material? It seems to me like just some marketing name for TPE.

Also, I can't find Flex in my favourite store, just TPE. Would I be able to print it on my Mini?

Posted : 06/03/2020 2:53 pm
RE: Flex, TPE, TPU

They're different tiers of the same thing...

Flex is a general term used for any flexible filament regardless of composition. In theory, if you had a material you could extrude without heating that was flexible, it could be considered a "flex" but not a TPE. 

TPE (Thermoplastic elastomer) is more specific nomenclature for a set of flexible thermoplastics. Butylene polymers (think tool grips) are a TPE but not a TPU.

TPU (Thermoplastic (poly-)urethanes)  are a specific subclass of TPEs comprised of urethane monomers.

This post was modified 2 years ago by vintagepc
Posted : 06/03/2020 5:41 pm
Eminent Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Flex, TPE, TPU

So I can buy TPE, set Prusa Slicer to FLEX and print glorious rubbery Benchy on my Mini? 🙂

Posted : 07/03/2020 7:58 pm
Honorable Member
RE: Flex, TPE, TPU

I would recommend TPU instead. TPE doesn't stick to the PEI surface very well.

Posted : 07/03/2020 8:47 pm
Eminent Member
RE: Flex, TPE, TPU

Is it necessary to print with hot bed flexible filament? I have never needed it and the flexible adheres perfectly to the bed.
Why does the bed have to be heated when I want to insert the filament?
I find it an unnecessary waste of energy when I want to print with a cold bed.

Posted : 11/03/2020 5:11 pm