PolyFlex Flexible and Elastic 3D Printer Filament (Click for full article)

Author: microplus/Wednesday, 24 September 2014/Categories: 3D Printing News, UP Mini 3D Printer, UP Plus 3D Printer, 3D Printed Items

PolyFlex Flexible / Elastic Filament for 3D Printers

We have tested many flexible filaments. Most of these filaments only work
on select 3D Printers and none have worked very well on the UP Range of
Printers.

We have just completed testing the new PolyFlex 3D Printer Filament with
exciting results. This is a new specially formulated Flexible thermoplastic
elastomer material. 

Having recently tested the PolyMax PLA filament also from PolyMaker
Company we had a very open mind about the claims made by the PolyMaker
Company. We had high expectations.

Range of Sample Prints we made:
A Flexible Tractor Drive Belt
Flexible Mobile Phone Case
Small Vase
Rubber Style Grommet

Packaging
PolyMax comes on a good quality spool with 750g PLA filament. It is packed
in a Vacuum Resealable Pack and is supplied with clip to hold your filament in
place on the spool when not in use.

Using the PolyFlex 3D Printer Filament
The filament has a elastic property but not as soft and stretchy as most of the
flexible filaments we have tested before. 
To our surprise this filament printed very well using the ABS Setting with the
UP Plus and Plus 2 default nozzle temperatures

3D Printer Used
We tested PolyFlex on an UP Plus 2 and original UP Plus. We did not test it on
the UP Mini but see no reason why it will not work well on the Mini.

Printing Temperature
The recommended nozzle temperate range is Printing range: 210 - 240 °C. When
we tested this filament using our Advanced Temperate Controller we had the
temperature set very close to the default UP temperate which is approx. 265 Deg C.
This is good news for UP 3D Printer owners as the Prints you see on the page were
all printed without the Temperature Controller

Printing Surface
PolyFlex sticks to well to the printing surface. We tested by printing on Blue Painters
Tape and also the BuildTak printing surface.
See our Knowledge Base article for more information on this.

Because PolyFlex sticks so well to the printing platform surface you can print without
a raft which is great as you get a nice smooth under side on your model.

Other considerations
It is easy to block the Extruder Nozzle, If your temperature is not hot enough.
Fortunately clearing the nozzle is easy, you simply withdraw the PolyFlex and Extrude
some ABS Material through the nozzle. Because PolyFlex is an elastic material you
really need to minimise all drag on the filament. We prefer to pull an amount the filament
off the spool which eliminates all drag.

Depending on what you are Printing you will need to test with different print resolutions.
I favoured 0.25mm and 0.20mm and the fine quality setting.

Support Material
Support Material is a lot harder to remove than PLA or ABS. You do need to use a Knife
to assist with the support material removable. This is a common factor when using elastic
filaments.

Summary
It is the first flexible filament to print really well on the UP 3D Printers. It does take some
getting used to as it is very different to ABS and PLA. You will need to experiment with
your settings but once you get used to how this material prints you will get some nice results.

You can purchase PolyMakers PolyFlex here
PolyMaker PolyFlex 1.75mm
PolyMaker PolyFlex 3mm

I recommend you read our Knowledge Base Article located here for detailed information on
how to print with this material.

Flexible Drive Belt
Drive Belt made from PolyFlex
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Flexible Drive Belt 3D Printed
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Flexible Phone Case
PolyFlex Phone Case
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Flexing 3D Printed Phone Case
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Flexible Vase
3D Printed Vase made from PolyFlex
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Flexed 3D Printed Vase made from PolyFlex
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Rubber Type Grommet
Ruber type Grommet PolyFlex
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3D Printed Grommet PolyFlex
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Flexible Grommet PolyFlex
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