As Flexible as Your Imagination, as Durable as it Needs to be.
Chromatic 3D Materials is inventing the next generation of 3D printing materials with the durability to meet the requirements for finished manufactured goods. We call our suite of materials FlexTune™ 3D Printed Polyurethanes.
What are FlexTune™ 3D Printed Polyurethanes?
FlexTune™ is a range of polyurethane rubber elastomers printed in the Shore A range of 40-90. These materials have been used for decades in non-3D printed applications which demand durability. They can be flexed, stretched, twisted, squeezed over and over. Examples of their use include heels and outsoles of shoe, rollerblade wheels and gaskets in hydraulic seals.
Our team at Chromatic 3D Materials found a way to 3D print using these high-performance polyurethane elastomers in a way that doesn’t sacrifice their strength and durability. The adaptability, durability and resilience of these materials are unmatched by the thermoplastics used in conventional 3D printing processes.
Simply put: you can 3D print with the same rubbery materials used in demanding applications, without sacrificing performance.
What Is the Difference Between FlexTune™ Polyurethanes and SLA Resins or Photopolymers?
Have you been 3D printing with a rubbery SLA resin or other photopolymer? FlexTune™ is different from these materials in a few key ways:
- Our chemistry is more versatile. Want to adjust the properties to be a little more flexible in low strains? We can do that! Want a slightly harder or softer touch? We can do that, too!
- FlexTune™ is compatible with additives. Colors can be added for a vibrant look.
- Our printing methods have different advantages. Our printing is more like FDM than SLA. Therefore, we can print solid parts more easily than intricate lattices. SLA is better at those intricate lattices, but solid parts s-l-o-w down the printing. So do the soft, flexible SLA resins. But with FlexTune™, there’s no sacrificing speed. Soft, flexible, solid parts are a perfect fit for our printing methods.
What is the Difference between FlexTune™ Polyurethanes and FDM TPU?
In traditional extrusion or FDM printing, plastic is melted then cooled to form the part. When plastics are selected to meet application needs for part complexity, flexibility or high durability, the following challenges are present:
- Flexible, meltable materials are not durable and can tear or creep
- Flexible filaments can stretch and stick to themselves, posing feed problems in the printer
- Cooled layers cannot adhere well to layers above, leading to poor print-direction strength
- Each material type requires different processing temperatures, limiting multi-material printing options
Result: Parts with poor durability = prototype only
Printing with Chromatic’s FlexTune™ 3D Printed Polyurethanes, liquids react to form the part. The reaction of the liquids can produce variable qualities in final product that are not achievable today. FlexTune™ creates:
- Unmeltable parts
- Flexible, durable parts
- Parts with varied properties
- Parts with high print-direction strength
- Parts with thermally-sensitive components, such as electronics
Result: Durable and functional manufactured parts = beyond prototype
Revolutionize your product with FlexTune™ 3D Printed Polyurethanes.