From the early days at Diabase, we've been pushing the rapid prototyping industry toward truly functional components. We developed the Flexion extruder because we recognized that the majority of extrusion printed polymers result in parts with low strength and poor dimensional stability. We found that elastomers were a major exception to this rule. Thermoplastic polyurethanes are especially well suited for extrusion printing. With their pseudo-crosslinking behaviour and high crystallinity, they provide an excellent combination of strong layer adhesion and sharp thermal transition. At Diabase, when we print parts, we print them with urethanes. When we need parts in ABS, Acetal, or other common plastics, we machine them. This is the philosophy that led us to develop the H-Series machine.
The 3D printing filament industry is noisy and crowded with catchy brands shrouding the information that customers making functional parts really care about: What is the polymer and what are its properties? With the Diabase line of materials, we are looking to correct this situation, at least in the realm of elastomers. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing a no-nonsense line of polyurethane filaments covering the broadest range of durometer available from 60 ShoreA to 75 ShoreD. These are the most functional and useful 3D printing materials that we have come across, and our goal is to push them out into the broader market to give engineers, makers, and researchers everything they need to make functional, useful prototypes and short-runs. These filaments are all intercompatible, enabling strong multi-material prints of components with varying regions of stiffness. They also respond well to post-curing which will both increase strength and improve thermal dimensional stability.
There are countless examples of useful parts to be made with TPU: electrical strain reliefs and grommets, vibration isolating feet, pads and bumpers, robotic end effectors, handles and tactile parts, straps and draw latches, rope constraints, end caps, fitness equipment interfaces, splints, braces, orthotics, prosthetics, fixtures and brackets, structural frames, enclosure covers, buttons, knobs, and handles. These are just a few that we have made at Diabase: