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3D-printing materials explained: Flexible resins

Recent advancement in resin development made it possible to 3D-print flexible resins. Before flexible materials or TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethanes) were only available for FDM and laser sinter printers. With the availability of flexible or elastic 3D-printing resins, the SLA, DLP and MSLA 3D-printers can also process this class of materials. Earlier we published an article about the different flexible or elastic resins available and how they can help for your project. In this article we mostly focus on the difference between thermoplastic urethanes (TPU) used in FDM or sintering printers and flexible resins. Also the differences between Liqcreate Premium Flex and Flexible-X are explained.

 

Difference between flexible resins and TPU

TPU’s are widely used in industrial applications and well known for their elasticity, and toughness.  Since several years, manufacturers try to process TPU’s and elastic or flexible materials on different types of 3D-printers.  Traditional TPU’s can be processed with FDM and laser sinter machines with some challenges. Unfortunately the traditional TPU’s can’t be used on resin based 3D-printing technology. Research lead to a new set of raw materials which could be printed on resin 3D-printers. There are some differences between TPU’s and flexible resins. Mainly the elongation and tear strength of traditional TPU’s are higher than the resins currently available. With smart designs, some of these limitations can be solved for high demanding applications.

 

Difference between Premium Flex and Flexible-X

Liqcreate Premium Flex and Flexible-X are two completely different products, both with their own advantages. In properties and print behavior, there are three distinct differences. To compare both materials, click on the link above and match the properties.

  • – Flexible-X has a higher elongation
  • – Flexible-X has a significantly higher tear strength
  • – Premium Flex has an increased print speed, more than 2-3x faster than Flexible-X. Find the 3D-print parameters for flexible resin on your 3D-printer here.

For prototyping and not so demanding applications, Premium Flex could work well. For more demanding applications Flexible-X is advised due to its improved tear strength.

 

3D-printer compatibility with flexible resin

Liqcreate resins, including the flexible and elastic 3d-printing resins are compatible with a wide range of resin based 3d-printers. The 3D-printing parameters can be found here. Send us an e-mail at info@liqcreate.com if your printer is not listed.

 

Flexible resins: 3D-printing and post-processing tips and tricks

Flexible and elastic 3d-printing resins are more difficult to process compared to the standard rigid resins. Mainly due to the peeling and low green strength of the materials, some changes have to be made for a successful print. Additionally a different post-curing method is needed to get non-sticky parts. Read all tips and tricks for working with Flexible 3D-printing resins here.

We hoped this was an interesting and educational read. Please send us an e-mail at info@liqcreate.com if you have any questions, comments or remarks. We wish you happy printing and have fun with your colored resin!

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Do you need any help with 3D printing our SLA, DLP or LCD resins? We can help you! Just look for the question you have below. If you can’t find it, let us know by contacting us!

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Flexible-X

Liqcreate Flexible-X is an opaque black photopolymer with great processability and print speed on MSLA, DLP and laser based 3D-printers. 3D-printed parts from this material have exceptional flexibility and great rebound properties. Liqcreate Flexible-X is easy to use on all open source DLP, LCD and SLA 3D-printers in the range of 385 – 420nm. Its low hardness of 55 Shore A and elongation up to 160% makes it perfect for the production of a diversity of industrial applications.

Key benefits

3D-Printer compatibility

·        High Elongation ·        Epax3D Series
·        Excellent Rebound ·        Phrozen Series
·        Good Tear Strength ·        Anycubic series
·        Durable Soft Touch ·        And many more
  • Liqcreate Flexible-X resin for SLA DLP LCD flexible and elastic 3D printing

    Flexible-X

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Premium Flex

Liqcreate Premium Flex is a translucent turquoise blue photopolymer with great processability and print speed on MSLA and DLP based 3D-printers. 3D-printed parts from this material have excellent flexibility and low surface hardness of 63 Shore A. Liqcreate Premium Flex is easy to use on all open source DLP and LCD 3D-printers in the range of 385 – 420nm. Its high elongation and low Shore A hardness makes it perfect for diversity of soft touch and elastic prototypes.

Key benefits

3D-Printer compatibility

·        High Elongation ·        Phrozen Series
·        Soft touch ·        Elegoo Series
·        Easy to print ·        Anycubic Series
·        High flexibility ·        And many more
  • Liqcreate Premium Flex resin for DLP LCD MSLA flexible and soft tough 3D printing resin

    Premium Flex

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