Markforged has added Smooth TPU 95A to its growing portfolio of materials. The new, rubber-like material provides manufacturers with an efficient way to easily and reliably make high-quality, flexible parts on demand, in low-to-medium volumes.
With the introduction of Smooth TPU 95A, Markforged now offers manufacturers the increased versatility to make customized, flexible parts with high geometric fidelity, which is critical in creating fine-feature details such as the ridges on high precision drive belts or cutouts for complex bushings. Manufacturers now have a more advanced way to make flexible parts, additively, for design validation, production line tooling, specialty production, aftermarket spares, and replacement parts. Smooth TPU 95A has uses in a variety of industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products, electronics, energy, industrial equipment, and more.
“Following the launch of Precise PLA earlier this year, Markforged is once again extending the capabilities of The Digital Forge with the introduction of Smooth TPU 95A, and the new ability to reliably and easily print high-quality, flexible parts on demand with stunning surface finish,” said Shai Terem, President and CEO of Markforged. “The launch of our new material represents yet another step forward in our commitment to innovation that lives up to the Markforged brand promise of extreme precision and high quality on a simple-to-use platform.”
Flexible materials are finicky to print, and frequently cause jams and clogs. It is because of this that few 3D printing systems are able to produce viable end-use parts with the consistency and mechanical properties required for production. Markforged’s platform, the Digital Forge, is designed to overcome these challenges for manufacturers who have historically struggled to produce flexible parts – through the synchronous workings of Markforged’s hardware, software, and materials.
The Assistive Technology Team at the Central Virginia VA Health Care System is introducing Smooth TPU 95A into their practice as a way to innovate new ways to improve the lives of military personnel.
“We have a long history of relying on Markforged technology in our clinic settings. Between the reliability of the printers and the easy-to-use Eiger interface, we are able to collaborate with medical professionals and veterans to move through design iterations quickly and deliver a high-quality solution faster that truly helps our patients,” said Brian Burkhardt, Clinical Rehabilitation Engineer at Central Virginia VA Health Care System. “With Smooth TPU 95A, we are able to create parts in a material that is a better fit for our patients and their needs, allowing us to do things we couldn’t do before. Whether we are working on a prosthetic or stylus holder, the flexible nature of this new material gives us more capabilities to provide an elegant solution for our patients, making their lives easier.”
The stylus holder, designed as a wrist strap with a slot to help veterans with limited hand dexterity securely hold a writing implement, stylus, or similar device, is a design that takes advantage of the benefits of Smooth TPU 95A. Prior to utilizing the material on the Markforged printers, the team had trouble printing high-quality models using other technology as the models didn’t meet their quality standards. The capability to print with Smooth TPU 95A enabled the team to move the project forward quickly and efficiently, validating the design, then moving into custom production where they could tailor a unique design for each individual to provide an impactful end-use product.
Smooth TPU 95A is available today and is compatible with the Mark Two (Gen 2) and Onyx Pro (Gen 2) printers. The new material is also scheduled to be available on the X7 (Gen 2) printers that are equipped with the latest A3648 extruder in Q4 of this year.