3D Printers continue to improve year after year, but the fundamentals of the technology haven’t really changed much over the years.
What I find to be more exciting is the new materials that are constantly being introduced to the marketplace, offering new and useful capabilities for your existing 3D printer hardware.
Introducing Colorfabb varioShore TPU and colorFabb LW-PLA
As a fine example of the intriguing capabilities new materials can offer, colorFabb recently introduced two new filaments that feature an active foaming technology, allowing the creation of lightweight, low-density parts.
Colorfabb varioShore TPU
colorFabb created a flexible TPU material called varioShore TPU that uses active foaming technology, to allow for variable shore hardness, even within the same print.
Although the weight reduction of varioShore TPU is not as significant as LW-PLA, the weight of the overall print is noticeable and can make the difference for prints where weight matters.
For example, at 3D Universe, they’ve been working on developing 3D printed respirator mask designs. They found that printing these masks in varioShore TPU results in a mask that is lighter, softer, more flexible, and more comfortable compared to those printed in standard TPU.
What I love about this material in particular is that the active foaming technology doesn’t just result in a lighter part. It also produces a noticeably softer part. So if you’re looking to produce a part that will be more comfortable, such as a handle bar holder, shoe insole, etc., this material offers a significant advantage.