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We Found a Squishy New Material to 3D Print : Tell Us What You Think


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I can see a number of uses for model railway parts, depending on minimum print thickness etc.

How about printed in black?
#1 Bob Davies on 2012-01-13 22:22 (Reply)
agree totally Bob
#1.1 coaster on 2012-01-17 08:00 (Reply)
Looks interesting - maybe it would be usable in mold making?
#2 Tuomo on 2012-01-13 22:23 (Reply)
OMG! Very very cool. I would definitely want to try this material out. Watch bands, plugs etc etc would be in my projects for using this stuff.

Nice work guys, hope to see a trial of it for sure :-D
#3 Suziam (Homepage) on 2012-01-13 22:27 (Reply)
I wonder, it seems like it would be great for inkpad stamps
#4 Todd Blatt (Homepage) on 2012-01-13 22:28 (Reply)
I actually have a large project in mind that this would be perfect for. something collapsable. how similar is this to tango plus material family?
#5 rachel on 2012-01-13 22:31 (Reply)
If one want to print different parts in different materials using Shapeways only - THIS very material completes that material workflow. I would definitively find myself some use for it! -thumbs up-
#6 Fredrik Wallander on 2012-01-13 22:35 (Reply)
Very cool! Can think of a lot of uses for this..
Is it an elastomer?
#7 Thomas (Homepage) on 2012-01-13 22:39 (Reply)
This looks awesome! Is it vinyl? Silicone? Ton of applications - toy figure, iPad skins, and utensils (if food safe)...
#8 a on 2012-01-13 22:48 (Reply)
Thanks for all the questions!
We will answer them in this thread next week.
#9 Peter (Homepage) on 2012-01-13 22:54 (Reply)
Love the look of this new material, I reckon my son could make good use of this.
#10 Chris on 2012-01-13 23:03 (Reply)
this is so awesome, i was requesting something like this
make this available in black
now add more colors to strong and flexible
and colors to polished strong and flexible and the possibilities will be unlimited
yes i know this sound like the comment f-primus-unicron made on the youtube video, because im f-primus unicron XD
but really, dont think about it, make this material available right now
#11 felipe acuña lópez (Homepage) on 2012-01-13 23:11 (Reply)
I'd love to print this thing in bendable material:

I tried making a mold of it and using pourable foam urethane once, that didn't work out so well.
#12 Bryan on 2012-01-13 23:26 (Reply)
So cool! My mind is just thinking at new soft and elastic jewellery! Is it also possible to have different colours? Thank you SHAPEWAYS for this new amazing material!!
#13 Dario Scapitta Design (Homepage) on 2012-01-13 23:35 (Reply)
I would (*love*) to see this in other colors for use in jewelry/flexible joints!
#13.1 Kelly Cheatle (Homepage) on 2012-01-14 17:04 (Reply)
Wow, very cool! And I have that exact same caliper. :-D
#14 roofoo on 2012-01-14 00:04 (Reply)
And could this be used as an eraser? Like novelty erasers they sell in different shapes?
#15 roofoo on 2012-01-14 00:05 (Reply)
I wonder what the cost would be? This appears that it'd be the perfect material for packing FUD items in to keep them from breakingduring transit.

Construct such a mesh as shown above equal in size to the bounding box for any FUD model plus a 1/2 centimeter in each direction. Then subtract the convex hull of the FUD model from the center of this mesh. Poof.. custom-custom packaging!
#16 Stony Smith on 2012-01-14 01:17 (Reply)
Exactly my thought when I first saw this....
#16.1 Glenn (Homepage) on 2012-01-15 03:24 (Reply)
Very cool !

Lot's of ideas come to mind
#17 Dizingof (Homepage) on 2012-01-14 01:21 (Reply)
This is amazing, you guys. :-D I would use this stuff in a heartbeat-- please do pick it up, I'll try it out ASAP if you do!
#18 Leupstripes on 2012-01-14 01:53 (Reply)
I would use it for shock absorbing cases and robotics parts. hoping it isn't too expensive.
#19 mike on 2012-01-14 02:12 (Reply)
Cool; depending on temperature resistance/polymer composition, this would be great for a number of things in custom apparatus development. Definitely interested.
#20 Mr. Snow on 2012-01-14 02:54 (Reply)
Wow! As usual new material ideas are popular. :-) Thanks for all the great feedback. We will work hard to make this available guys!

The great thing seems to be that this material is reasonably durable. You can flex it and flex it again and again and it does not rupture.

You definitely could make wearable items :-)
#21 Pete (Homepage) on 2012-01-14 03:45 (Reply)
#22 Michelle Davis (Homepage) on 2012-01-14 04:39 (Reply)
Does this bounce if it is dropped or thrown?
#23 Oracle of Wuffing on 2012-01-14 05:05 (Reply)
#24 Innovo on 2012-01-14 07:35 (Reply)
I thought you would be interested.

I will post some photos on Monday so you can see the details.

Have a great weekend
#25 duann scott on 2012-01-14 13:05 (Reply)
Looks great. Phone covers come to mind.

Even better if it has good aesthetic characteristics (hard to judge from the images) and if there even were some color options.
#26 michiel cornelissen (Homepage) on 2012-01-14 13:55 (Reply)
Yeah, really nice for gadget cover, we will do some tests with colors and polishing too...
#26.1 Duann on 2012-01-14 14:06 (Reply)
Absolutely. I can think of a million things I could do with that.
#27 Alex on 2012-01-14 14:20 (Reply)
Very handy, indeed. The tiny bellow you made, for instance, is a great example of how useful this would be.
#28 Alex 2 on 2012-01-14 16:03 (Reply)
That's awesome. I bet we could do some goofy things with that.
#29 TurtlesAreCool (Homepage) on 2012-01-14 17:49 (Reply)
Yeesss that extremly cool i would love t make some things with it,
If the price is ok and there would be more colours this white/yellow is ugly in my opinion, the normal white strong & flexible colour for example would be ok.
#30 Col3000 on 2012-01-14 21:28 (Reply)
so how small can detail be? similar to WSF or better, such as FUD?
#31 nicholassagan on 2012-01-14 21:55 (Reply)
Level of detail similar to WSF as it is a similar process.
#31.1 Duann on 2012-01-14 22:24 (Reply)
I wonder if this material would be appropriate for cell phone cases and the like... will you be able to dye it?
#32 Dylan on 2012-01-14 23:18 (Reply)
Yeah, perfect, it accepts dye really well
#32.1 Duann on 2012-01-14 23:23 (Reply)
I could see this being used for making stop motion model skins.
#33 David D'Champ on 2012-01-15 02:08 (Reply)
Yes, definitely a useful addition. I can see where it would be useful in devices that need springs or similar mechanical actions. This would be a big help with functioning mechanisms. Please include it in your materials.
#34 David Leithauser (Homepage) on 2012-01-15 03:21 (Reply)
Yes, I absolutely want to see this material added. I love the post above that suggests using it as a mold. Not sure what it's made of or if the material poured in would stick to it or not....
#35 Glenn (Homepage) on 2012-01-15 03:29 (Reply)
PrimerPart DC?
#36 stannum on 2012-01-15 03:42 (Reply)
I actually just had a prototyping project that this would have been perfect for. If it had been available two months ago, it would have saved me time and money finding another place to make those parts.
#37 David Leithauser (Homepage) on 2012-01-15 03:54 (Reply)
This looks like an excellent material! I want it!
Is it food safe?
Can it print as detailed as white flexible?
Can we get it in several colors?

Regarding colors, is there no way of adding rgb colors into the printing process to die the material to a specific color (Pantone or rgb in a specific color space).
That would be great to have!
#38 Roberto Chaves (Homepage) on 2012-01-15 09:13 (Reply)
Thanks for showing that material! That looks useful, but to be honest with you, I have no idea when I'll think of when I would have a design in mind to use that with. I might go to school before I think about using that for a mock up. That looks helpful for toys, but can you make Tenishoes? Ha ha. Just for fun. serious.
#39 Justin (Homepage) on 2012-01-15 11:52 (Reply)
Shoes, yes, seriously
#39.1 Duann on 2012-01-15 14:35 (Reply)
How soft is this exactly - i.e. - would I want to sleep on this stuff?

Are there any allergenic properties to this material, such as latex?

I've already got some awesome ideas in mind for these.
#40 Andy on 2012-01-15 14:30 (Reply)
Also - Does it float?
#40.1 Andy on 2012-01-15 14:32 (Reply)
It is nice and soft, sure, you could sleep on it, scale may be an issue :-)

I will do the float test.

#40.1.1 Duann on 2012-01-15 14:34 (Reply)
This looks terrific! I would love to work with this. Really puts the "flexible" into XSF. Fantastic for things like grips, liners, cases/skins (as noted above), is the behavior with temperature?
#41 D. Allan Drummond (Homepage) on 2012-01-16 01:24 (Reply)
What's the polymer? I would look up some properties...
#42 Dale Cutler on 2012-01-16 02:11 (Reply)
If same process than WSF (EOS SLS machines), it could be PrimePart DC (polyamide 11 based, and they say something about castor oil O_o). It should float a bit.

PrimeCast 101 would rock also, and not only for the casting usages. So would Carbonmide. At least it the parts can reach the same level of detail that we get with WSF, but with different properties.
#42.1 stannum on 2012-01-16 05:22 (Reply)
Hey!! Wow, glad to see all the enthusiasm! We are currently gathering the material specs you are looking for and more. It's a brand new material, so we are working closely with the manufacturers to get you the information, but thought a sneak peak would be well worth it. Black would be great, my first thoughts actually when I thought about this material. I will post updates on this thread as soon as I get more info!
#43 nancyliang on 2012-01-16 06:08 (Reply)
Love it. Hope it is added to the types of materials.
#44 Pat on 2012-01-16 06:36 (Reply)
Can it be used to make flexible casting molds?
#45 Forrest on 2012-01-16 07:10 (Reply)
Yes Yes Yes
#46 Geo on 2012-01-16 09:19 (Reply)
Looks interesting! What's the Shore hardness of the material?
#47 WJV@particles (Homepage) on 2012-01-16 10:59 (Reply)
Start using it immediately! =:oD
#48 Peter Hughes on 2012-01-16 11:59 (Reply)

I really hope this is medical/food safe/hypoallergenic. We really need more practical materials, as someone mentioned above, this would be great to make a watch writband.
On that note: Some other plastics should be introduced with the same criteria. We need dishwasher safe/proof materials to start making more practical prints.


#49 Luis on 2012-01-16 15:17 (Reply)
Very interested in the tear strength and elongation at break in addition to the shore hardness
#50 Bryan on 2012-01-16 16:31 (Reply)
Information, information, information!! Are you ready? Here we go.

Many people asked about usages. As you can see the material is quite bendy. It would make GREAT iPhone cases, in my opinion! It isn't porous, so it wouldn't be good to hold ink for stamps, but as stamps themselves the material works well for that. For shoe soles, this material would work as well. We haven't tested for mold making yet, but it should be possible--one issue is that the surface is a bit rough. Me, I've been using it as a stress toy and the flexibility holds up quite well. I also suspect my rubber duck collection will expand vastly in the future. Any other ideas for usages?

There were also some questions on how this material touch and felt like. It's not as rough as the Strong & Flexible though, and not as smooth as Strong & Flexible polished. Would love to sponsor an experiment with a community member to test this when we get this online though! It's sturdier than Tango material. When we tested the Tango on Shapeways years ago, it would break after you bend it 2 or 3 times. This material still maintains its flexibility even after an afternoon of me using it as a stress toy.

Other questions:
- Can be dyed? YES! Just like Strong & Flex. So.. black, red, blue... you name it! What colors would you guys be interested in working with??
- Floats? Yes it does
- Detail level? Similar to strong & flex, but slightly lower resolution
- Allergenic properties? Non discovered thus far
- Works as erasers? Not particularly well unfortunately

Also.. prepare your bibs: this material is FOOD SAFE for EU countries--not FDA approved yet.

Drooling? I am.

For even more technical stuff (in other words, going to geek out now) this material's technical name is PEBA (Polyether-block-amid). And for WJV@particles's question, the surface hardness ranges from shore D 25 (75 A) to D 72.

Whew! Keep the questions coming, guys! I'm so happy to see such an overwhelming response.
#51 nancyliang on 2012-01-16 17:23 (Reply)
(Thanks for the polymer's name! ; - )
#51.1 Dale Cutler on 2012-01-16 22:15 (Reply)
make this available in black first
and talking about colors we really need and i mean it
more color options for the strong flexible and polished materials
and not just yellow
red - orange - yellow - green - blue - purple
to begin with
#52 felipe acuña lópez (Homepage) on 2012-01-16 18:03 (Reply)
Really awesome! please add this material to the shop!
#53 Julio on 2012-01-16 20:32 (Reply)
I just ordered a design for a project in WSF that I have been using as the male for a mold, then casting the shape in a 90 Shore A rubber to get the performance I need out of the design. With this material it looks like I'd be able to print it directly and test....saving me about $100 and 3-4 days of work. PLEASE make this available!!!!

I think other applications will be endless....
#54 Mac on 2012-01-17 03:12 (Reply)

You say the material can be dyed: The problem I see with this is, as a food safe material, it will absorb food stains and hence discolour.

I find it odd that WSF, which can also be dyed, is classed as not watertight but is dishwasher safe... I am assuming here that neither of them will be fully washable providing they are still able to be dyed.

White detail, and frosted detail are classed as watertight but not dishwasher safe... Seems odd again... Factoring in the potential of the temperatures in the dishwasher doesn't tally, as they, and WSF, tolerate the same temperatures. To me this points to the detergent, so even if they are dishwasher safe they will not come out 'as new'...

I would appreciate it if anyone with experience in this with their prints would chime in.

We need more 'practical' materials to increase the product ranges in the prints.


#55 Luis on 2012-01-17 10:37 (Reply)
I like it!
Not sure what I'd model it for, but I'd like to try it, price depending.
#56 UnderItAll on 2012-01-17 21:00 (Reply)
Does it degrade fast under UV exposure? Or does it have some kind of anti-UV additive?
#57 stannum on 2012-01-17 23:38 (Reply)
Lots of ideas! You really should add that to your Range of materials. If specs are similar to WSF, even better!
#58 Heiner Stiller on 2012-01-18 21:27 (Reply)
Lots of ideas! You really should add that to your Range of materials. If specs are similar to WSF, even better!
#59 Heiner Stiller on 2012-01-18 21:27 (Reply)

Few questions though:
-You said this was not porous, does that mean that it's 100% watertight?
-It bends well, but does it stretch that well too?
-What temperatures can this material stand up to?
-What price (range) is this going to be if it's ever to be made available?

I'm really interested in this material!
#60 Simon Beirnaert on 2012-01-18 21:58 (Reply)
I'd really love to know how fast it tears or breaks .. I mean, what are the limits of this material?
#61 crckdns (Homepage) on 2012-01-19 09:23 (Reply)
Alright, is there a possibility of using this material along with wsf in a single multimaterial print? I see some good uses of this by it self, but in combination with more rigid materials the possibilities become much more complex and functional. Many of the plastic products around us are made in more then a single type of material, so the earlier we can combine diverse materials in single prints the more blurred the line between shapeways' prints and consumer products becomes.
#62 jeff (Homepage) on 2012-01-19 15:10 (Reply)
Hey Jeff,

Not currently possible with this process.

Objet materials (detail) can do it in theory but the file handling is so cumbersome it is not possible for us to currently offer it and the materials would be variations of acrylic, from black to white, hard to rubbery etc etc. great potential not currently realized.
#62.1 Duann on 2012-01-19 17:05 (Reply)
+100 on Comment #62!


#63 Luis on 2012-01-19 16:38 (Reply)
Anyone tried ? (it looks like a copy of shapeways..)

They offer over 50 (!) AMAZING materials...

Haven't tested them yet.
#64 Dizingof (Homepage) on 2012-01-19 16:59 (Reply)
i dont know, kraftwurx has a nice page design but im not sure about the company
and if shapeways adds more color options for strong and flexible, some for polished, and for transparent and add as well the new material it will be fine
yes i know, i have an obsession with more color options for strong and flexible
#65 felipe acuña lópez (Homepage) on 2012-01-19 17:32 (Reply)
I would like to 3d print as flexible as this,
#66 rbs24 (Homepage) on 2012-01-20 21:44 (Reply)
I would DEFINITELY use this material in my designs and models. I readily can imagine use for some bike grips and bike seats I have been prototyping. I can also see it being useful for gaskets a better two part iphone case (hard/flexible case with this new rubbery material as the gasket or such).

I wonder, is this material similar to urethane or other rubbers that can be dyed easily?
#67 Scotty on 2012-04-04 01:04 (Reply)
Looks like a really interesting material. The most obvious use is in toys or just ornaments. I wonder if this property can be used as a shock absorber for airbags or behind the drivers seat to protect back passengers. Knowing my limited creativity, I couldn't possibly think of much better ways to use this material. Would be nice to see better suggestions.
#68 Matt Spencer (Homepage) on 2012-05-03 10:36 (Reply)
is this material available to print??
#69 Anonymous on 2012-11-25 18:54 (Reply)
We did a trial but the material did not live up to expectations so we are trying more processes to get a better rubbery material.
#69.1 Duann on 2012-12-31 16:49 (Reply)
Is this material available yet? It isn't mentioned on the materials status page.

Can it be used to create inflatable objects like rubber bladders/balloons?
#70 Anonymous on 2012-12-29 06:34 (Reply)
The material was popular, but troublesome, we are still looking into finding a better rubber like 3D printed material.
#70.1 Duann on 2012-12-31 18:22 (Reply)
Have you found an alternate rubberlike material yet? Anxious to check it out.
#70.1.1 Philip on 2013-05-16 07:33 (Reply)
this stuff sounds amazing! you could use it to make plenty of things, as they've said, like treads for tanks or just some flaling tendrils for a design.
#71 retep on 2013-02-13 20:03 (Reply)

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