What Will You Design for the 3D Print Flex-Contest?

Posted by in What's Hot

The first entrants are starting to appear in the Shapeways 3D Print Flex-Contest and we are really excited to see what you make with the squishy, flexible material.

What will you design?

What is the wildest idea you can think of? 

Which design will have the most squish?


  1. underitall

    Animal Cruelty!

    Looks a good material, Can’t wait to get my hands on it.
    Be good for Gaskets and things. Any ideas if it’ll be okay with a light Hydraulic Oil, like Brake Fluid?

  2. Oracle of Wuffing

    It’s a really bad time for me for design time, but I was wondering about a spring and suction cup toy, like this one ( http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/6753/112981df656b.jpg ). I get the impression that a squishy spring wouldn’t be “stiff” enough to use like that, though, so it’s not past the drawing board yet.

  3. cwestbrook

    Don’t worry Nancy, he’ll bounce right back!

    Do you think this material would do decently with 1-2mm diameter wireframe-type jewelry?

    I’m very much hoping this is a decently priced material!

  4. Eddie Adolf

    Little guy’s hollow right? Or you’re pressing really hard?

  5. xaviermolist

    How can this material reacts with water? As a sponge?

  6. nancyliang

    First, this material is not waterproof.. I put some water in the bunny (so yes it is hollow), and the bunny started sweating immediately. So don’t recommend this for anything usage that has to be air tight or water tight.

    The melting point is about 284 degree F, but we are unsure when the material will start warping. We infiltrate it at about 150 degree F, though. So we know it can at least stand up to that temperature.

    I don’t know about suction.. especially since it is not air tight. Tell you what though, send me (nancy@shapeways.com) a file, and I’ll do a free test print for you.

    We are finding that the initial 1mm may be a bit too thin, I would keep wires at around 1.5mm. The reason is that it comes out of the machine a bit soft and way more brittle (then we infiltrate it to give it strength).

    Keep the questions coming!

  7. anachreon


    From my perspective it looks like there are fewer questions on this material as it’s shortcomings have come to light.

    I reckon the usage requirements for a highly porous ‘rubber’ are much less than those for a waterproof material (plus other qualities). I think you’re heading down the wrong road with this one.



  8. nancyliang

    Thanks for your feedback Luis. We will improve along the way and if the products people design require airtightness, then we can definitely consider that in our R&D of materials.

    That said, I think it’s better to let you guys get a chance to test new materials as soon as we can, so we can get the valuable feedback and improve in the right directions.

    Last, this material is NOT rubber. It’s a flexible thermoplastic elastomer (official name TBA, though I still like Squishy as a name) so please do not assume it has all the rubber-like qualities.

    Keep the questions coming!

  9. Curlupndie

    This looks awesome, I can see alot people using this for iPhone cases, model tires, you could probably even make your own gumby action figure with it. I hope the demo works out!

  10. raalst

    seems great stuff for theater stuff. think elf ears, knobbly noses, quasimodo masks and the like.

    can this material be used in combination with e.g. SWF
    in one print ?
    then you might have a way to add flex to mechanical objects.
    think hinged lids, anatomical skeletons, etc.
    create a true artificial hand, with swf bones, swf tendons and flex-flesh !

    interesting times ….

  11. Twisty

    This stuff looks really interesting. I’m wondering, you said that it started to sweat when filled with water, how fast did it sweat? What does this material feel like? Is it soft, rough, smooth, sandy???

    I was thinking if it holds water but releases it slowly and is soft enough it could be interesting to make some sort of cooling device for runners or other outdoor activities.

    What kind of lower temperatures can it take? Could it be frozen and then thawed repeatedly without losing strength and flexibility?

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