Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) becomes popular in 3D printing. This flexible filament is used to make objects that can stretch, bend, and curl. For example, you can use TPU for making custom phone cases, stress toys, rubber mats, seals, and o-rings.
The problem occurs when picking out the best 3D printer for TPU is not an easy task. There are a wide variety of available options that make you overwhelmed if you’re not sure about what to look for. Sound familiar?
In this guide, I will show you 10 best 3D printers on the market which you can use for printing TPU. Not only that, I will give you some essential things you need to know before buying your first 3D printer. Let’s get started!
10 Best 3D Printer for TPU – Comparisons
|Image||3D Printer||Print Area||Printing Speed||Price|
|QIDI TECH X-Pro||300 x 250 x 300 mm||60-150 mm/s||Check Price on Amazon|
|ELEGOO Neptune||205 x 205 x 205 mm||20-100 mm/s||Check Price on Amazon|
|TEVO Tornado||300 x 300 x 400 mm||max 150 mm/s||Check Price on Amazon|
|ANYCUBIC Mega-S||210 x 210 x 205 mm||20-100 mm/s||Check Price on Amazon|
|FlashForge Creator Pro||227 x 148 x 150 mm||20-100 mm/s||Check Price on Amazon|
|SainSmart Ender-3||440 x 410 x 465 mm||max 180 mm/s||Check Price on Amazon|
|Monoprice Maker Ultimate||200 x 200 x 175 mm||max 300 mm/s||Check Price on Amazon|
|TRONXY XY-2||220 x 220 x 260 mm||20 -100 mm/s||Check Price on Amazon|
|ZD Bravo-I||220 × 250 × 250 mm||20-100 mm/s||Check Price on Amazon|
|JGAURORA A8||350 x 250 x 300 mm||50 mm/s||Check Price on Amazon|
10 Best 3D Printer for TPU Reviews in 2019
1. QIDI TECH 3D Printer X-Pro
If you need 3D printers which are placed in the leading position for education, design, engineering, hobbies, even household needs then the QIDITECH X-Pro is the answer you have been searching for.
Classified in the smarter 3D printer which is very user-friendly, the QIDITECH X-Pro equipped with an upgraded 4.3-inch touch screen.
Not only equipped with upgraded touch screen, but the newest technology in dual extrusion is also assembled in the X-Pro for better print precision from 0.05-0.4mm and print’s speed from 60mm up to 150mm.
Moreover, the QIDITECH X-Pro has a removable plate which is made from curved metal to make the model that has been printed can be transferred easier.
However, some users find difficulties using this printer. One of the print head tends to go down which can damage model that has been formed. This printer is also unable to do the over network printing via WiFi, and the filament guide tubes keep popping off the back.
2. ELEGOO Neptune FDM 3D Printer
The ELEGOO Neptune is one of the semi-assembled 3D printers which has a full metal structure and mean well power supply to give some printing process experiences that prioritize safety as a result of solid machine quality.
This device guarantees you to start the first printing process within 5 minutes. The ELEGOO Neptune has a solid filament drive which offers precision extrusion. Furthermore, this device is compatible with other filaments such as TPU, ABS, PLA, etc.
In addition, this printer is equipped with filament detection switch which has the ability to find out the filament outage and stop over the process of printing. The auto-resume feature will have the ability to continue the printing process when the electrical power is back on in case of a power outage.
Besides metal, the ELEGOO Neptune also has silicon carbide platform with good adhesion and its easiness to remove the object after printing. It has been claimed as the best 3D printer for TPU with long-lasting quality for long-term use.
Nonetheless, some people only give a few stars because of some reasons. For instance, the problem of tube spring connector, the lead screw which is too bent and the extruded material which is made from plastic injection, not metal.
3. TEVO Tornado 3D Printer
Become one of the best wireless 3D printing machines, the TEVO Tornado has the ability to printing file from your SD card.
The LCD control screen of this printer can simplify your work just by looking and choosing the file you need. That’s the reason why printing process will become easier.
The new silicon heat bed which made from glass cover and cotton insulation can increase the substantial adhesive for various printing materials. Furthermore, with the addition of all metal features, Hot-End support every printing materials including wood, polycarbonate, nylon, flex filament, PLA, ABS, TPU, HIPS, etc.
The printing speed owned by TEVO Tornado is 150 mm/second, the transverse speed is also high. Besides, the printing accuracy can reach up to 50 microns. Those reasons make TEVO Tornado become the best choice for you who want printer which prioritizes small details.
After a few days of using, this printer comes up with some complaints. The device suddenly stopped in the middle of printing. For example, extruder that stopped for 3 to 5 second causing PLA clots to decrease the printing quality.
Other than that, logs suddenly show with an error message like “Error: checksum mismatch” and “Error: Line Number is not Last Line Number+1” which you cannot Google it.
4. ANYCUBIC Mega-S New Upgrade 3D Printer
Claimed has simple assembly process for professional or beginner, the ANYCUBIC Mega-S only needs 3 steps with 8 fix screws.
This 3D printer is equipped with filament sensor. The function of the sensor is giving an auto pause if the filament starts to damage and needs to be replaced in the middle of the printing process.
The ANYCUBIC Mega-S is also assembled with titan extruder from solid filament drive and compatible design for many filaments to reduce clogging risk and increase printing accuracy.
ANYCUBIC ultra-base is a patented printing platform with good adhesion, durability and easily transferred. Beside offer one year guarantee, ANYCUBIC Mega-S also provides lifetime technical assistance for the customer.
On the other hand, some customers complained about the heated bed that need an hour to reach the desired temperature, about 85 degrees but nothing more than that.
For a small model of printing, the ANYCUBIC Mega-S has no significant problem. But for the bigger model, adhesion becomes the issue.
5. FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
The FlashForge Creator Pro which has size 8.9 x 5.8 x5.9 inch is made from a stable and sturdy metal frame.
With the support of the metal platform and 10 mm guide rod, the Z coordinate of this 3D printer able to stir accurately and avoid arm deformed.
The aluminum plate has 6.3 mm thickness, and the surface is very flat which is guaranteed not curving when the heating process is on.
Besides, the FlashForge Creator Pro is compatible for any materials such as conductive filament, flexible filament, metal filled filament, wooden filled filament, ABS Pro, Elastic, PVA, HIPS, PETG, TPE, TPU, PLA, ABS, PLA Color Change, Pearl and PP.
This 3D printer is assembled with an insulating chamber. It will provide easier access and also able to covering ABS printing. The Creator Pro has one solid piece of the new injected PC top cover that makes this printer is more rigid and more effective in terms of controlling the temperature.
However, some users complain about the bed temperature that unable to reach 110 degrees and the bad quality of filament. Many of them also experience software crash without any reason and find problems in the cutting model.
6. SainSmart x Creality Ender-3 Pro 3D Printer
Has been in the world of the industry since 2010, the SainSmart Ender-3 declare as the best 3D printer for TPU with an outstanding performance.
The SainSmart has a simple model and reasonably priced. Those make SainSmart Ender-3 suitable for hobbies, creativity, and household needs.
Has a brazz nozzle standard, the SainSmart Ender-3 able to print almost of all 1.75mm 3D filament types, and of course the SainsSmart flexible TPU filament.
Aside from that, the SainSmart Ender-3 has an auto pause features which can continue the printing process when the blackout happened. The printer is also designed with MK10 (thread M6) extruder that can minimize the risk of the clogged nozzle.
On the other hand, a high-watt density hotbed has the ability to increase the heat process. It makes the starting process only takes for 5 minutes or even less than that.
Some people say that the problems about a mechanic issue and bad quality control, such as the crooked hot end, inconsistent basic screen, and crooked y-axis. Furthermore, the users talk about the people who work at the SainSmart who do not respond quickly to the customers complain.
7. Monoprice Maker Ultimate 3D Printer
The Monoprice Maker Ultimate printer has a rigid design which all of the parts made from metal.
So, when the printing process is running, it’s become stable.
The Monoprice 3D printer is reliable for professionals or household needs. It is equipped with a fine layer resolution as low as 20 microns equal to 0.02 mm.
Therefore the model will have very flat and smooth surface also ultra-fine details.
The Ultimate has a heated build plate that makes it able to print many filament types such as PLA, PVA, HIPS, ABS, metal, wood, etc. Other than that, the Monoprice Maker Ultimate has printing speed up to 150mm/second, and the sound produced by the printer is not too loud because the decibel is only 49 dBA.
Equipped with the geared which is designed to make the feed filament more reliable, this printer has a significant function to avoid damage on the model’s result because of the error to feed the extruder with the filament.
But what you need to know are some people complaining about the platform which suddenly rising and burning hot nozzle when printing is running. X-axis/Y-axis part unexpectedly changing or the z access produced weird noise and the longer it will get worse.
8. TRONXY XY-2 Pro 3D Printer
Claimed as one of the simple 3D printer assembly processes, the TRONXY XY-2 Pro has a gorgeous and safer model.
This printer also has superiority to support for most filament types.
It is because the TRONXY XY-2 has a wide range of extruder temperatures and the heated build plat make this printer can work with many other types of filament such as wood, metal composite, conductive PVA, and dissolvable PVA.
Like the other 3D printers, the TRONXY XY-2 also has excess in failure recovery ability. It can continue the printing process at the same point when the power outage or any other disturbances happened.
Moreover, the manufacturer also offers after-sales service and lifetime technical support which respond to a customer complaint. Although the TRONXY XY-2 is able for many types of filament, it is recommended to avoid higher temperature filaments, such as nylon or PC.
Some people also said that it has unstable Z-axis and an imperfect stock nozzle assembly. Plus there is no guidance for the beginner.
9. ZD Bravo-I 3D Printer
The best performance of 3D printer extruder has been upgraded, so it can easily be transferred and make the printing process faster using a 0.4 mm diameter nozzle.
The bed platform ability in the heating process can reach up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit and can melt the filament in maximal temperature 498.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
Moreover, the sticker which can be replaced has strong adhesion that makes the model attached in the surface firmly.
The ZD Bravo-I offers high precision level. The accuracy of X, Y, Z axis is 0.25 mm, 0.025mm and 0.012 mm respectively. The accuracy of the printing model itself is 1 mm.
This printer also equipped with the offline feature using USB or SD Card. But there is a complaint about the difficulty of using the device for the first time. However, with some trial and error and adjust some parameters in setting, the issue is no longer become important.
10. JGAURORA A8 Large 3d Printer
This 3D printer has a detailed design which all covered. This is done to make it safer and resulting in a high accuracy model.
This printer supported with heavy duty linear slide bearings and rails which produced a smoother and more precise model.
The JGAURORA A8 is equipped with CNC component and extruder from metal to avoid the blister in the production. The printer is also equipped with two fans to keep the constant temperature.
The theory used is HBG glass heating bed tight adhesion that has advantages in releasing the model when cooling down. This best 3D printer for TPU is also had dual feeding motor that made filament feeding easier to use.
There is one disadvantage about the fan system which runs at high speed right after the printer is turned on. The screen shows the temperature is more than 350 degrees without any change.
Another complaint from the customer is about the menu display. The display should be repaired to increase efficiency.
How to Choose a 3D Printer for TPU
This part is for you who will have the first experience buying a 3D printer or who have some issues about 3D printer term. So, let’s check “the dictionary” out!
1. 3D Printing Technology
Most of us are familiar with 2D printing which is based on paper or other flat media, but 3D printing is more than that. The 3D printing technology is the process of creating a three-dimensional object, such as tools, toys or other creative models through X, Y, Z coordinate.
The step of the process is laying down successive layers of a specific material –which is usually plastic– layer by layer until the entire body or object is made.
2. Build Volume (Print Area)
Build volume which is the measure of the object based on length, width, and height, is the maximum size of a model or object that your 3D printer can process.
It is clear that the larger the area of creation, the more objects that can be created in the printer. To figure your total print value, you merely multiply the maximum width, length and height values.
3. Printing Speed
The printing speed set at which speed, mostly in millimeter per second (mm/s), the print head moves while printing. Some best 3D printers for TPU print at 40mm/s to 150 mm/s. This digit means that the 3D printer can extrude 40-150 mm/sec molten filament in a second.
But it directly depends on the printing resolution, because of the higher resolution, the slower printing speed can handle. In the other hand, the type of material and complexity level of the print can also affect the printing speed.
4. Printing Resolution
As I said before, resolution can affect the printing speed. So what is it? Resolution is the smallest unit of measurement and mostly called a pixel. This term “resolution” is quite interchanged with the term “definition”.
For instance, a screen that has a high display resolution of 1280 pixels by 720 pixels would be called a high definition screen. In conclusion, a high-resolution model tends to be comparatively smooth and has very thin layers which difficult to see.
Also known as a print head, the extruder is the part of the best 3D printer for TPU where the printer filament ejects into the printer bed after it is heated.
The extruder installation requires a heated printing nozzle as well as a motor which push the filament into the nozzle, a temperature sensor and often times a cooling system for the motor itself.
If the printer has more than one extruder, it will allow you to print a model in different colors and/or different materials.
6. Assembled vs Kit
Several 3D printer factories give the customer a chance to assemble their own printer with an easier step. In the other side, some of the 3D printers also come in a DIY kit.
It makes 3D printer easier to build gadgets and create devices at home. Moreover, this idea often results in price savings since the factory does not need to assemble, calibrate and test the printer.
7. 3D Printing Software
In most cases, 3D printers offer their own 3D printing software –some says slicing software– which can open and print STL files.
The STL file is known as the standard file format which is used to print the 3D model into a physical object and contains the information needed to generate a physical object layer by layer.
However, to design your own model, you may need the 3D modeling software such as Sketchup, 123D Design, Autodesk AutoCAD, etc. The STL file can be produced using most thus 3D modeling programs.
Unnecessary to say, higher the price of the printer, higher the quality of outcome and more features user will have. Generally, the cost of the printer will reflect its output quality and performance.
The 3D printer price range goes from $229 to $699. Meanwhile, the JGAURORA is the only best 3D printer for TPU with a special high price which is $2,199. Absolutely, it will depend on the budget you are ready to invest.
Most of the 3D printer offers a free one-year warranty, except for JGAURORA that offer only half a year. For your note, Monoprice Maker Ultimate gives warranty for any manufacturer defects.
In addition, several 3D printer manufacturers also provide lifetime technical assistance or support, such as the ANYCUBIC Mega-S and TRONXY XY-2.
Choosing a 3D printer for TPU could be quite challenging. However, before taking a decision, it is better to make sure you know all of the important specifications that you need and compare them with the existing 3D printers. Then, you’ll be buying the right one.
Last but not least, I hope this guide is helpful enough to support you find the best 3D printer for TPU on today’s market. Good luck!