Frequently Asked Questions

FILAFLEX PRINTING PRINTERS

What 3D printer can I use with Filaflex 82A?

Based on feedback from our customers and users, we can recommend the following 3D printer models for printing Filaflex 82A 'Original' flexible filament:

  • Alfawise U50
  • Anet A8
  • Anycubic i3 mega S and Predator
  • Artillery genius and sidewinder X1
  • BCN3D Sigma and Epsilon
  • Creality CR-10, Ender-3, Ender-3 Pro and Ender-5
  • Printrbot
  • Sovol Sv01
  • Tevo Tarantula, Little Monster
  • Ultimaker 2+, S3 and S5
  • WitBox 2

In addition, we recommend that you consult this page on 'How to print with Filaflex'.

What 3D printer can I use with Filaflex 95A?

Filaflex 95A 'Medium-Flex' flexible filament is a material compatible with most commercial printers.

Based on feedback from our customers and users, we can recommend the following 3D printer models to be able to print this filament:

  • Alfawise U50
  • Anet A8
  • Anycubic i3 mega S and Predator
  • Artillery Genius and Sidewinder X1
  • BCN3D Sigma and Epsilon
  • Creality CR-10, Ender-3, Ender-3 Pro and Ender-5
  • Printrbot
  • Sovol Sv01
  • Tevo Tarantula, Little Monster
  • Ultimaker 2+, S3 and S5
  • WitBox 2

In addition, we recommend that you consult this page on 'How to print with Filaflex'.

What 3D printer can I use with Filaflex 70A?

Filaflex 70A 'Ultra-Soft', due to its low hardness, is a filament that we recommend to be printed in a direct extruder printer type Artillery. But this does not mean that it cannot be printed on bowden printers with certain exceptions. Also, it is a filament that is not suitable for printing in 'All Metal' hotends, since the filament could get stuck and not flow properly. However, if you have any doubts, please contact us and we will advise you.

Based on feedback from our customers and users, we can recommend the following 3D printer models to print Filaflex 70A 'Ultra-Soft':

  • Artillery Genius and Sidewinder X1
  • Anycubic Predator
  • Creality CR-10, Ende-3 and Ender-3 Pro
  • Printrbot
  • Sovol Sv01
  • Ultimaker 2+, S3 and S5
  • WitBox 2

In addition, we recommend that you consult this page on 'How to print with Filaflex'.

What 3D printer can I use with Filaflex 60A?

Filaflex 60A 'Pro' flexible filament, due to its very high elasticity and softness, is recommended to be printed in a printer with direct extruder model Artillery type. In addition, it is a filament that is not suitable for printing in 'All Metal' hotends, since the filament could get stuck and not flow properly, however, if in doubt, please contact us and we will advise you without obligation.

Based on feedback from our customers and users, we can recommend the following models of 3D printers to print Filaflex 60A 'Pro':

  • Artillery Genius and Sidewinder X1

In addition, we recommend that you consult this page on 'How to print with Filaflex'.

Can I print Filaflex with my bowden (tube) printer?

It depends on the shore hardness of the Filaflex flexible filament you want to print.

  • Filaflex 95A 'Medium-Flex', is compatible with any printer and can be printed both in 3D printers with direct extruder and bowden 3D printers. Being a semi-flexible filament, it obtains a better thrust avoiding tangles and jams in the tube that joins the extruder and the hotend.

  • Filaflex 82A 'Original', being a more elastic flexible filament is somewhat more complicated to print with this type of printers. We will only get good results by changing the tube of the printer for one of PTFE (Teflon), as we will get the filament to slide much better. In addition, it is advisable to make sure to eliminate any bending or twisting that the tube may have, trying to make it as straight as possible to avoid unnecessary friction.

  • Filaflex 70A 'Ultra-Soft' cannot be printed on bowden 3D printers. The filament could get stuck in the tube as it is not a rigid material. It would be like 'pushing on a string'. Hence the complexity to print correctly. We recommend using printers with direct extrusion for printing flexible filament or, as mentioned above, change the printer tube for one of PTFE (Teflon). More information in this post on 'Direct extrusion vs. bowden type' and in this page on 'How to print with Filaflex'.

  • Filaflex 60A 'Pro', also cannot be printed on bowden type 3D printers. The filament could get stuck in the tube as it is not a rigid material. It would be like 'pushing on a string'. Hence the complexity to print correctly. We recommend using direct extrusion printers for flexible filament printing. More information in this post on 'Direct extrusion vs. bowden type' and in this page on 'How to print with Filaflex'.
Can I print Filaflex 70A on an Ultimaker or any other bowden printer?

Yes, but for this you will have to change the printer tube for one made of PTFE (Teflon), since the tubes used in Ultimaker printers are made of FPA material. This material has a high transparency, but a higher friction coefficient than PTFE (Teflon). With this change we get the filament to slide much better, allowing filaments with lower 'shore' to be printed. Also, be sure to eliminate any kinks or twists in the tube, trying to keep it as straight as possible to avoid unnecessary friction.

Can I print Filaflex 60A on an Ultimaker or any other bowden printer?

No. Filaflex 60A is a very soft filament and is very difficult to print in an Ultimaker printer even if we change the tube for a PTFE (Teflon) one. We do not recommend using this filament in this type of bowden printers.

Can I print Filaflex on my Prusa i3 MK3S+ printer?

The Prusa i3 MKS3+ printer incorporates an 'All Metal' extruder. In some hotends of this type, as in this case, which do not have a good polished internal surface and also have poor cooling in the barrel area, it is very common to suffer extrusion flow problems with very flexible materials due to thermal expansion of the filament and the high grip of the same to the internal surface of the barrel caused by the internal heat. Therefore, this type of extruder will present friction and feeding problems when we want to print with the lowest shores or hardnesses of Filaflex. That is to say, we will be able to print Filaflex 95A and 82A, but we will have friction and filament feeding problems with the most elastic Filaflex filaments such as Filaflex 70A and 60A.

FILAFLEX FOOD CONTACT & SKIN CONTACT

Can Filaflex be used in food contact?

We have a letter of compliance available upon request, indicating which Filaflex products use raw materials that comply with European standards and FDA regulations. In addition, our production, storage, preparation and delivery process complies with Good Manufacturing Practices regulations. However, the certification of the final product is a responsibility that must be assumed by the agent that introduces it to the market depending on the transformation process and its specific use.

Can I print parts and accessories with Filaflex that can be skin contact?

Yes, Filaflex is a material that is compatible with skin contact at the cutaneous level, is non-toxic and does not generate odors. Filaflex has been used and is still used to create many applications such as textile parts and accessories, as well as insoles and prostheses that are in contact with the skin. However, it cannot be introduced intracutaneously (inside the skin) and it is not recommended for use on wounds or bedsores.

Is Filaflex toxic?

No, it is non-toxic and does not produce odors.

ACCESSORIES AND MATERIALS THAT CAN BE USED WITH FILAFLEX

What glue can I use with Filaflex?

If you want to join several pieces of Filaflex, we recommend using Loctite 406 glue.

What type of paint and/or brand do you recommend for painting Filaflex 82A parts?

We recommend polyurethane based paint.

What can I do to improve the finishing of my Filaflex part? Is there a solvent or sandpaper that can be used?

To polish any part printed on Filaflex, we recommend using a dremel very gently and then adding a little heat with a hair dryer. In other materials, such as ABS, an acetone bath could be used to polish the parts, but with Filaflex this solution does not work.

FILAFLEX RESISTANCE

Is Filaflex resistant to solvents or fuel?

Yes, Filaflex is resistant to solvents, acetone and fuel.

Is Filaflex UV resistant?

Our materials do not contain UV stabilizer. In case you are interested, please contact us.

Is Filaflex resistant to high and low temperatures?

Filaflex can resist up to 70ºC and -40ºC temperature.

FILAFLEX COLORS

Does the transparent color of Filaflex remain transparent or does it leave a translucent effect?

A piece printed on Filaflex in transparent color will not be 100% transparent, but its final finish will be translucent.

Is it easier to print one Filaflex color or another?

In general, all Filaflex colors behave the same. There may be a very small variation in the melting point of the material with respect to the transparent color due to the pigment, but this is a detail that is virtually unnoticeable to printers.

How can I print in several colors with Filaflex?

If you have a dual/triple extruder printer, you can set up your design so that the part is printed in different colors. On the other hand, if you do not have this type of printer, you can stop printing, change the filament for another color and resume printing.

Can I print Filaflex in combination with other materials such as PLA?

Absolutelly! You can do a dual extrusion and print Filaflex and PLA. Or, in another way, we can print first with PLA filament a part and then print on that same part the flexible filament Filaflex, which will adhere perfectly to the part printed in PLA.

FILAFLEX SPOOL LENGTH

How many meters long are the different Filaflex spools?

FILAFLEX FEATURES

Does Filaflex need hot bed or any type of adhesive?

No. Filaflex filaments are characterized by their high adhesion to the printing table, so they do not require a hot table, blue tape, kapton tape, lacquer or any other spray adhesive. However, for pieces that exceed a volume of 20x20x20 cm it is recommended to apply lacquer to make sure.

Is Filaflex a biodegradable material?

No, Filaflex is not a biodegradable material, but it is recyclable. That is, if you have made a part entirely with Filaflex, you could melt that material again and create a new recycled Filaflex filament. If you are interested in a recycled flexible filament, we recommend our Reciflex filament, a 100% recycled TPU flexible filament.

What does it mean that Filaflex is an elastic and not a flexible filament?

To understand this, we must first be clear about what both concepts mean.

  • Flexibility is the mechanical property of a material to bend without breaking, altering its shape after stretching.

  • Elasticity is the property of a material to undergo reversible deformations.

That is, once the force ceases, the material recovers its original shape without having undergone any deformation. Due to its mechanical properties, Filaflex is an elastic filament, since after stretching, it recovers its original shape without altering its diameter or shape. It is therefore technically elastic rather than flexible.

Does Filaflex 'deform' after stretching?

No. The great advantage and property of Filaflex is that, being an elastic material, after stretching and as long as the elastic limit of the material is not exceeded, the filament returns to its original shape without suffering any deformation in its diameter.

RECREUS 'SNEAKERS' MODEL

What material are Recreus 'Sneaker I' shoes printed with? What about the laces?

The mythical Recreus Sneaker I shoes are printed with Filaflex 82A 'Original' flexible filament in orange color (1 spool of 500 gr. for the pair of shoes), and the laces are the Filaflex 82A filament of 1.75 mm diameter without extrusion, in blue color. They have been printed on a Prusa I3 with a modified glass bed and large working space (Y-axis). The Sneaker is a size 47 (EU). Here more information about the design and access to the file download.

How much filament do I need to print a pair of Sneaker I shoes?

For each shoe of number 47 and with 25% infill we use a 250 gr. spool, so 500 gr. to print the pair of shoes taking into account the number (47) and the percentage of infill of the pieces (25%).

How long does it take to print a pair of 'Sneaker I' shoes?

About 22 hours.

PRINTING INSOLES WITH FILAFLEX

What software do you recommend to print insoles?

You can use the software currently on the market. Most of them are Open Source licensed:

Which Filaflex shore hardness do you recommend to print insoles?

Any filament from the Filaflex range is suitable. It all depends on the hardness you want to achieve in the insole. In fact, it is advisable to take advantage of the advantage that we will obtain by printing stencils with the same Filaflex Shore hardness, since depending on the percentage of filler that we configure in the printing software, we will obtain an insole that combines harder parts and softer parts as we have designed it in that software. And all this, using the same filament Shore of the Filaflex range. Therefore, it does not matter which Shore hardness we choose, but rather, to be clear and take advantage of the advantage of configuring the percentage of infill in that software.

Let's learn

SHORE HARDNESS

What is the 'Shore hardness' of a filament?

It is a scale that measures the elastic hardness of materials based on the elastic reaction of the material when an object is dropped on it. Several scales are used to measure 'shore hardness': Shore A, B, C, D, 0 and 00. The Shore A scale is the most convenient for measuring elastomers. This is how we measure the shore hardness of our Filaflex range of filaments. In this way, you can determine what hardness each filament range has (60A, 70A, 82A and 95A) and thus know for which applications and/or parts it may be more convenient to use it. The higher the range number (95A), the lower the elasticity and the lower the range (60A), the higher the elasticity. See more information on this topic in this post on 'What is Shore hardness?'.

What is the difference between the 4 types of filaments in the Filaflex family? Filaflex 95A 'Medium-Flex', Filaflex 82A 'Original', Filaflex 70A 'Ultra-Soft' and Filaflex 60A 'Pro'.

The difference lies in the measurement of its elastic hardness or 'Shore hardness', according to a scale that measures it: the Shore hardness 'A' scale. Filaflex 95A being the least elastic filament of all and Filaflex 60A the most elastic and softest of them. You have more information on this subject in this post on 'What is Shore hardness?'.

RETRACTION

What is the retraction in 3D printing?

Retraction is the backward movement made by the filament during the 3D printing process, to avoid material dripping during the vacuum movements of the extruder. It is a parameter that must be taken into account in order to achieve quality prints, without material deposition and to avoid spindles between parts that are printed at the same time.

What are retraction parameters?
  • Retraction distance: Length of material that retracts in the shrink process. It varies depending on the type of material, type of extrusion system (direct or bowden type) and type of hotend. For printing flexible filament such as Filaflex, it is sometimes desirable to disable retraction to prevent the filament from wrapping around the extruder pinion.

  • Retraction speed: is the speed with which the extruder retracts the filament.

TYPES OF EXTRUSION

What is an extruder?

The extruder is one of the most important parts of any FDM 3D printer. It is the mechanism that pushes the filament to the hotend to be melted. There are two extrusion systems, the direct system and the indirect or 'bowden' type. More information in this post on 'Direct extrusion vs. bowden type'.

How does it work bowden extrusion?

Bowden extrusion consists of removing the filament pusher motor from the moving parts and placing it in the printer structure. In this way, we have the motor in the structure of the printer, which implies a reduction in weight and inertia in the moving parts. The filament is guided by a tube (bowden) from the extruder to the hotend. More information in this post about 'Direct extrusion vs. bowden type'.

How does it work direct extrusion?

Direct extrusion consists of placing the motor that pushes the filament directly on the hotend, on the moving part of the printer. This system is ideal for extruding flexible filament, since its advantage is that it pushes the filament close to the hotend and it is easier to calibrate. In this way, a good control of the material retractions is achieved to obtain a better finish in the pieces avoiding jams. In addition, and most importantly, it allows easy printing of our Filaflex flexible filament. More information in this post on 'Direct extrusion vs. bowden type'.

NOZZLE

What is a 3D printer nozzle?

The nozzle is the component of the printer through which the molten filament comes out and is placed on the printing plate. There are different types of nozzles that have different sizes (0.2, 0.4, 0.6, ....) and are made of different materials (brass, copper, steel, ...). It is important to know them in order to choose the most suitable for the material to be printed.

Should I clean my printer nozzle?

Sometimes prints lose quality and this may be due to the fact that the extruder nozzle of the printer may be partially blocked by sediments from other filaments. This is a problem that can be avoided and corrected quickly and easily by repairing and cleaning it. It is a process that we recommend to perform from time to time as a necessary maintenance task to achieve an optimal extrusion flow in our prints with flexible filaments. More details and information in this video about the 'Maintenance and repair of the Hotend of your 3D printer'.

MOISTURE vs. FLEXIBLE FILAMENTS

How does humidity affect the flexible filaments?

The flexible filament has a high capacity to absorb atmospheric humidity. Sometimes the filament may not behave as it should and the finish of the part may not be as desired. In this case, we may have a moisture problem. More information in this post on 'Moisture vs. flexible filaments'.

Can Filaflex also absorb moisture?

Although Recreus carries out exhaustive quality management processes in the production of our filaments in order to ensure that they do not absorb any moisture, it is inevitable that the filament may absorb some moisture once it is received by the customer. For this reason, we recommend storing the spools away from any atmosphere susceptible to moisture. Both before printing, in the place where it is stored, and during the printing process. More information in this post on 'Humidity vs. flexible filaments'.

How can I remove moisture from a Filaflex spool?

If you notice that your spool may have absorbed some moisture, we recommend several methods and solutions to remove it. From systems such as the filament dryer or the food dehydrator, to the simplest and most accessible one that you can put into practice by introducing the filament spool in a conventional oven at 50ºC for 3 hours in fan mode. The oven must be previously heated and the coil introduced once the temperature of 50ºC is reached. More information in this post on 'Humidity vs. flexible filaments'.