Proto Processes 3DP-TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane)

Material Description

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is a versatile and resilient material known for its exceptional mechanical and thermal properties. TPU is a polymer that combines the best attributes of plastic and rubber, making it highly suitable for a wide range of applications. Its material properties are characterized by a high degree of elasticity and flexibility, allowing it to endure significant stretching and compression without permanent deformation. TPU exhibits excellent tensile strength, tear resistance, and abrasion resistance, making it ideal for applications requiring durability and wear resistance, such as automotive components, footwear, and protective gear. Furthermore, TPU maintains its performance across a broad temperature range, from -40°C to 120°C, and can withstand prolonged exposure to UV radiation and various chemicals, enhancing its outdoor and industrial usability. TPU’s ability to be repeatedly melted and reprocessed due to its thermoplastic nature makes it a highly moldable and recyclable material. These material attributes, in combination with its adaptability to a variety of processing techniques such as injection molding, extrusion, and 3D printing, position TPU as an invaluable material in industries ranging from manufacturing and automotive to fashion and medical devices.

Common Industry Applications

TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is indispensable in footwear, automotive, and medical sectors for its flexibility, durability, and elasticity.


3D Printing – Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Strength (MPa)
Strength (J/m)
Temp (°C)
1.12 - 1.2025 - 6040 - 8020 - 60-Low-Resistant to
UV radiation

Design Recommendation

TPU is a flexible filament used in 3D printing. When designing with TPU, prioritize flexibility, elasticity, and impact resistance. Avoid large overhangs that may lead to sagging, and consider thicker walls for increased durability. Tailor the infill pattern and density to control the part’s flexibility, and be cautious with sharp corners or details that could stress the material excessively.

Cost Saving Tip

Cost savings with TPU 3D printing involve minimizing print failures and material wastage. Using a direct drive extruder can enhance printing accuracy, reducing the chance of misprints and wasted material. Experimenting with retraction settings can further fine-tune the process for efficient TPU usage. It’s also important to choose the appropriate TPU filament hardness for the specific application, avoiding over-engineering and excessive material use.