Material Monday: The Fantastically Flexible TPU 92A-1

In March of last year, Materialise announced the official launch of a new, highly flexible and durable material for 3D Printing (Laser Sintering to be precise): TPU 92A-1, or Rubber-Like for our i.materialise users. Now, a year later, we are amazed by the incredible projects our customers have brought to life using this material and would like to share some of the results in our first installment of Material Monday on the blog.

A Material Debut to Remember on the Catwalks of Paris

The first person to really put TPU 92A-1 to the test was of course Dutch fashion designer and guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, Iris van Herpen, who is known for pushing the boundaries of 3D Printing in the world of high fashion. In January last year, TPU 92A-1 made its debut on the catwalk during Iris van Herpen’s Voltage Haute Couture show with a stunning dress created in collaboration with Julia Koerner.

©Iris van Herpen X Michel Zoeter

©Iris van Herpen X Michel Zoeter

Want to know more about the dress? Watch the “making of” below.

How durable is the material? Watch us put TPU 92A-1 to the test in the video below.

Other notable projects that made use of TPU 92A-1 include:

The Smoke Dress byAnouk Wipprecht in collaboration with .MGX by Materialise designer Niccol Casas

The Smokedress Anouk Wipprecht

The Wings of Madame Butterfly by Mariko Mori for Fondazione Tetro La Fenice

The Wings of Madame Butterfly by Mariko Mori

The first 3D printed flexible purse made by Pasquale Bonfilio.

The first 3D printed flexible purse made by Pasquale Bonfilio.

A flexible hat by Dutch designer Emmy Jaarsma, which was worn by politician Anne-Wil Lucas on Prinsjesdag.

A flexible hat by Dutch designer Emmy Jaarsma, which was worn by politician Anne-Wil Lucas on Prinsjesdag.

And, with more projects soon to come, be sure to keep your eye on our website and blog to see the results.

TPU 92A-1 at a Glance

TPU 92A-1 is the only 3D Printing material that combines:
•    Durable elasticity
•    High tear resistance
•    High resistance to dynamic loading
•    High abrasive resistance
•    Snappy response
•    Good temperature range (-20°C to 80°C)

Because of the material properties listed above, TPU 92A-1 is ideal for highly-flexible and abrasive-resistant parts in a wide range of applications such as:
•    Small series of seals and gaskets
•    Complex tubes, hoses and manifolds
•    Elastic lightweight structures
•    Components for the shoe, fashion and leisure industry
•    Cushioning and shock absorption
•    Rapid Prototypes of elastic components

There is only one downside to this material: for the moment, it can’t be produced or distributed in the US due to distribution restrictions, not even by third parties.

Find out more about TPU 92A-1 and other materials for Laser Sintering here.