Another filament innovation has emerged from Recreus: Filaflex, a flexible filament. Using this material, your personal 3D printer might be able to 3D objects that are quite flexible, yet durable at the same time. How durable? Well, it seems that Recreus believes you can print usable footwear with this material as shown above.
There’s a catch: the flexible filament is not only flexible when printed into an object, but it’s also flexible when in filament form. This means your 3D printer’s extruder must meet a number of mechanical characteristics to be eligible to use Filaflex. The filament is so bendy that it can produce tangles when pushed into the hot end of an extruder.
Recreus has published a detailed piece on the extruder requirements, but basically you must have sufficient space after the pulley, relatively low pressure on the pulley and an extruder hole diameter of at least 3.2mm. Oh, and you cannot use Bowden or Worm extruders at all.
Filaflex is offered in twelve colors, but only in 3mm form at the moment. Evidently they plan on developing a special filament for use in a Bowden extruder.
There’s one more catch: Filaflex is not exactly inexpensive. In fact, to purchase 500gm it will set you back €33 or USD$45. That’s USD$90 per kg!
It seems that speciality filaments carry specialty pricing. But that’s the price to access the amazing properties of this unusual material.