7 Best TPU 3D Printers: Perfect Match for This Versatile Material (Summer 2022)

This article will help you to choose a perfect printer for TPU that will not only work well with it but also highlight its amazing features.
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Last updatedLast updated: June 23, 2022
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In the world of 3D printers, nothing works quite as TPU for a filament. Did you know that not every 3D printer can use this versatile material? When preparing our list of the best TPU 3D printers, we first looked at the style of technology that they utilize since this determines what they can make. Next, we looked at the build volume and print speed, as these also directly influence the types of projects that you can design and print with the machine. Finally, we looked into the different materials aside from TPU that can be used as filament and the software needed to operate the printer correctly.

Top 7 TPU 3D Printers Reviewed in 2022

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Editor’s Choice

ANYCUBIC Chiron

Features
  • Printing technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 400 x 400 x 450 mm
  • Print speed: 20~100mm/s
  • Supported materials: PLA, ABS, HIPS, Wood, TPU
  • Software: not specified

This open-frame 3D printer utilizes FDM technology to create its projects. It can be utilized with a variety of materials aside from TPU, which include ABS, HIPS, Wood, and PLA. This model has a print speed of 20-100mm/s, giving it a large range to choose from for printing projects. It also has a very large build volume of 400 x 400 x 450 mm.

This device is excellent for anyone that is looking to print larger objects. It has a large build space that is perfect for bigger projects. It can utilize a variety of materials and print speeds, making for a versatile, do-it-all type of 3D printer.

Why did it make our list?

  • Obviously, the first thing that is going to stand out when it comes to this printer from ANYCUBIC is its size. While you expect that an open-frame 3D printer is going to provide you with a large amount of build space, this model really pushes it to the extreme. The 400 x 400 x 450 mm build volume is heads above its competition, making it our favorite model for all sorts of projects. It doesn’t hurt that this unit also has an exceptional filament sensor that warns you if the filament is running low or breaks either.

What is not ideal about it?

  • While there are not a lot of things that we don’t like with this model, there are a few issues to keep in mind. The biggest thing to keep in mind with this unit is its overall size. The building platform is absolutely massive, as is the rest of the printer. If you are someone that is low on space, then this is probably not the best choice for you.
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Chosen by 2428 people in the past 30 days
9.6
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.3
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9.3
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9.2
9.6
2
Premium Pick

ANYCUBIC 4Max Pro 2.0

Features
  • Printing technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 270 x 210 x 190 mm
  • Print speed: 20~150mm/s (suggested 50mm/s)
  • Supported materials: ABS, TPU, PLA, HIPS, etc
  • Software: Cura, Simplify3D, Repetier-HOST

This enclosed frame 3D printer uses FDM technology to create its projects. An enclosed printer has a larger volume of 270 x 210 x 190 mm. It also features a wide speed range of 20-150mm/s. This model can be used with lots of different software options, including Cura, Simplify3D, Repetier-HOST. It can also be used with a wide array of materials aside from TPU.

This machine is a great option for anyone that is looking for the safety and ease of an enclosed 3D printer that has an exceptionally large build volume. This machine is also quite user-friendly, as it can be used with a variety of printing software.

What are its best features?

  • While you might think that you can’t get a lot out of an enclosed printer, that is not really the case with this model. We found that it has a great layer resolution, which allows you to go all the way down to 50 microns, which is perfect for detailed projects. This unit also has a good printing speed range as well, which will allow you to go up to 150 mm/s or all the way down to 20 mm/s, depending on the projects you choose to print. Of course, if you are printing with TPU, then you should aim for 50 mm/s. Finally, even though this is an enclosed model, it is still relatively large, making it good for medium-sized projects.

What could be improved?

  • Even though this is an excellent machine, you might have some problems with connectivity. You can only load your designs with an SD card or with a USB cable. Either of these choices will force you to stay in the room with your printer to get the printing process started.
RELATED: 6 Best ABS 3D Printers – Versatile and Easy to Use! (Summer 2022)
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9.4
Customer Feedback
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9.1
Brand Reputation
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9.2
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9.2
9.4
3
Best Value

ANYCUBIC Mega SE

Features
  • Printing technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 220 x 220 x 250 inches
  • Print speed: 20~100mm/s (suggested 60mm/s)
  • Supported materials: PLA, TPU, ABS, HIPS, PETG
  • Software: not specified

This value-based 3D printer uses FDM technology and an open frame for its projects. Though it has an open frame, this model has a smaller build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 inches. This model can be used for a lot of materials and has a wide speed range.

This machine is a great option for anyone that is looking for a great 3D printer that doesn’t cost too much. This model is designed to provide a great value that can handle lots of projects without a ton of bells and whistles. These design features also help to make this a good machine for beginners or amateur printers.

What are our favorite features?

  • Our favorite feature for this unit has got to be its price point. Even though this is a wonderful 3D printer, it is definitely priced to sell. ANYCUBIC made this model for anyone that doesn’t need a ton of features in their printer. It still has a high-quality extruder and enhanced build surface, all while providing a good speed range. This model can also be used on a variety of materials, which only helps to increase its value.

What could be better?

  • Since this is a budget-friendly model, you should not be surprised that there are some concessions that were made in its design. The biggest issue that we found is that the filament holder is in an awkward position. If you want to put on larger spools, then you will need to get or make an extender so that they can fit properly.
RELATED: Best 3D Printers for Schools – Make Lessons More Educational and Funny (Summer 2022)
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9.2
Customer Feedback
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8.9
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
8.9
Features & Benefits
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8.7
9.2
4
Best Speed Range

ANYCUBIC MEGA X

Features
  • Printing technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 300 x 300 x 305 mm
  • Print speed: 20~100mm/s (suggested 60mm/s)
  • Supported materials: PLA, TPU, HIPS, Wood, PETG
  • Software: not specified

This FDM 3D printer is an open-frame model. It has a large build volume and a wide speed range. It can be used with a wide array of materials aside from TPU. It is very easy to level and is also ready to use with very little setup.

If you are someone that wants to be able to print a wide array of projects that require different speeds, then this is an excellent model. This unit has a large range of print speeds that you can select from, making it ideal for both large and small projects. It is also ready to use right out of the box, which is another big plus.

What makes it stand out?

  • The thing that we really found interesting with this model is that, while it doesn’t have an auto-leveling feature per se, it is still quite simple to level out. This is thanks to the oversized leveling knob. This model from ANYCUBIC also has a very large build volume, making it a great pick for lots of different sizes of projects. Another key point for this TPU printer is its excellent print resolution, which provides a printing range of 0.05-0.3 mm for each layer.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • While using this machine, the biggest issue that we came across was the fact that it came with no wireless connectivity. In order to print your designs, you will need to use a USB cable or SD card. Though this is certainly not the biggest deal, it does add a bit of time to the overall printing experience, which is something that you should carefully consider before you make your final decision.
RELATED: 6 Best Fastest 3D Printers: Quick and Efficient (Summer 2022)
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8.7
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8.6
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8.9
9.0
5
Best Enclosed TPU Printer

FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro2

Features
  • Printing technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 200 x 148 x 150 mm
  • Print speed: 10-100 mm/s
  • Supported materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU
  • Software: FlashPrint

This enclosed style FDM printer has a build volume of 200 x 148 x 150 mm. It can be used with a variety of materials and uses FlashPrint software. This model has dual extruders, which can help to increase the output as it can print two items at the same time. It can also be used to print with two different filaments at a time to make extremely versatile projects.

This machine is a good option if you are looking to print more than one object at a time. It has a set of dual extruders, which allow to print two items at once or print a project with two different types of filaments, making for more complete projects. Of course, this will only work if you are printing smaller objects, as the enclosed design does limit the build volume.

What are our favorite features?

  • The biggest selling point that we absolutely loved with this unit is the fact that it comes with two extruders built-in. These can be used in a variety of ways, including as independent printers, mirror printers, or in unison. This amazing amount of versatility makes this printer one of the more intriguing options on our list, especially if you want to print a lot of similar items at a time.

What could be better?

  • Even though this machine is extremely effective for doing a lot of projects in a short amount of time, it must be said that it cannot handle larger projects. This printer has a smaller building volume than others on our list, which is to be expected with an enclosed model.
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8.8
6
Best TPU Printer for Beginners

QIDI TEC X-Plus

Features
  • Printing technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 270 x 200 x 200 mm
  • Print speed: not specified
  • Supported materials: ABS, PC, TPU, Carbon Fiber, PLA, Nylon
  • Software: QIDI

This enclosed style printer uses FDM technology to create its projects. Since it is enclosed, this printer has a smaller print volume of 270 x 200 x 200 mm. It can be used with a wide array of materials and utilizes QIDI software. This model is very easy to use, making it perfect for beginners.

While this printer is on the smaller side, it is a great 3D printer for a beginner. This model is ready to use right out of the box, and the QIDI software is well-known for its user-friendly features. The smaller size of this unit won’t take up a lot of room in a home either, making it ideal for anyone that is only going to print on occasion or for recreational purposes.

What makes it stand out?

  • If you are someone that is looking for a 3D printer for a variety of projects but is just getting started, then this is an excellent option. For starters, it is ready to use pretty much right out of the box. The QIDI software is very simple and user-friendly, which makes it a great starter program for anyone new to 3D printing. The smaller than average design of this machine is another big selling point.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • One of the best things about this unit is its compact size. Of course, this can be a bit of a drawback as well. If you are looking to do larger projects, then this might not be the right model for you due to its smaller-than-average build volume. The position for the filament spool is also somewhat limiting, as it cannot handle larger-sized spools.
RELATED: 5 Best Polycarbonate 3D Printers to Handle Your Most Important Projects (Summer 2022)
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Customer Feedback
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8.3
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8.2
8.6
7
Easiest to Setup

ANYCUBIC Vyper

Features
  • Printing technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 245 x 245 x 260 mm
  • Print speed: <180mm/s (recommended 80-100mm/s)
  • Supported materials: PLA, TPU, ABS, PETG, Wood
  • Software: Cura

This self-leveling FDM printer is an open-frame model. This unit has a build volume of 245 x 245 x 260 mm. It also has a very large print speed that can go all the way up to 180mm/s. This machine can also be used with a variety of materials aside from TPU and utilizes Cura software.

This model is another great choice if you are worried about the setup for your new 3D printer. It comes almost ready to work right out of the box, and the instructions for utilizing it and changing the filament are very easy to follow and understand. The auto-leveling feature is another big plus for anyone that is looking for an easy setup device.

What are our favorite features?

  • If you are interested in getting your new printer up and running as quickly as possible, then this might be the right option for you. This model has an integrated structure which means it will take a limited amount of assembly before you can use it for your next printing project. It also has a simple-to-use auto-leveling feature which we adore. The larger than average touch screen is another nice touch that makes printing with this unit nice and easy.

What could be better?

  • While this is a very good 3D printer for the price, something to bear in mind before you decide to purchase it is that you will need to clean up any prints that you make with it. This model has a tendency to leave a bit of filament residue on its prints, which needs to be brushed off before the project is complete.
RELATED: 5 Best Auto-Leveling 3D Printers – For Your Perfect Works (Summer 2022)

Things to Consider

In this section, we will go through everything that you need to know to find the best TPU 3D printer for your needs. We have also taken the time to answer several frequently asked questions, so be sure to read through those as well if you need any further information.

Advantages of TPU 3D Printers

7 Best TPU 3D Printers: Perfect Match for This Versatile Material (Summer 2022)

The easy layering that comes with higher temperatures also removes any limits on the size of the objects that you desire to print.

All types of 3D printers are versatile machines that can make amazing creations come to life. TPU Trusted Source Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)-based polymer nanocomposites - ScienceDirect Thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) are a commercially important class of thermoplastic elastomers, which have an inherent nanostructured morphology. This chapter introduces thermoplastic polyurethanes before summarizing the benefits of introducing various types of nanofillers using various processing methods and highlighting the engendered properties and performance. A detailed discussion of the influence of nanofillers on TPU morphology is provided, as well as a section on biomedical applications and nanofiller toxicity. www.sciencedirect.com , or thermoplastic polyurethane Trusted Source What is TPU | Thermoplastic Polyurethane Materials | HEXPOL TPE Thermoplastic Polyurethane compounds (TPU or TPE-U) are a class of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE). www.hexpol.com , is one of the most impressive Trusted Source Thermoplastic polyurethane composites reinforced with renewable and sustainable fillers – a review: Polymer-Plastics Technology and Materials: Vol 59, No 16 Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) reinforced with natural or renewable fillers gained significant attention in the scientific community and industries. The properties of TPU can be tailored using different reinforcements or blends to enhance its performance and elevate the potential applications of the composite. www.tandfonline.com filaments on the market. As such, TPU 3D printers offer up some pretty significant advantages over their competitors. These include:

  • Versatile – These machines are incredibly versatile. Obviously, they can print with TPU materials, which allows them to be used to make a wide variety of goods and products. After all, TPU is elastic, has a low warpage and shrinkage factor, is chemical resistant, comes in lots of colors, and has good impact resistance. This makes it an ideal material for sporting goods, automotive uses, protective cases, and many other applications.
Aside from using TPU, these printers can operate at a wide range of temperatures. This makes them perfect for a variety of different materials. If you decide to purchase a TPU 3D printer, there is no limit to what you can use or what you can make, which makes them a perfect purchase for anyone looking to really expand their printing prowess.
  • High Temperatures – As we mentioned above, these machines can operate at a wide range of temperatures, with some of them having high temperatures. This combination of a wide temperature range and high maximum temperatures makes these printers ideal for a wide array of materials and applications.
  • Large Build Platforms – One more big advantage of a TPU printer is its larger-than-average build platforms. Many 3D printers are only built for smaller projects. That is not the case for these printers, thankfully, as even the enclosed models sport a large building platform and chamber. As such, you don’t need to be limited by space when it comes to the creations you want to make.

Important Features

As you can imagine, there are plenty of things to look out for when you are in the market for a TPU 3D printer. In this section, we will explore the ins and outs that you need to keep in mind when looking for a TPU compatible 3D printer for your use.

Printing technology

In the world of 3D printing, there are several different printing technologies to choose from. When it comes to a machine that is capable of utilizing TPU, however, it all comes down to FDM, which you can see in the ANYCUBIC Chiron. This technology, which is also known as Fused Deposition Modeling, is one of the more common types of printing technology on the market today. This makes sense, as it is a practical method for printing designs.

In FDM, a thermoplastic filament is heated until its melting point. From there, it is forced through an extruder or tube to create a series of layers.

These layers will add up to the item that is being printed once the process is complete. Since the layers for TPU are usually quite warm, the layering needs to be relatively small, which makes for more detailed projects.

Build volume

The build volume is the amount of space that you are going to be able to use to make a creation on your 3D printer. The larger the build volume, the larger the item that you can build with your machine. Each machine is going to have a different amount of height, width, and depth, which means that you need to plan carefully before you make your final decision.

There are two different types of 3D printers that you can purchase. These two choices are an open model or an enclosed model. Obviously, an open model like the ANYCUBIC Chiron is going to have a larger build volume than an enclosed one like the FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro2.

Either printer will work well with TPU and other materials, but open models can make much larger creations.

Print resolution

The print resolution, or layer resolution, is how tall each of the different layers is going to be in your printed piece. It is important to remember that the smaller the layers that you can print, the more precise the machine will be. This will, in turn, have a huge impact on how your creation will end up looking. Rough drafts are usually best printed with larger layers so that you can get a rough idea of how it will look. This will also allow you to print more quickly. Finished products, however, should be printed in smaller layers, as this will give a much better amount of detail.

Print resolutions are usually communicated in mm or in microns. These two terms are completely interchangeable, as 100 microns is equal to 0.1 mm.

If you are looking to print things with as much precision as possible, then the ANYCUBIC Vyper is an excellent option. This machine only creates layers of 0.1 mm in thickness, making it an excellent option. If you want a bit of variety in your layering, then the ANYCUBIC 4Max Pro 2.0 is a good choice. This model’s layers can vary between 0.05 mm and 0.3 mm. This will allow you to make both rough and final drafts with as much precision as you desire.

Supported materials

There are lots of different materials that you can choose from when it comes to 3D printing. Obviously, you can print TPU with each of these printers, but some of the more popular materials are as follows:

  • ABS – This style of plastic, which is also called Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is the same that is used in Legos. It is extremely tough, won’t lose its color, and is nontoxic.
  • PLA – Polylactic Acid is a polymer that is derived from cornstarch or sugar cane. It is tough and resilient but not quite as adaptive as ABS.
  • Metal Filaments – this material is made by mixing PLA and extremely small metal particles.
    7 Best TPU 3D Printers: Perfect Match for This Versatile Material (Summer 2022)

    They print very much like PLA but can be polished to look like metal once they have cooled.

  • Wood Filament – Despite what the name might make you think, this material is not made from wood. Instead, it is a mixture of tiny wood particles that are combined with PLA and polymer glue.

Print speed

Another important factor to keep in mind when you are looking for a 3D printer is print speed. This is the rate of material that the printer can put out over a given amount of time. Generally, this is usually measured in millimeters per second. Obviously, the higher the number, the faster the printer is going to go for you.

Depending on the type of work that you are trying to print, you might need to get a slower or faster model.

Generally speaking, the higher the print resolution, the slower the speed of the printer, and vice versa. If you are ok with printing projects that don’t have to require small details, then you can get a pretty fast printer. On the other hand, models that can provide the most detail for your projects are also going to be on the slower side. You could, of course, go for something like the FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro2, which has a wide range of speeds from 20 mm/s to 100 mm/s to choose from. This wider range will allow you to fine-tune your speed to meet your needs for each project.

Software

When choosing a 3D printer, it is usually best to stick with one that utilizes a printing software that you are familiar with. After all, the last thing that you want to do is have to learn a whole new system once you get your printer set up. There are lots of different software options in the world of 3D printing, however, so it might be a good idea to look for a printer that can be used with a variety. Of the models on our list, the ANYCUBIC 4Max Pro 2.0 is going to be your best bet, as it can be used with a wide array of software options.

FAQ

There are several different big advantages to using TPU as your printing filament. For starters, since TPU needs to be printed at lower temperatures, it has a very low amount of warpage and shrinkage. TPU is also very good for highly detailed projects, thanks to the slower printing speeds necessary when using TPU. This is also a very elastic and soft material that is chemical resistant. TPU is also quite durable as well. It can be used in vibration damping components as well as for anything needed in impact-resistant applications. Finally, TPU comes in a wide array of colors, which makes matching it to any projects or ideas that you already have much easier.

There are several things to keep in mind when you are using TPU for a project. First of all, the temperature needs to be highly consistent. In fact, it should always be between 420 degrees Fahrenheit and 480 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also best to keep your print speeds much slower with TPU so that the layers have a chance to cool down a bit between levels. As long as you keep these factors in mind, you should be able to print with TPU filament without any issue. The best thing to do when trying out new material is to take your time and go as slow as possible. That will ensure that you learn the ins and outs of the materials without making too many mistakes in the process.

Our Verdict

Finding the right TPU 3D printer can be a bit of a challenge. You need to consider what other materials can be used with it, the types of printers available, and the features you desire.

Out of all the different models that we looked into, the ANYCUBIC Chiron is by far our favorite. This model has an enormous build volume and is very easy to use. It also can work with a variety of materials, making it an exceptional value.

The ANYCUBIC 4Max Pro 2.0 is an awesome enclosed 3D printer. This model has a large build volume for an enclosed model and is also extremely precise in its printing.

If you are someone that thinks the best TPU 3D printer is the one that is the easiest on your wallet, then the ANYCUBIC Mega SE is a great option. This model provides an easy-to-use interface and builds volume for your money.

References

1.
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)-based polymer nanocomposites - ScienceDirect
Thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) are a commercially important class of thermoplastic elastomers, which have an inherent nanostructured morphology. This chapter introduces thermoplastic polyurethanes before summarizing the benefits of introducing various types of nanofillers using various processing methods and highlighting the engendered properties and performance. A detailed discussion of the influence of nanofillers on TPU morphology is provided, as well as a section on biomedical applications and nanofiller toxicity.
2.
What is TPU | Thermoplastic Polyurethane Materials | HEXPOL TPE
Thermoplastic Polyurethane compounds (TPU or TPE-U) are a class of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE).
3.
Thermoplastic polyurethane composites reinforced with renewable and sustainable fillers – a review: Polymer-Plastics Technology and Materials: Vol 59, No 16
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) reinforced with natural or renewable fillers gained significant attention in the scientific community and industries. The properties of TPU can be tailored using different reinforcements or blends to enhance its performance and elevate the potential applications of the composite.
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