This print was chosen to highlight the unique properties of TPU95a, a flexible, rubber-like material. In this case we’re printing a replacement tyre for a remote controlled vehicle that was created and shared by designer Samantha Durn on Thingiverse. The tyre serves to demonstrate how 3D printing can supply low cost one-off or limited batch replacements for otherwise expensive or difficult to source parts.
The functional requirements of the part meant we needed a rubber-like material for the flexibility and traction it can provide. TPU95a on the Ultimaker S5 Pro offers the best combination of properties for the part, such as low cost, flexibility, and durability. Surface quality was less of a concern, as they would have to stand up to friction and impact, allowing us to use a layer height of 0.1 mm. We were then able to replace the tyres on a remote controlled vehicle with ones that matched the performance and durability of the originals.
The tyre is 50 x 50 x 14.5 mm and took approximately two and a half hours to print, or nine hours for a set of four tyres. The Ultimaker S5 Pro can support printing in two materials, so it would be possible to use a second material to improve the design of the part in the future. For example it could be designed with a keyed centre made from Tough PLA that would be used to mount on the remote control vehicle.
TPU95a doesn’t have the best surface quality of the materials we offer, a trade off for its flexibility and durability, and it often needs surplus material removing from the finished print. This is done by hand as part of the cleaning process, and as such can take some time. Cleaning this part took roughly 20 minutes