In today’s world, we are surrounded by technologies that have taken over manual labor and made our work easy and less time-consuming. We are now able to manufacture improved and high-quality products to make our place in the market.
With the modern technological boom, we have machinery that can be easily operated and make our innovations come to life in a dream-like manner. 3D printers use flexible filaments; various kinds of plastics and other materials and fashion them into intricate parts and prototypes.
This has been one of the top choices for industries like education, toy manufacturing, engineering, manufacturing of surgical instruments, aerospace, robotics, automotive and more.
The admirable qualities of 3D printers with multiple filaments range from reduced wastage and cost-effectiveness. And so, we have listed them down for you to take a look at and choose one according to your preferences.
What Are 3D Printers With Flexible Filaments And How Do They Operate?
3D printers with flexible filaments use a variety of filaments and print metal parts of your tailored designs. Some materials they are compatible with are PLA, ABS, PLA Pro, PVA, HIP, Wood, TPU, PETG, and more. They can also print in multiple colors.
These printers are operated by using computer-aided design (CAD) and can be used for teaching purposes with students and children, and some are safe to use at home. Some of them come in minimalist and classy designs and are compact enough to keep in the office on your work desk.
What Are The Benefits Of 3D Printers With Flexible Filaments?
The benefits of these printers are many. First, they support different filament types, unlike other 3D printers that support not more than one or two filament types. This gives way for you to be more creative and produce parts that are unique and look great as well.
They save you the cost of buying a printer that would limit your ideas and allow you to produce metal parts that carry complex geometry, eye-catching colors, shapes, and rigidity.
Secondly, one of the best qualities of 3D printers out there is that they are cost-effective and reduce material waste and manual labor. You can easily produce on-demand metal parts as well.
|ANYCUBIC Mega S||Most convenient||8|
|Creality Ender 3 V2||Best choice amongst experts||9|
|QIDI TECH X-Pro||Most intuitive||8.5|
|FlashForge Creator Pro||Most user-friendly||9.5|
|Dremel Digilab 3D45||Great for beginners||7.5|
|Monoprice Maker Select Plus||Effortless printing||7.5|
|Monoprice Maker Ultimate||Sturdy and reliable||9|
|SainSmart x Creality Ender 3||Best entry-level 3D printer||8|
|Tronxy XY-2 Pro||Very adaptable||8|
|ELEGOO Neptune||Safe to use||7|
|FLSUN QQ-S||Most beginner-friendly||8|
|JGAurora A8||Overall best||10|
|MakerGear M2||Very noiseless||7.5|
|ZD Bravo-I||Most versatile||7|
|Tevo Tornado||Tough structure||7|
List of Best 3D Printers for Flexible Filament
ANYCUBIC Mega S
ANYCUBIC Mega S is a great printer for users of all ages. You can use this printer to have fun in a creative and educational way with your kids, and so it is a useful tool for teaching.
Its 3.5″ TFT Touch screen and a user-friendly interface allow you to operate it easily and you can use the one-key switch between English and Chinese, whatever you prefer.
- Comes with an upgraded Titan extruder design, which means it gives you smooth extrusion for your printing with a tough filament drive and a completely mechanical design that supports a wide variety of filaments. This improves printing quality by reducing clogging issues.
- Equipped with a sensor detection that allows you to resume printing after a power outage or any unexpected stoppages, and the sensor also pauses and alarms you in case filament runs out
- The printing volume reaches up to 8.27 x 8.27 x 8.07 inches.
- Its ANYCUBIC Ultrabase, personalized 3D printer printing platform surface coated with a patented microporous coating, gives amazing adhesion while printing and flawlessly slides off the bed when it cools down to room temperature after printing has ended.
- Requires only three steps to set up; with eight screws and three cables, which makes it user-friendly and enables beginners and children to learn the assembling process.
- The rigid metal frame can minimize shaking to improve the print quality.
- May heat up slowly.
Creality Ender 3 V2
Creality Ender 3 V2 is a cost-effective way to start 3D printing as it takes its predecessor’s place in many ways. It comes in a new, stylish design and has a vast build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm.
One of its great qualities is that it has a tempered glass print bed with bed temperature up to 100°C and a maximum print speed of 180mm/s.
The Ender 3 V2 requires minimum effort in setting it up as it comes almost readily assembled.
- The colored LCD screen allows you to complete your print jobs effortlessly.
- Comes with an automatic resume function that lets it continue printing where it left off in case of a power outage or an unexpected stoppage.
- Ender 3 V2 is a Cartesian-style printer; its extruder temperature can reach above 240°C, which suits well for printing flexible materials.
- Supports various filaments like TPU, ABS, PETG, and PLA.
- Noiseless printing.
- Built-in toolbox.
- The Bowden-style extrusion system may not be suitable for printing flexible thermoplastics.
Qidi Tech X-Pro
Qidi Tech 3D printer with flexible filament brings the latest dual extrusion technology. The printer made its mark in prodigious industries like education, design, engineering, or artistry.
It is a great choice for hobby printing and for use in schools as well as it is easy to assemble and use, and does not ask for much maintenance.
It is known for printing objects with more than one color, or for using multiple filament types, and never compromising on the quality of prints while doing so.
- High-temperature resistance and a 6 mm aviation standard aluminum crate that can be heated up to 120℃.
- Equipped with conditional breakpoint printing.
- Features a 4.3-inch touchscreen, which makes it easier to operate.
- Its detachable curved metal plate enables it to be easily removed after printing.
- The printer’s metal platform rod has been upgraded to 12 mm and also includes upgraded parts, such as its mainboard, motor, and mechanical structure, all of which ensure smooth and stable printing.
- Compatible with printing PLA, ABS, TPU, PETG, and two colors printing.
- Comes with a QIDI Print slicing software, which is a one-of-a-kind auto slicing function that you can operate based on your time and printing preferences.
- Easy to use during the whole process, providing you real-time printing status, making it more intuitive, and more precise, and easier to operate.
- Easy to assemble.
- It is not durable.
FlashForge Creator Pro
This printer has a build volume of 8.9 x 5.8 x 5.9 inches and is one of the toughest 3D printers with flexible filament in the market; the original Creator’s frame was made of wood, but this one is made of metal.
Its front door has been re-modeled and pre-installed so that you can have easier access to your prints. Because of the printer’s intuitive open-source technology, it produces precise and great quality prints.
Creator Pro has made a stylish statement in the way it looks and is also user-friendly.
- It has an aviation-level aluminum plate that is 6.3 mm thick, ensuring that the surface is entirely flat and will not warp during the heating process.
- The metal platform support carries a plus 10 mm guide rod for a precise Z-axis course and stops the platform arm from damaging.
- The enclosed chamber sheathes and secures ABS prints. Its filament diameter is 1.75 mm.
- Great for both beginners and experts.
- Produces great quality prints for a long time.
- Maybe a little noisy.
Dremel Digilab 3D45
Dremel 3D45 is an award-winning 3D printer. It has been a favorite due to its wide range of features for experts, beginners, hobbyists, and companies.
The printer is user-friendly and easy to assemble and gives reliable, consistent, and high-quality prints.
One of the most impressive features about the Dremel 3D45 is that once you are done with your build, it tailors a time-lapse video of the entire print job so you can view your progress and download it as well.
- The closed frame manages print jobs in a regulated surrounding that ensures users’ safety.
- This 3D printer with flexible filament is compatible with most materials like PETG, PLA, ECO ABS, and nylon.
- The two clear doors with outward openings help you easily access and monitor the print area.
- Offers 10 colors.
- Equipped with a printing app so you can operate it from your phone to send prints, slice files, and monitor its progress through its built-in HD camera.
- Large print volume (255 x 155 x 170 mm).
- Semi-automatic bed leveling and automatic filament detection.
- Only supports Dremel’s filament.
Monoprice Maker Select Plus
The Monoprice Maker Select Plus is a cost-effective and highly user-friendly 3D printer.
It has been a top choice for professionals and because of its MicroSD card filled with 3D print designs, it can be used for practicing, which is ideal for beginners and hobbyists.
With a build volume of 200 x 200 x 180 mm, the Monoprice Maker Plus is a large 3D printer with flexible filament.
- The user-friendly touchscreen lets you easily manage your print settings.
- The USB connection lets you print offline as well.
- Small footprint thanks to the control box fitted beneath the print bed.
- Supports a wide variety of flexible filaments and materials.
- Equipped with Wi-Fi.
- Does not support ABS filament type.
- Does not have an auto-leveling system.
Monoprice Maker Ultimate
With a build volume of 200 x 200 x 175 mm, the Monoprice Maker Ultimate is designed for beginners and experts to test their creativity and innovation in the 3D printers’ market.
It makes for a nice desktop printer due to its compact and minimalist design. It is known for being quiet while printing and can print up to the speed of 300 mm/sec print.
The fact that it has an enclosed design makes it safe to operate around children. The printer has some interesting features, such as its sturdy metal frames and the top and front doors, which allows you to easily access the inside of the printer.
There is also a door sensor, which pauses automatically if it senses the door opening. This makes the Monoprice Maker Ultimate a user-friendly machine.
- This 3D printer flexible filament support resolution of layers as fine as 0.02 mm (20 microns), which helps you produce supreme quality prints with glossier surfaces and sharper details.
- Due to its all-metal extruder, the heated print bed allows the printer to handle various kinds of filament types from the common PLA and ABS plastics to more exotic ones, like HIPS, HVA, flexible TPU/TPE, and also metal and wood.
- An anti-jam feeder effortlessly feeds filament, so it does not mess up a long print job because of failing to boost the extruder with filament.
- The printer’s open-frame design optimizes airflow, which makes sure that every part of your model cools down at the same rate. This leads to better print consistency.
- The ambient operating temperature is +59 ~ +89°F (+15 ~ +32°C).
- Can print when connected to USB or SD card and supports MAC OS X, Ubuntu Linux, and Windows.
- Monoprice Maker Ultimate has a faint operating noise (less than 49dBA) that makes it best for home and office surroundings.
- Sturdy and robust and does not shake during printing.
- The easily removable print bed.
- Small build area considering the price.
SainSmart x Creality Ender-3
SainSmart x Creality Ender-3 is one of the most well-known entry-level 3D printers with flexible filaments. It comes partially assembled while allowing you and your peers to learn as you finish putting it together, making it an enjoyable STEM teaching experience in electronics and mechanical engineering.
The printer can fit into small places due to its compact size, on your desk or in the trunk, or in the backseat of your car. Regardless of its size, it provides 6x more volume than most other printers.
- The personalized design of the extruder decreases the possibility of a clogged nozzle. You do not need any printing tape or glue because of its newly incorporated viscous platform sticker.
- The printer’s heated bed can shoot its operating temperature in just 5 minutes and it is armored by its power supply from power outages and spikes in voltage.
- In case of a power outage or other stoppages, the printer will resume printing from the last layer, which saves your time and reduces waste.
- Due to its standard brass nozzle, this 3D printer flexible filament is compatible with various 1/75mm 3D filaments.
- Great for beginners and hobbyists.
- Can be used to teach children in-home or school.
- It is not durable.
Tronxy XY-2 Pro
The TRONXY XY-2 has a print size of 255 x 255 x 260 mm, which gives it a competitive edge in the 3D printing industry. It allows you to complete its wiring installation in one step so you can save your precious time.
You can enjoy smooth printing thanks to the wearable pulleys, which also help lower its noise.
- Automatic leveling feature, which helps you avoid turbulences in leveling.
- Resumes printing if there is a power outage.
- Comes with a filament run-out sensor, which automatically stops printing when it detects the printer has run out of filament.
- In just 5 minutes, the temperature of its hotbed reaches up to 110℃ which meets the temperature requirement of special filament. Its max temperature rises up to 120℃.
- With its extruder head consisting of superior quality double fans, it allows for a greater cooling effect.
- 3.5-inch full-color touchscreen that allows you to quickly and conveniently operate your print jobs.
- Great for beginners, hobbyists, and experts.
- It is not user-friendly.
The ELEGOO Neptune is known for its user-friendliness and fine print quality.
Flexible with multiple filaments, NEPTUNE is safe to use as it features MEANWELL LRS-350 350W single output switching power supply that complies with international safety regulations for a safe and undisturbed experience.
It enables you to print smoothly without clogging the nozzle or jamming the filament/s.
- For your 3D printing, its Titan extruder provides smooth extrusion with the help of its sturdy filament drive and complete mechanical design.
- Supports most filaments such as PLA, ABS, TPU, and more.
- Carbide glass build platform that gives flawless adhesion, which means that the model can be used effortlessly after printing.
- In case of a power outage, it will resume printing and if filament runs out it will pause, enabling you to replace the filaments.
- 3 steps to set up the whole printer with semi-assembly components and you can start printing within 5 minutes.
- Does not make much noise while printing.
- Some parts may take more time to be tightened than the others.
This 3D printer with flexible filament is user-friendly, making it ideal for beginners, experts, hobbyists, and STEM educational projects.
This aesthetically appealing machine has a sleek and sophisticated design made entirely of metal.
It has a 3.2-inch TFT, full color, multi-lingual touch screen, which makes it fairly easy to use. The FLSUN QQ-S’s print volume is 260 x 260 x 320 mm.
- Will effortlessly continue when switched on after power off.
- The printer’s titan extruder ensures no drawing, strong extrusion, and that the feeding is smooth.
- Comes with an auto-leveling system.
- The lattice platform allows for tough adhesion and easy removal of your print job.
- Faint noise while printing (max 50 dB).
- Printing speed is 300mm/sec.
- Might work a bit slowly.
JGAurora A8 is a large 3D printer with flexible filament and a build volume of 350 x 250 x 300 mm. It is especially known for its sturdiness and minimalist exterior that makes it attractive.
Professionals and people who have prolonged experience with 3D metal printers usually pick the printer. One of the best features is that it supports a wide range of filaments
- Compatible with multiple filaments, like wood composite, carbon fiber, PLA, Flex PP, Ninjaflex, Laybric, Bamboofill, ASA, PLA, PET, HIPS, T-Glase, and polycarbonate filament.
- Comes with a double motor and double-feed that gives you a smooth printing experience.
- Equipped with drag chains for cable routing.
- Heavily built enclosure reduces vibration on faster prints so it does not compromise on the quality being produced.
- Nicely lit chamber.
- Solid frame.
- The heated bed plate may be too slow to reach its peak temperature.
The MakerGear M2 is one of the top choices for professional 3D printers. It is a sight to look at on your desk, made with full metal and powder-coated steel frame.
It consists of just one extruder that proves itself enough for working with a variety of filaments.
This printer’s build volume is 200 x 250 x 200 mm and what is truly special about this 3D printer is that its maximum extruder temperature exceeds 300°C.
- This 3D printer with flexible filament supports a wide range of materials including ABS, PLA, TPU, and Nylon.
- Can be connected with a USB and SD card.
- Comes with a heated bedplate.
- Completely open-source.
- Reliable and versatile.
- It does not have an easily usable interface.
ZD Bravo-I is the definition of high-precision printing as it lets you print high-quality parts and prototypes and enables you to use your creativity and expertise at school, fashion, medicine, industrial use, or even at your home.
If we look at the specifications, it has a high X, Y, and Z allocation of 0.25 mm, 0.25 mm, and 0.012 mm respectively, and the near-end filament feeding is 0.05 to 1 mm. This high precision saves you from wire drawing.
This 3D printer with flexible filament is easy to set up and the fully assembled design helps you set it up with just 8 screws.
- This advanced 3D printer is compatible with 1.75mm PLA, TPU, PLA Pro, PLA Wood, and PETG materials.
- It Will shut down automatically after printing and will continue printing after a power outage.
- Equipped with professional accessories; has an upgraded high-quality performance 3D printer extruder that moves and integrates the filament rapidly with its 0.4 mm diameter nozzle.
- The long-lasting heat bed platform can peek up to a temperature of a maximum of 176°F and the heated part can flawlessly melt the filament by rising up to a temperature of 498. 2°F.
- Comes with a disposable sheet of the sticker with solid adhesion that enables the part you are printing to stick steadily on the surface.
- Equipped with an automatic filament feeding system.
- Compatible with USB and SD card offline printing.
- Good for STEM education projects.
- It may not last long.
This 3D printer with flexible filament is perfect for you if you are into the product design and structure industry, toy modeling, fashion, education, or parts manufacturing.
It has a large build volume and is less costly while offering better quality than other printers in the market.
For those who are new to 3D printing, this is one of the best options due to its user-friendliness and high precision in printing.
- Supports materials like PLA, PETG, PVA, Wood, ABS, and flexible filaments.
- Extruder temperature can be set up to 260°C and it has a heating plate of 60 to 110°C. It works well at an ambient temperature of 25°C.
- Its all-aluminum frame powered by Tornado’s V-slot linear guide system gives a tough structure that enables smooth and precise 3D printing.
- The printer is equipped with a 50-micron layer resolution with thickness between 0.05 and 0.4 mm.
- Comes almost pre-assembled and allows you to make only a few tweaks so you can start printing right away.
- Large print volume (300 x 300 x 400mm).
- The heated bed wiring may need some fixing
- The observable “salmon skin” pattern in this printer may take off the shine from large prints.
You need to ask some important questions, including
- What are the important functions of 3D printers with flexible filament that you need to research?
- Is the printer I am opting for easy to use?
- Is the printer I am going to buy up to date with the current software/s and storage programs?
- What kind of materials and metal composites are compatible with the printer I choose?
- Do I need to know about the speed and volume of my printer?
Before you choose your 3D printer with flexible filaments, you should know about its requirements so that it effortlessly fits your needs. Below is all that you need to know.
- Printing Technology: This is where it all lies! Before you buy a 3D printer, you need to brainstorm about the results you want; the design, the finishing, and reflect upon the end product. It is a bit tricky to figure out the printing technology but jotting down the appearance and requirements of your printed object will help you decide upon the technology your 3D printer needs to have.
- Precision and Quality: Without this, you and your peers will not be satisfied with the print job. You must deeply research the printer’s processing and prior results to ensure your prints exceed your expectations in a good way.
- User-friendliness: To ensure user-friendliness, your 3D printer with flexible filament must have up-to-date software as it guides you through the printing process and alerts you on any errors so that you can improve. The updated software also enhances the quality of your print jobs according to the market needs. Also, this user-friendly machine is completely safe, as it does not produce any fumes.
- Size: The size of the 3D printer should suit your workspace. Keeping in mind the printing volume and the number of productions, choose a 3D printer that fits your needs.
- Materials: For the metal parts that you are considering printing, it is extremely important for you to know the technology of the printer, as different materials are compatible with different applications. Your printer would have to adapt to the material you have chosen to print, and that will happen only if has the right application.
- Speed and Volume: To guarantee smooth printing without any post-developing, you need to check out the speed of your printer. In case you want to produce multiple parts, you may need to opt for a larger 3D printer.
Apart from all of this, be careful about choosing a printer that is safe for the environment, as some materials may release harmful chemicals and toxins. To reduce any risks, buy a printer that has an enclosure or ventilation device.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are Flexible Filaments And Are There Any Types?
Flexible filaments are made of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE), which consist of a blend of rubber and hard plastic. Its elasticity allows the plastic to be stretched easily.
Another common material from which flexible filaments are made is Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and you will often observe that these two names are used interchangeably.
Types of flexible filaments include:
- Flexible resin
- Fila Flex
What Exactly Do 3D Printers With Flexible Filaments Do?
Usually, flexible thermoplastics are harder to print because of their hygroscopic nature and reactivity to high-speed movements.
What Functions Should A 3D Printer With Flexible Filament Have?
Here are all the important functions:
- The printer should have a print bed that effortlessly reaches up to 45 to 60°C. It would be an added bonus if it is a heated print bed as well.
- It should consist of an up-to-date extruder system that is able to handle high temperatures up to 225 to 245°C.
- A Direct Drive extruder is more preferable but a Bowden setup can work fine too.
- The printer should have a PEI-coated print surface for proper bed adhesion. A standard plate along with a glue stick is a good option as well.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A 3D Printer With Flexible Filaments?
The most important benefit of using a 3D printer with flexible filaments is that it gives you the advantage of using more than one type of material, which gives way to more creativity in your print designs.
It is a great tool for teaching your children at home or your students in a classroom and can be used by beginners, hobbyists, and experts as well.
They come in various sizes; some are compact enough to sit on your desktop while others require more space depending on their build volume. These printers help you save labor, time, money, and are environment-friendly.
Are 3D Printers with Flexible Filaments Costly?
Some 3D printers are expensive and may only be bought by multinational companies or high-end institutes. Others may not be expensive. All of this depends on the type of business you are in and the purpose of buying a 3D printer.
Usually, experts who have been 3D printing for a while need an upgrade, so they switch from cheaper ones to costly ones. Beginners are advised to buy the less expensive ones as they will benefit from a machine that can be easily operated.
What Are the Top Technologies for 3D Printers with Flexible Filaments?
The 3D printing industry is expanding fast, which means that modern technologies are being introduced in the market every other day.
You should opt for a printer considering the kind of method they want to use for their printing. Some contemporary methods of printing include Metal Material Extrusion and Binder Jetting.
In the world of 3D metal printing, modern techniques and technologies have hoarded the AM industry. It is no doubt that 3D metal printers stand tall in competition with other modern machinery due to their facile operation and astounding results.
Notwithstanding their costs, it is safe to say that they add extra value to production and innovation that may be impossible to achieve using traditional methods.