Traditional elastomer prototyping options such as non-FDM or FFF ( Fused Filament Fabrication) additive manufacturing isn’t always ideal. These methods often offer high-cost, limited geometries, can take up to one week, and can’t always create complex geometries. Non-FDM additive manufacturing solutions also offer limited build sizes, higher total part costs, and usually, require an external service bureau. Lower priced options like FFF additive manufacturing have labor-intensive support removal, poor support interface surfaces, and limited part complexity. Although the price may seem most affordable at a glance, the total cost of ownership is high.
So what is the better option? Resilience - the ability to stretch or compress greatly while not losing shape (and no, I’m not talking about touching your toes). This is the key difference between elastomers, like TPU material, and rigid polymers.