Category Archive: 3D Printing

Does Your 3D Project Need Some Material Flexibility?

TPU and TPE Gaskets

3D printers can be used to craft almost any item, but the product will fail to work as intended if the wrong material is used. If you plan on making something that needs flexibility, you should avoid using filaments that are made from polylactic acid (PLA) – the most popular kind of 3D printing material. But if PLA doesn’t work, what can you use?

Find the answer in material flexibility with a filament made with elastomers. Elastomers are polymers that have elastic properties due to their weak intermolecular bonds which allow them to stretch without breaking covalent bonds. These properties make filaments made from elastomers an excellent choice for 3D printing projects such as tires, shoe soles, insulating elements, couplings, bands, clips, and more. The most common of these elastomers are thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), polypropylene (PP), nylon and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE).

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)

This flexible, abrasion resistant thermoplastic provides excellent layer to layer adhesion offering a durable product. Because of this, the rubber-like elasticity performs well for 3D printed sporting goods, prosthetic parts, footwear, gaskets, etc. There is some work risk, however. 3d printers are not always equipped to handle the extrusion – leading to blobs and stringing. You will need to find the “sweet spot” of temperature, printing speed, retraction and quality product materials such as Terra-Bend™.

Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most frequently used and recycled flexible plastic material with usage from pharmaceutical to food-based applications. Companies choose PP because it provides low density while maintaining desired mechanical properties. Because of this, PP finds best usage in food packaging, straps, leashes, etc.

Yet, regardless of its wide-spread usage, it is one of the more difficult materials to work with. The biggest consideration is regarding printing temperatures. Due to its low melting point and semi-crystalline structure, polypropylene cools and solidifies differently than other materials. As a result, parts have difficulty adhering to the print surface and can warp a great deal. Heated enclosures and careful selection of print temperatures can combat these issues. In order to ensure print quality, it is important to consider adhesion properties and follow printing advice from trusted manufacturers such as Terrafilum.


Nylon has the best of both worlds by being both flexible and somewhat rigid. PA 12 offers a high melting point and low friction making it perfect for functional applications such as plugs, sockets, clips, and bands. Even with all the functional benefits, working with this material offers a double-edge advantage and challenge. Nylon is very hygroscopic – absorbing moisture from both paints and from the air. This absorption rate is wonderful for aesthetics as it offers a variety of looks upon completion. Yet, the moisture from the air can be a problem prior to completion. For best results, it is recommended to dry the material prior to printing, and vacuum package between prints if possible.

Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE)

Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) are the most popular choice for 3D printing projects needing material flexibility. When used correctly, products made with TPE material can stretch up to double their length then easily return to its original shape due to its rubber-like quality. This quality makes TPE appropriate for anything that needs impact or vibration resistance such as gaskets, couplings, connectors, etc. But be sure to be on the lookout for buckling and plate adhesion as printing too fast with this flexible filament can cause these issues.

Regardless of what material flexibility you need, there are a multitude of aspects to consider. Therefore, it is important to do your research before buying and make sure you are matching the right filament material to the right application. This match will ensure a perfect print every time.

Need help with the next step in deciding a material? Contact one of Terrafilum’s expert consultants to learn more about the benefits of elastomers.

50 Fastest Growing Companies Of The Year 2019

“We are thought leaders in sustainability practices and custom materials selection.”

3-D printing is an unstoppable force. Not too long ago, the printing speed and limited output of 3-D printers made them suitable only for rapid prototyping. But in the coming years, 3-D printers will be at the heart of full-scale production capabilities in several industries, from aerospace to automotive to health care to fashion.

In light of the former, we’re thrilled to present Terrafilum®.

The company provides 3D printer users with the highest-quality, eco-friendly filament solutions on the market for all of their printing needs.

Terrafilum® was incorporated in 2017 and is headquartered in Cary, Illinois.

Chris Jackson, Terrafilum® President, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review.

Click here to read the entire article.

The 10 Pioneering 3D Printing Solution Providers To Opt For In 2019

The future of manufacturing has arrived bringing waste reduction, complex customization, and fast prototyping in the process. It is 3D Printing or one can call it as “Additive Manufacturing” which has come a long way from being a theoretical concept to reality. As you are reading this, 3D printers are creating new products and consequently, shaping our future. They have proved their essentiality in many industries including aviation, education and, most importantly, healthcare.

We, the team of Mirror Review, are really excited to introduce our latest magazine issue, “The 10 Pioneering 3D Printing Solution Providers To Opt For In 2019”, featuring Terrafilum™ Engineered Filaments as the Cover Story. Terrafilum™ is satisfying clients’ 3D printing needs with one of the highest quality eco-friendly filament solutions. Born out of a passion for Business, Manufacturing, and Golf, Chris Jackson, the Founder of Terrafilum™ formulated the 3D printing concept with his prior 30+ years of experience and hard life lessons.

In addition to the inspiring story of Chris and Terrafilum, I feel privileged to present interesting journeys of leading 3D printing solution providers which are uplifting the manufacturing capabilities to an advanced level.

Click here to read the full article.

TerrafilumTM Engineered Filaments

Manufacturing Technology Insights: Top 10 3D Printing Solution Providers

3D printing is becoming a large part of our everyday lives and it’s important that companies and individuals know they are buying products from reliable sources. Manufacturing Technology Insights (MTI), a publication that assists key decision makers in understanding the fast-changing landscape of manufacturing, rewards 10 companies every year with the recognition of “Top 10 3D Printing Solution Provider”. This year, the expert team at MTI has selected Terrafilum™ as one of the industries top 10 companies. Click here to read the full article.


GMP Process / Recycle Program

Our processes are designed for complete traceability from incoming raw materials to final product. Each batch is produced with a designated lot number that corresponds to the utilized raw materials, production sequence, and operating parameters. This means that your spooled material will have a lot sequence that can demonstrate product freshness as well as production details like filament consistency and material melt flow.

GMP Process

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are often missed by other producers. We started with the premise that we wanted to produce reproducible quality filament without exception. Here’s what we do:

Raw Materials
  1. Receive into Inventory and check properties
  2. Assign Lot numbers
Process Batch
  1. Record Formulation Details
  2. Assign Lot number
  3. Set Extrusion Profiles
  4. Laser Track Filament Size
  5. Record Production & Process Data
  6. Log Material Data
  7. Track Inventory

Recycle Program

Who Doesn’t Want to Do Their Part for the Earth?

We offer FREE Spool & Waste Material Returns

Customers are automatically enrolled into our program after the 3rd spool purchased. We encourage our customers from the beginning to NOT landfill our spools or waste material. With the purchase of the 3rd spool, we will send a complementary recycle kit that includes instructions, recycle bag, and labels. After the 6th purchased spool, we will send return shipping labels and packaging material so the recycle material can be returned to our shop free of charge.

Of course, if a customer wants to opt-in immediately, we will send the kit and begin tracking progress. We have very little waste from our manufacturing operation and we are very proud of that fact! We want to extend that same thought to our filaments so that the material waste is minimized.

Why Recycled Material is the New Future for 3D Printers

3D printing is taking the world by storm! Bringing an idea for a new product, or artwork into the world at the flip of a switch has gone from Sci-Fi to “Hey, look what I can do in my own home in minutes” in just a few decades.

From simple plastic toys you can make for your children right in your kitchen, to a complicated medical prosthesis, someone somewhere is trying to figure out how it can be done on a 3D printer.

If you think that the buck stops there, you’re in for a delicious surprise. There are even places you can go now to dine on 3D printed food! Chocolate is one delicious edible that is getting a lot of attention. “Print me up a piece of that Kit-Kat bar, Bro!”

It is easy to get lost in all of the possibilities of new technology, however. In all the excitement of discovering new frontiers, humans sometimes overlook the potential for damage until it’s too late.

Think of the K-Cup. Sure is nice to make a single cup of coffee but look at the alarm being raised over all those non-degradable cups filling up the landfills virtually overnight.

That’s why Terrafilum has decided to become an industry leader in the use of recycled plastic filament and other eco-friendly materials. We feel it’s important to limit the 3D footprint in its early stages by using naturally occurring materials like woods, metals, and even clay.

When we DO need to use plastic polymer based materials we work to minimize the waste, and destruction by recycling that material back into new spools of products ready to sell back to the consumer.

How Important is it to Recycle Engineered Filaments?

According to some initial reports, humans are producing a total of 30 million pounds of engineered, Petroleum-based plastic every single year.

The projections are for another staggering 250 million pounds over the next decade! This will result in a lot of unused material that we need to make sure doesn’t add to our already glaring carbon footprint.

Virtually all plastic filament already uses some recycled material. Think of that plastic water bottle you threw out yesterday. That could one day be a 3D printed, tiny, red airplane being played with by your child.

Even the plastic spools that filament comes on can be adapted to use more recycled plastics. Sustainability for the future of the 3D print industry is one of our major goals.

That’s the primary reason behind our return program that allows our customers to send back unused material allowing us to use it in our next product instead of it ending up in a landfill where it will only do harm, and will never become a beautiful piece of some creative 3D dream.

The world of 3D printing is in its infancy, and the innovations are only just beginning. That is why Terrafilum is proud to be on the forefront of the recycling groundwork for this exciting new industry.

Together we can build the future of our world without destroying it, or even creating one ounce of damage to our beautiful world.

The Wonderful World of 3D Printing

It’s starting to look like 3D printing may soon become a mainstay in the average American home. Soon, these miracle machines of modern design may even become as common as televisions and carpeting.

Creative people everywhere are beginning to discover the amazing capabilities of this world-changing innovation.

Being able to imagine, design, and then construct virtually anything you can dream of, right in your own home, has been a dream of many creators. Until recently, however, most designers, imaginative artists, and inventors have been stuck in the rut of depending on large, expensive facilities, and complicated design processes to drag their dream products into reality.

Where Did 3D Printing Come From?

The world of 3D Printing has been trying to change that since Charles W. Hull developed the stereolithography technique back in the 1980’s. Since then, advances in technology have been rapidly removing those restrictions.

Humans are problem solvers plain and simple. If we need a part or a tool to solve a problem or increase our chances of survival that doesn’t exist we simply make it! That is one of our superpowers!

3D printing, or, as some call it, Additive Manufacturing (AM) is simply the process of developing real-life 3D objects from a digitally generated file format… it is literally turning a drawing into a solid rendition that can be viewed, touched, and used. Pretty cool, huh?

What Can Be Printed in 3D?

Already, there are hundreds of new, and customized products being developed around the world. People are creating amazing 3D renditions of tools, clothes, musical instruments, replacement parts for machinery, and there is even talk of the technology advancing to the point that replacement body parts could be printed out right on a computer!

How is THAT for amazing?!

Despite its long history of ups and downs, technological brick walls, and a general lack of interest by the business community, 3D printing is coming into its own with rapid innovations that have catapulted the process into public view.

Some of the obstacles to widespread use are now being addressed making the ability to print 3D products more accessible to the general public.

For one thing, the price of 3D printers has dropped dramatically over the past several years and continues to become more affordable. These three-dimensional wonders are also getting better at recreating the images being fed to them.

It is also becoming much easier for the beginner, or hobbyist to embrace the use of the machines, as they become more and more user-friendly.

Also, as more innovators become involved in the niche will become easier to create these objects via the use of powerful software programs. Think of how hard it used to be to build a website for the average internet user. These days it’s so easy children are doing it!

What Types of Materials Are Used to Create 3D Objects?

One important aspect of the printing process is the type of material that can be used to bring designs and products to life. So far, ABS plastic and nylon filament are most commonly used, but materials like glass filament, epoxy resins, steel, wax, concrete, and others are becoming more available as technology improves and expands.

Here at Terrafilum Engineered Filaments, we have dedicated our attention to developing earth-friendly filament materials that are both cost-effective, and healthy for you, your family, and the world we live in.

Terrafilum is an American company developing American made products for a new generation of technology to help creative minds change our planet for the better.

5 Amazing Facts You Would Never Guess About 3D Printing

The first thing that many people are shocked to discover about 3D printing is that the technology is already over 30 years old! For much of that time, it has been mostly a novelty concept. Not many people have had access to the technology until recent years.

But all of that is changing, and it’s changing fast. As the decades have rolled on, this growing niche of manufacturing has begun to establish itself as a safe, fun, and increasingly affordable option even for beginner hobbyists.

Many artists, creative types, inventors, and builders have embraced the opportunity to design, develop, and construct their own personal masterpieces right in their living rooms.

This growing new fan base has laid the groundwork for the niche to rapidly become more accessible to the buying public. Both the cost and the experience required to operate the machinery has plummeted.

Not only are there a variety of affordable 3D printers, but the number of software programs available to help consumers bring their visions to life is becoming amazingly simple!

If you are relatively new to the topic of 3D printer technology, these five fun facts will get you started on your path to better understanding what the buzz is all about…

New Materials Are Being Introduced All the Time

About three years ago, a company named MakerBot released an entirely new set of materials that they figured out how to use as the PLA filament to create new 3D printed products.
The new materials included bronze, limestone, and a variety of woods. The products that can now be developed out of these materials has expanded the creativity and the functionality of the printed object.
For example, the wood can be cut and stained to create stunning pieces of art from a digital file. Metals, like iron, can be magnetized opening up endless possibilities.
“Honey! What Did You Print for Dinner?”

That’s right! It is now even possible to print out some of your favorite foods. Although it still needs some time to mature, this new twist on culinary creativity is already taking hold across the planet.

Pasta, chocolate, cakes, and other edible delights are already being created by using crystalline sugars, and powders as the medium for 3D printed food. Restaurants are already beginning to appear around the world using this type of food preparation.

You Can Build Your Own 3D Printing Machine!

The driving forces behind 3D printing are the creators and designers who come together to form a community to tackle the next roadblock to progress.

This means that many innovators like to try their hands at building their own machines.

There are also a number of kit machines available for purchase for those who want to get a closer look at the nitty-gritty details of how the process works. For others, a pre-built, ready to print model is all they need to present their next creative idea to the world.

The Manufacturing Process Has Been Changed Forever

Probably the greatest benefit of 3D printing is that it has permanently altered the way people get the design products they want.

In the past, a manufacturer had to develop an entire support system to create even a small product. Let’s say a bike company wants a new type of sprocket with an improved design.

The bike company would have to hire a manufacturer to make thousands of these parts in order to offset the cost of setting up to produce the item.

This is no longer the case as 3D printing has scaled down the process, and is capable of being altered to easily go from one project to another without the cost of setup.

If the bike company only wants one prototype before mass production, they can no do it in the comfort of their own offices.

Earth-Friendly Recyclable Materials Reduce Unwanted Waste

One of the aspects of our 3D operation here at Terrafilum that we are most proud of is our ability to recycle the unused materials we sell to our customers.

The beauty of 3D printing is that much of the unwanted, unused materials or even that hideous first design failure doesn’t have to end up in a landfill, or a rubbish pile where it adds to environmental pollution.

Terrafilum provides an exchange program by which customers can return the used, or leftover material to us, and we will recycle it back into the inventory so that literally no waste is being produced from our already eco-friendly materials.

The bottom line, folks, is that the 3D printing revolution is upon us and will soon be so common, and easy to use that children will finally be able to build their own custom toys the minute their minds imagine it.

THAT is progress!