The 6 Best Flexible Filament Brands
Flexible filament can be used to print some very cool objects, like prosthetic limbs and customized cell phone cases. But in order to make them, you will need the right flexible filament. Each one is different. Some are semi-flexible, others are more elastic. Some are medical grade, and others are not functional at all.
Below is a list of the 6 best flexible filament brands. They are some of our favorite flexible filament brands and we are confident that you will enjoy them too. Make sure you check the price on Amazon.
The 5 Best Flexible Filament Brands
NinjaTech Ninjaflex Flexible Filament
NinjaTech and it’s parent company Fenner Drives have created one of the most popular brands of flexible filament, Ninjaflex. In fact, it is so popular that the brand name Ninjaflex is almost becoming synonymous with flexible filament, similar to how the brand Kleanex became synonymous with tissue.
The reason is of course that Ninjaflex is the best quality flexible filament you can buy. NinjaTech sells two different types of flex filament: the popular TPU filaments and an interesting semiflex filament. The Semiflex filament is a more rigid version of the TPU Ninjaflex which makes it a bit easier to print with.
Lay-filament Flexible filament
As usual, Kai Parthy and Lay Filament are pushing the boundaries of specialty flexible filaments. You can get flexible wood filament, foam filament, and gelly filaments. They even make a chalk based filament. Crazy, right?
The usefulness of flexible wood filament might not be immediately clear. One idea is to use this filament as a substitute for cork boards. But even if it is not super useful, flexible wood is a fun novelty filament. The prices of these filaments are all over the place. For the full line-up, check out the lay filament website, but to buy them you will probably have to visit Amazon or a third party distributor like MatterHackers.
Taulman3D T-lyne Flexible Filament
The most impressive flex 3D filament from Taulman is called T-lyne, which Taulman teamed up with Dupont chemical to produce. The coolest thing about it is that you can dunk it in warm water to soften it, reshape it, and then dunk it in cold water to harden it again. The new shape will set as if it had been printed that way. This makes it an ideal plastic for creating prosthetics and customized medical appliances.
The second is called PCTPE, which is a blend of a super flexible Nylon and TPE. The reason they chose to make this blend basically has to do with the fact that TPE by itself is flexible but not very strong. By adding a flexible Nylon polycarbonate to the mix, PCTPE gains the durability and smooth texture of Nylon while maintaining the flexibility of TPE. It’s a perfect filament for printing phone cases, prosthetics, costume parts and even, if you can believe it, rubber duckies. Talk about a win win!
ColorFabb nGen_Flex Filament
Like every other filament that ColorFabb makes, ColorFabb nGen Flex is one of the best flexible filaments in the world. ColorFabb partnered up with Eastman Chemicals and used their Amphora polymer in nGen Flex. That technically makes this nGen a semi-flexible material due the fact that it includes co-polyesters for added strength and durability. But that also makes it a fantastic choice for prosthetics, rubber shoes, and squeaky toys for your dog.
The price of ColorFabb filaments is usually higher than other brands simply because they are such high quality. Each spool costs around twice as much as a regular spool of PLA. But hey, the best costs money.
Rigid.ink Flexible Filament
Rigid.ink Flexible PLA isn’t actually PLA. It’s some kind of biopolymer though. Rigid.ink won’t say more than that. The best thing about this flexible filament is that it is easy to print with because its surface is high friction, more than other 3d flex filaments. That means it is less likely to clog your extruder since the hobbed bolt in the filament drive has an easier time of gripping the filament and pushing it into the hot-end.
The price of these filaments is pretty high. Expect to pay about double the price of a regular spool of PLA. That puts these filaments in a similar price range as some of the best filaments in the world, like ColorFabb and Ultimaker. But these filaments are definitely good enough to be priced that high.
Recreus Filaflex Flexible Filament
Recreus Filaflex flexible filament is one of the best filament companies in Europe, and it’s not Dutch! Recreus is a Spanish filament company from Spain, near Valencia. The great thing about Recreus FilaFlex is that it works especially well for making shoes and dresses. Check out the Recreus website for pictures of Danit Peleg’s fashion collection.
The price of Recreus FilaFlex filament is usually around double the price of a regular spool of PLA, but sometimes you can get it for less, especially around the holidays. If you order it off of amazon you can often get a good deal on shipping.
Whether you want to make a pair of shoes or just a rubber stopper, these 6 best flexible filament brands will do the trick. They are each different and some of them are easier to print with than others. But together, they will meet most, if not all, of your printing needs. If you can’t find what you are looking for in this list, then check out some more generic brands of good flexible filaments, like MakerBot, eSUN, SainSmart and Hatchbox. You can find them on Amazon here.