3D Printing Material: PEBA (Flexible Plastic)
Here you will find all the information, tricks, know-how, and advice to help you print your 3D model in our PEBA material. You will learn about the:
- General Information & Printing Techniques
- Finishing Options
- Design Guidelines
- Technical Specifications
General information & Printing Techniques
Our PEBA Material
Our PEBA 2301 (Polyether block Amide) is created from a fine powder. The material is flexible and rubbery as well as resistant. PEBA is great for functional flexible plastic parts for both prototypes and finished products. The surface of PEBA is similar to rubber and can resist to stress and fatigue.
The material is both solid and flexible, unlike some of the other materials offered by Sculpteo. PEBA is great for both experienced professionals and beginning designers because of its high precision and low cost. Unpolished, the material is white, granular, and somewhat porous.
Processing Times and Pricing
The printing price of your design is calculated automatically the moment it is placed online. As you modify your object (changing size, using batch control or hollowing feature, etc.) you will note that the price changes automatically. The pricing is based on a series of factors, including: total volume, object size, and bounding box - to name a few.
Your object is estimated to arrive in 6-9 business days.
Delivery time should be added to processing time and depends on the delivery option you choose.
Sculpteo uses a process called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) for PEBA prints. After your design is uploaded to the Sculpteo website, it undergoes a couple of steps before it is physically created:
- Model transferred to the 3D printer
- Object is 3D printed
- Removal from Batch
- Brushing and Sandblasting
Once you upload your 3D model to our website, it is received by a Sculpteo team member, who expertly places the model into the next available batch. The specific printer from which it will be printed is determined mainly by the dimensions of your object or batch, the larger prints being reserved for the larger printers. The machine used for PEBA is the EOS Formiga P100.
SLS uses a highly specific laser that sinters thin layers of powder together one layer at a time. After each round of lasering, the printing bed is lowered and another layer of powder is evenly swept across the top for another round of sintering. This process is repeated at a layer height of 150 - 100 µm until the object is completed. To 3D print PEBA, we use a lower temperature process than with polyamide (130°C instead of 175°C).
After the printer cools, the block of sintered powder is removed from printer and the printed objects are removed by hand. A part of the powder that was not sintered is recycled back into the printer for a future print.
The object is then brushed, which removes a large portion of the powder, and sandblasted, which removes the fine powder that the brush may have missed.
Uses and Maintenance
PEBA is a great 3D printing material for fully functional flexible plastic parts with a high quality. It is durable, and the rubber-like fatigue behaviour qualifies PEBA as an excellent prototyping and series material. As a result, the object can be used for hand braces, insoles, grippers, handles or seals.
The PEBA material has a high elasticity and strength. Thus, it can be used in fields like automotive, footwear material, sports equipment, medical...
Its good chemical resistance and the excellent long-term stability make PEBA a good technical material.
PEBA can resist to heat below 60°C without any shape alterations. Regarding water qualities, PEBA is water resistant but not waterproof. Thus the 3D object must not remain in contact with water for extended periods of time. PEBA is also resistant to chemicals.
Our PEBA is only delivered with a raw finish which means sandblasted but unpolished. The surface remains somewhat slightly granular but it will fit most of the applications.
|Standard layer thickness||100 - 150µm|
|Accuracy||± 0.3% (with a limit of ± 0.3 mm)|
|Maximum size||315 x 240 X 190 mm|
The maximum size of your models are limited by the physical size of our 3D printers - nothing can be printed larger than the printer bed.
There is no minimum size for PEBA prints, keeping in mind minimum thickness for walls and structural aspects, to ensure the object will not break is 1.5 mm.
Minimum Thickness and Geometry of Your 3D Model
|Minimum wall thickness||1,5 mm|
Add a support structure to maintain stability. For example, if you are modelling a bust of a person, you can attach thin aspects of the design like the ears in more places around the model’s head. Doing that will avoid cantilevered and easily breakable elements in the final print.
Thin walls supporting large, heavy plastic models can warp under the weight of itself.
Sculpteo offers an online solidity check tool which highlights parts of the print that may be too thin for a print. From there you are able to tweak your design in order to create an object that has an appropriate thickness. To use it, you just need to upload your 3D file, select your material and click on “Verification” tab.
It is also important to keep in mind that the object is to be printed into real life. Thus if a thin aspect is supporting something that is too heavy for it, it may break - even though it is possible within the physics provided by your 3D modeling software. We recommend adding a bit of thickness to the places that will get a lot of handling, or that support the most weight.
Keep in mind that our solidity check tool does not detect physical aberrations such as floating parts, unstable position, parts supporting too much weight relative to its thickness, etc. Particular care must be given to the geometry of your design and the most stressed parts must be thickened.
|Minimum size of details||0.3 mm|
|Minimum height and width details||
Embossed : 0.4 mm
Engraved : 0.5 mm
|Minimum height and width for a readable text||0.5mm|
A detail’s minimum precision is mainly determined by the resolution of our 3D printers. However, during the cleaning process, a fine layer of detail can also be lost. In order for a detail and text to be visible we recommend following our recommended sizes at the very least.
It’s possible that particularly fine embossings and engravings will not be visible, as the carving could get filled with excess powder that is later unable to be cleaned out. If an embossing or engraving is an essential part of your design we recommend making them as deep as possible. To ensure a better powder removal (thus a better detail visibility), the width of your details must be at least as big as depth.
Enclosed and Interlocking Volumes
|Enclosed parts ?||Yes|
|Interlocking parts ?||Yes|
Our PEBA material has the ability to print the most complex designs of our materials. An example of a complex design is a volume enclosed within another volume, like a chain or maraca. Our printers have the ability to print a fully interlocked chain out of the printer, with no support structures to remove.
Piece Assembly Restrictions
|Minimum space||0.5 mm|
Objects 3D printed in PEBA can be printed to be assembled as long as a width of at least 0.5 mm is left between the different parts of the object, even if this material is not recommended for this use due to the elasticity of the material.
Our online hollowing optimization tool has the ability to greatly reduce the price of a print by reducing the amount of material used.
Using the tool requires adding two holes to your model, which will serve as the drain for the excess powder material within the object. The minimum size of these holes is determined by our website. Otherwise it is possible to hollow your object manually in your 3D modeling software.
Files with multiple objects
|Files with Multiple Objects ?||No|
It is not possible to 3D print a 3D file containing several objects with our 3D plastic printers.
|Density of laser-sintered part||EOS-Method||g/cm3||0.950|
Tensile Modulus in X and Y Directions
||DIN EN ISO 527||MPa||
Tensile Modulus in Z Direction
||DIN EN ISO 527||MPa||
Tensile Strength in X and Y Directions
||DIN EN ISO 527||MPa||
|Tensile Strength in Z Direction||DIN EN ISO 527||MPa||7|
|Elongation at break||DIN EN ISO 527||%||200 ± 70|
|Melting point||DIN 53736||°C||150°C|
|Shore A Hardness||DIN 53505||-||87|
To learn more about PEBA, refer to the following document:
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