Anyone with flexible / soft filament experience?


I’m printing (on a mini) a vice grip that needs to have soft jaws while maintaining enough pressure to keep the piece in place. I’ve no experience in anything but PLA, and hoping someone can recommend a filament material for the application.

I’m wondering if nija flex would suit (with perhaps a low fill percentage) or was also looking at lay-fomm:

I think the lay fomm might be the better option, but don’t know if the standard (or any) mini print head would support it.

Appreciate any input. Thanks!

What type of information are you looking for?

I have printed with both Nija-Flex and TPU.

Edit: Just read the message again. For Ninja-Flex and TPU, you will need a Flexistruder.

Sorry to not be clear…

I’m building a vice grip out of PLA. But the objects I’m trying to hold onto with the vice will be of irregular shape (not squared off against the jaws). So, in order to retain a tight grip on the part, I need the jaws to have a sponge-like surface… something that will conform to the object, then spring back after the object is removed, ready for another to be placed.

Imagine trying to hold a sphere in a vice grip so you could drill a hole in it. A vice grip with typical metal jaws (PLA in my case) would loose grip as the sphere is drilled into (the sphere is not strong enough to withstand significant pressure). So I need the jaws to have a spongy pad to conform to the spherical object to keep it held securely.

The only filaments I’m aware of that might fit the bill are ninja flex and the lay-fomm. I’ve used neither. As you point out, the ninja flex will require a new extruder, and I’d like to know if it would suit the application before I make that investment.

I’m thinking the fomm filament (linked above) would suit the application well, but I have not been able to find any information on printing via the mini with that type of filament, and looking for input if anyone has experience or knowledge about that filament usage on a mini.

HTH, and thanks for your reply!

I don’t think the foam stuff would have much grab. The foam products I have around wouldn’t work well for that, though I’ve never printed any foam filament. I suspect TPU based filament like Ninjaflex would work fine though. I’ve only used it for a few things, but it seemed to have good friction when pressed against something else.

Hi JEBariffic

I have tested the very same thing.
I found Semiflex (the one AO sells) to be the best solution.
Best grip I got with squared infill 40%. I have it in the vise that I can look through the squares when i look from the top on the vice.

All the Best

Thanks for the info tabbal and Frank! I’ll give the semi flex a go.

Frank, sorry… AO is whom? Is it the same as whats available on lulzbot site?:

AO is Aelph Objects, the parent company of lulzbot. That’s why the older mendelmax style printers were the ao-100 and ao-101 respectivly.

Hi JEBariffic

As pierced did the first half of the question, I will do the second:
Yes exactly that one I am using.

Maybe I should stop referring to AO and start saying Lulzbot instead. Will that create any trouble to AO / Lulzbot ?

All the Best

LOL… Sorry. I’m new to the game. Thanks again!