3D printers use a variety of different filament types to create everything from toys to jewelry to pottery. However, the vast majority of filaments out there are hard, rigid plastic.
They’re good for what they’re designed to create – objects that need strength, rigidity and hardness to cope with rough handling and provide durability. There are also metal filaments designed to provide similar qualities in the finished product.
NinjaFlex is different. Just how different?
In a world of hard filament types, NinjaFlex stands apart. It allows the creation of prints that are soft and flexible, allowing creators to print almost anything needed, from a 3D printed dress to a realistic replica of a human heart and a great deal more.
There’s another difference here, as well. Unlike many prototype filaments (like biodegradable options), it’s already on the market and is being used in some incredibly innovative ways.
Need some proof?
Saving an Infant’s Life: NinjaFlex provided the ideal flexibility and softness to 3D print a replica of an infant’s heart. The replica was used by pediatric heart surgeons to practice a life-saving surgery beforehand, and was instrumental in saving the baby’s life.
The print was created at the Rapid Prototyping Center at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and was a detailed, accurate 1.5-scale model.
A Wearable 3D Dress: Most 3D printing filaments would be poor choices for clothing, which is something that designers have been struggling to overcome for a couple of years now. However, Paulina Perepelkin had the chance to wear a 3D printed dress that not only managed to flow like normal fabric, but was comfortable for over 10 hours.
Designed by Yen Ngoc Ngunyen and Katica Boric for the Descience competition and printed at The Printing Bay, the dress used Ninja Flex for the “scales” in the design, while PLA was used for the dress’ lining and accessories.
Advanced Prosthetics: 3D printing and the prosthetics industry have gone hand in hand for some time now, with headlines coming in from around the world about how the technology has enabled children and adults to obtain a new lease on life. However, NinjaFlex’s unique softness and flexibility make it an ideal option for advanced prosthetics, and Open Bionics is hard at work bringing these prints to life.
In fact, the company debuted their latest robotic hand (half the weight of robotic prosthetics currently available) at CES 2015 and took home the Best Product Innovation award from Computer Bids. The hand was designed, developed and fitted to a man born without a right hand. During the trial, he wore if for five days straight, and it performed admirably.
These are just a few examples of the numerous ways in which NinjaFlex stands out from other filament types on offer. It’s also being used to create a wide range of other products, including shock absorbers for protective headgear, bike grips, cell phone cases, shoes, and many others.
In a world filled with a bewildering range of options that all too often seem the same, NinjaFlex is the ideal choice for anything that requires flexibility and a softer touch.