NinjaFlex is a recently developed flexible, extrudable material for 3D printers such as the MakerBot, Airwolf, and RepRap lines of 3D printers. This material is a thermoplastic elastomer filament, 1.75 or 3 mm diameter, with a shore hardness of 85A. The filament has a low tack and a low CoF exterior for smooth feed through the filament guides.
To meet growing product demand and offer more design options than before, Fenner Drives®, maker of NinjaFlex, is launching two metallic colors and a comprehensive NinjaFlex website.
Silver and Gold
Users can now choose from two metallic colors: Silver, which is available now; and Gold, which will be available in October. These two new metallic colors will have the same flexibility and strength the NinjaFlex product line is known for. NinjaFlex’s nine other existing color options include: Snow, Fire, Midnight, Sapphire, Lava, Flamingo, Grass, Sun and Water (for semi-transparent applications).
NinjaFlex Online Resource
NinjaFlex3D.com, Fenner Drives’ new NinjaFlex website, provides additional information to help users achieve optimal results. Visitors to the site can find detailed technical specifications; projects to inspire other ideas; and case studies on how NinjaFlex’s unique properties have created exceptional 3D-printed items.
The new website, launched Sept. 3, 2014, also provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among 3D printing enthusiasts. This part of the website was designed for users who want to share inspirations, discuss creations and gain feedback from other NinjaFlex users.
“We wanted to provide our customers with the depth of technical information their projects require as well as tips on achieving optimal prints with NinjaFlex,” said Erica Fingar, NinjaFlex product manager. “Our new site will provide those helpful resources as well as a platform for sharing ideas and insights.”
NinjaFlex in Action
NinjaFlexfilament can be used in a wide array of applications ranging from high heels by designer Michele Badia, aptly dubbed Aphrodite, as they are inspired by the Greek goddess, to wearable HD goggles designed by Adafruit. NinjaFlex also has been proven to provide a unique solution for improving quality of life for animals such as Quack-Quack, a duck who was outfitted with a leg brace to help him walk after his foot didn’t form properly.
NinjaFlex has been leveraged in other scientific applications such as the helmet liner used for an exoskeleton featured in a demonstration at the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony. Wearing a custom-fit exoskeleton with a special helmet, a paralyzed person walked onto the field and kicked the ceremonial ball. To accomplish this futuristic feat, the kicker drove the movement with his mind, and the bionic exoskeleton did the rest. This truly transformational work is being done by Miguel A.L. Nicolelis, MD, PhD, of Duke University, a Brazil native, and neuroscientist who is part of the Walk Again Project.
To make the helmet, connecting the user’s brain to the exoskeleton, project engineers first 3D-scanned the patient’s head. Then, partners at Colorado State University used LulzBot TAZ 3D printers to create a functional 3D model out of the flexible NinjaFlex filament. Three-dimensional printing allows the team to make and improve models constantly. It is a complex process but this now-affordable technology helps research scientists save time and money. The final product — a white, pliable, custom-fit liner — took 58 hours and 38 minutes to print.
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping