Plenty of engineers know about the mechanical property advantages of thermoplastic urethanes, or TPUs. These materials usually exhibit a powerful combination of abrasion resistance, high tear strengths, and wide service temperature ranges. What's less well known is how much these properties improve with the dry-heat annealing of the finished parts. This post-curing step typically improves tensile and tear properties by 10-20 percent, according to data from specialty compounder RTP Company. Temperatures for the annealing vary with the specific TPU, but they commonly fall between 212 and 248F. Annealing times can range from 12 hours to as much as 14 days. For more information, visit http://rbi.ims.ca/3849-525.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
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