LulzBot is offering a new extruder called the Flexystruder, specifically designed to work with flexible TPE filament such as Fenner Drives' NinjaFlex.

Though not technically rubber, TPE filaments possess similar flexibility and elasticity properties. It sticks well to most print surfaces and adheres to itself well so parts don't delaminate easily. Optimal extrusion temperature can range from 210° to 230° C, with a heated bed temperature of 30° to 40° C. It can, however, be difficult to use with a standard extruder designed to work with firmer filaments such as ABS and PLA.

The Flexystruder fully constrains the flexible material during the print process. It is not only designed to work with LulzBot's current printer, the TAZ 3, it is open source and can be made to work with the older AO models and even other RepRap 3D printers.

"Like everything we make at LulzBot, we have ideas about the potential uses for our products – in the case of Ninjaflex: jewelry, hinges, shoe soles, hand grips, tires, etc. – but we are far more excited to see what our user community discovers as they experiment and share on our forum," said Lulzbot Communications Manager Harris Kenny.

The new extruder is $294.

"We are so intentional about maintaining an open development philosophy because we want everyone to get in on the fun, rather than being locked out by closed systems, planned obsolescence, and other anti-maker philosophies," Kenny said. "Equally importantly, open development makes us better by pushing us to always innovate."

A .75 kg spool of the 3 mm filament runs $59.95 and comes in seven colors: fire (red), flamingo (pink), grass (green), sapphire (blue), water (semi-translucent), sun (yellow), midnight (black), lava (orange), and snow (white).