Selective metallisation of 3D printable thermoplastic polyurethanes

Assel Ryspayeva, Thomas D. A. Jones, Sadeque Khan, Mohammadreza Nekouie Esfahani, Matthew P. Shuttleworth, Russell A. Harris, Robert W. Kay, Marc Phillipe Yves Desmulliez, Jose Marques-Hueso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
237 Downloads (Pure)


This article presents a selective metallization method for the newly developed 3D printable thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers (TPU): FilaFlex®, SemiFlex™, PolyFlex™ and NinjaFlex®. Silver nanoparticles were fabricated in-situ by photo reduction on the surface of TPUs and acted as catalysts for copper ion adsorption. This method demonstrates the successful fabrication of copper patterns on flexible TPU filaments. Furthermore, Polyflex™ and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) filaments printed in the same part have been used to enable selective electroless plating directly on Polyflex™ material. Electroless copper deposited onto Polyflex™ has a sheet resistance of (139.4 ± 7.2) mΩ/☐ and a copper conductivity of (1.1 ± 0.1) × 107 S/m that is comparable to bulk copper. Copper-plated Polyflex™ interconnects were fabricated as a proof of concept demonstrators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104947-104955
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2019


  • direct metallisation
  • 3d printing
  • Electroplating


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective metallisation of 3D printable thermoplastic polyurethanes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this