The Advantages of TPU

Ryan Norbury

TPU 3D printed spherical object


Whenever I come across a fellow pet owner that shows interest in Pawshhtag ID tags, I always start by explaining how I came up with the idea in the first place. You can read exactly how Pawshhtag came to be in our first blog post here if you haven’t already. If you can’t be bothered to read all that, the quick and dirty version is simply as follows: The metal engraved tags found at the big pet stores do not last. They corrode easily, the engraved information wears off after a short time, and this is assuming the tag hasn’t broken off completely and become lost before the previous two manifestations occur.


Unfortunately, these cheap metal tags that are mass produced overseas and shipped by the boatload all over the world can be found hanging from the collar of every second dog you come across on your morning stroll. I sometimes find myself thinking that the low quality of these ID tags is the vital factor in the business plan of the companies that make these products. After all, if the tags don’t last they will of course need to be replaced, right? And, who could possibly resist the instant gratification that comes from buying one of these cheap metal tags? We must remember that anyone who pays to use the fancy laser engraving machine also gets to be marveled by the ‘magic’ of what appears to be a beam of light that can burn metal! I can only assume the convenience, promptness, and novelty outweighs the minor drawbacks of repeated purchases and wasted money. Most of the people replacing broken or damaged ID tags with the same inferior product are probably already at the pet store for other reasons anyway.


Alas, I digress; the title of this article is after all ‘The Advantages of TPU’ and so far I have only illustrated aspects of low quality metal ID tags. So, what is TPU? Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a high strength, high elasticity thermoplastic. Upon inspection, most people would consider it more like a rubber than a plastic. TPU is found in a multitude of applications from sporting goods to medical devices, and it happens to work exceptionally well in Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing - which is how we produce Pawshhtag ID tags.


Two dogs wearing Pawshhtag TPU ID tags


ID tags produced from TPU have the following advantages over metal tags:

  • Cannot Rust or Corrode - exposure to salt water does not negatively affect TPU
  • Tough and Durable - TPU has a very high impact strength, and can take repeated beatings without showing any signs of wear
  • Resilient - TPU has a high elasticity, so it can be stretched and pulled very hard and will return to its original shape and size
  • Quiet - there is very little sound produced when TPU bounces and bangs around
  • Unique Style - we can easily produce interesting and uncommon styles with TPU via FDM 3D printing


By employing TPU for the production of Pawshhtag ID tags, we have created a product that is of inherently higher quality and lasts a lot longer than cheap metal tags. Please comment below if you would like to share your thoughts or experiences with the common laser engraved metal ID tags - we would love to hear about it!

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1 comment

  • I like what you have presented here….Well done and hope you sell lots of tags…..I need to order a pair of a-rings if you still have them. Miss you both and hope you are both doing well..Love Grandma J. xoxoxox

    Julie Pringle

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