We’re excited to continue this ongoing series on our blog spotlighting some of the best material options for industrial 3D printing. Last month, we told you everything you need to know about 17-4 stainless steel, one of the most commonly used materials for 3D metal printing services.
Today, let’s shift in a completely different direction and talk about the most widely used plastic in the world: the thermoplastic polymer known as polypropylene.
Leveraging Polypropylene for Production 3D Printing Services
Polypropylene is one of the 3D printing materials available for use with the HP Jet Fusion5200 Series, a printer designed for large-scale manufacturing. As a go-to material for injection molding, this lightweight and durable plastic is a popular choice for 3D printed prototypes, giving customers the option to iterate and conduct testing using a product’s end-use material.
However, due to the ability to print production quantities of polypropylene parts using the HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series, some customers may be able to leverage 3D printing services for production and forgo injection molding altogether. This alternative solution can result in considerable time and cost savings for the right parts—not to mention the convenience of working with the same partner for both prototyping and production.
Why Use Polypropylene for Your Part
Could polypropylene be the right material for your part? Let’s take a look at the benefits of using this material:
- Cost-effective. There are plenty of plastic materials available for 3D printing services, but polypropylene has one of the lowest price points of all. Leveraging this material for production quantities is a great way to keep manufacturing costs down.
- Environmentally friendly. ESG (environmental, social, and governance) considerations are top of mind for many companies right now. If you’re looking for a green manufacturing solution, industrial 3D printing with polypropylene is an excellent option. This material boasts 100% recyclability, while most other 3D printing materials are 70-80% recyclable.
- Chemical and moisture resistant. Known for its exceptional chemical and moisture resistant properties, polypropylene is an ideal choice for parts that will encounter caustic materials or moist environments. It’s commonly used for enclosures in automotive applications due to its ability to withstand exposure to hydraulic fluids.
- Low fatigue. Polypropylene’s low-fatigue properties give the material superb flexibility, which can be beneficial for many applications. If your part has hinges or a clamshell component, for instance, you can rely on this plastic to open and close over and over again without snapping.