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HDPE or Polypropylene like materials for printing?

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Posted · HDPE or Polypropylene like materials for printing?

I’d like to print some parts for a client that closely replicate the materials his company uses: HDPE and PP. 


Since those materials don’t work in my Ultimaker 3, what are the best material alternatives. I have CPE filament; will that work as an alternative?

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    Posted · HDPE or Polypropylene like materials for printing?

    I think CPE is very similar to PET? Anyway, PET feels totally different from waxy and floppy materials like PP and PE. It can flex a little bit, but definitely not like PP or PE, only rather like ABS. If overloaded it will very suddenly break without warning, almost like plexiglass.


    I have no experience with printing PP and PE, but I guess also a 3D-printed PP-model would probably feel different from an injection moulded one, due to the layer lines and poorer layer bonding?


    If I had to do it, I would probably go for what prints the best, the most accurate. And then post-process and smooth that, so that the shape is as close as possible to what you want. Even if it was in PLA. And then let the client imagine how that would feel and work in PP or PE. If he is used to these materials, he will be able to guestimate that, I think. Or at least I woud do that as a first intermediate step, to further discuss things and refine the concept?



    PLA carabiner hooks start to crack after some time of use (left, cream). PET carabiner hooks don't crack (right, green), but if overloaded break suddenly (fracture surface below). They don't ply like PP or PE.




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    Posted · HDPE or Polypropylene like materials for printing?

    I do print PP (ultimaker brand) on our S5. It is easy to print; the bed plate adhesion is tricky so it is better to use packaging tape. Also the dimensions would be smaller than CAD model since PP has a high shrink factor. As for the layer adhesion it never been an issue, in fact it is the most impact resistant material I've printed. You can litterally throw your part as hard as you can it it won't break.

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