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HDPE or Polypropylene like materials for printing?


t-squareddesign

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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?

     

    DSCN6055.thumb.JPG.c9f2aa4f551f913408727e004905b944.JPG

    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.

     

    image.png.9be6fee3ee3b5b4656e38c84d2416d5e.png

     

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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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    • 2 years later...
    Posted · HDPE or Polypropylene like materials for printing?
    On 10/19/2020 at 8:29 AM, Framar said:

    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.

    I know this is an older thread but can you explain the use of packaging tape for bed adhesion?  I'm struggling with HDPE on our S5.

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    Posted · HDPE or Polypropylene like materials for printing?

    Hey @Thomas-ENG-NA,

     

    Welcome to the Ultimaker Community 🎉

     

    I've heard people using packaging tape on a clean buildplate to remove any final dust specs. There are also some theories about static electricity that might be added or discharged. 
    Some people apply Blue Tape on the buildplate and print on it, as adhesion. 

    When I print a tricky material like this I check if there is a Magigoo stick available for that material or check the material supplier of the material what they suggest.

    Good luck! 💪

     

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    Posted · HDPE or Polypropylene like materials for printing?

    heated bed

     

    I've printed very difficult filaments, but not HDPE.  It's a high temp filament.  So the first thing is to try to get the bed above the softening temp.  If you can do that then the bottom few layers will warp by the tiniest amount (possibly 0.01%) which is insignificant for dimensional accuracy but hugely helpful for distributing the forces in the corners (where parts lift off the bed).

     

    So I'd cut off a few cm and place it on the heated bed and start at 100C and put a little towel or something over it.  After 1 minute at that temp, remove it and bend it and see if it's

    A) super flexible like a rubber band

    or

    B) takes a new position when bent (like clay)

     

    If B happens I would lower the temp.  If A happens I would raise the temp and try to find what I call the "softening temp".

     

    If the softening temp is well over 100C then you can't take advantage of B.  Hopefully instead it gets super flexible (like nylon gets more and more flexible as you heat it).  For PLA this temp is 52C.  For CPE I seem to remember around 60-70C.  For ABS it's right at 99C.  For nylon it never happens it just gets more and more flexible and eventually melts.

     

    Anyway this experiment will teach you a lot.

     

    Hopefully the temp where it gets soft isn't much above 100C because you want the bed about 10C hotter than this goal temp of where the material gets soft (like clay) or super flexible (like rubber).  This will help a lot.

     

    surface prep

     

    Nothing beats magigoo as they work really hard to get good formulas that work for each material.  I don't know if they have something for HDPE.

     

    I find PVA is a great surface prep for almost every material.  Take some elmers glue or elmers wood glue, mix it with 10-30 parts water (1 part glue, 20 parts water).  Paint it on the glass bed with a paint brush, heat up the bed to 60C or hotter and wait for it to dry clear.  Print on that.

     

    rounded corners

     

    Brim is the best but if you really really don't want brim then at least try to round the corners.  Or design in your own "brim" just on the areas that are a problem (the extremeties of your part).

     

    air temp

     

    If you don't have an air handler you can still cover the printer.  Just find a cardboard box and flip it over and put it on top of the printer.  Usually one can find a box of the right size without any changes.  It's okay if there are huge air gaps.  It will help a lot.  Getting the air to around 35-40C is perfect.  Don't let the air get above 40C as at some point the steppers can get too hot (40C is quite safe).  This also allows the heated bed to get warmer

     

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    Posted · HDPE or Polypropylene like materials for printing?

    For PP, Ultimaker recommends adhesion sheets.  More info here:

    https://support.makerbot.com/s/article/1667337602253

     

    I have no idea if HDPE is similar but you asked.

     

    These are available at office supply stores but I don't know how to describe them.  So buy them from ultimaker or a reseller so you know what they are and then you can get them from Avery or 3M.

     

    I've used the adhesion sheets for PP and it worked great but I tore the sheet every time.  What a pain in the neck.  But it works.

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    Posted · HDPE or Polypropylene like materials for printing?

    Yeah your gcode looks weird in cura:

     

    Screenshot from 2022-12-06 14-38-01.png

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