Powder-based 3D printed polypropylene (PP) parts are now available at Extol. The addition of PP expands Extol’s 3D printed powder-based materials, which already include PA12 and TPU.
PP is one of the most widely used plastics in manufacturing and has been a frequently requested material for powder-based 3D printing. Printed PP makes it possible to create functional prototypes that are the same base material as PP production parts.
"We are seeing exciting possibilities for PP,” says Kyle Harvey, Director of Marketing at Extol. “Functional prototyping has been the most common use of 3D printed PP so far. PP's toughness, ductility, and chemical resistance are key material properties that make PP one of the most commonly used plastics in manufacturing.”
“We’ve received feedback that our powder-based 3D printed PP parts are performing with the toughness, ductility, and chemical resistance that customers expect from molded PP."
Functional prototyping and design validation efficiency is all about finding the fastest and most cost-effective option to make a part that performs well enough to learn what you need to learn.
Previously, in order to obtain functional prototypes for PP parts, manufacturers had to either (1) invest in mold tooling with production-intent material to maintain performance or (2) use a sub-optimal 3D printed part and sacrifice performance.
Kyle says, “We’ve received feedback that our powder-based 3D printed PP parts are performing with the toughness, ductility, and chemical resistance that customers expect from molded PP. Customers are finding value in avoiding the cost and long lead time of mold tooling while still having a PP part that performs as expected.”
Moving forward, powder-based 3D printed PP has the potential to evolve beyond functional prototyping and into bridge production and low volume production.
Jason is a mechanical engineer with valuable experience in hands-on plastics joining experimentation. He's a passionate problem-solver and communicator. He also challenges anyone to a game of foosball.