Polypropylene is a lightweight semi-rigid material commonly used in packaging applications prone to warping, making it tricky to print. The material itself is tough and has high fatigue resistance making it great for low-strength applications such as living hinges, leashes, and straps.
- Bed Temperature: 85-100 °C
- Heated Bed: Required
- Enclosure: Recommended
- Build Surface: Packing Tape, Polypropylene Sheet
- Extruder Temperature: 220-250 °C
- Part Colling Fan: Required
Best Practices and Tips
It is tough to get polypropylene to adhere to the build surface. Typically, it only bonds well to polypropylene; as such, a packing tape is a good option as it is polypropylene-based. However, if you choose to use packing tape, be careful not to set the print bed temperature too high, as this can melt the tape.
If you use packing tape, you may find it very difficult to remove the print from the tape as it can permanently bond. However, using a raft can help you bypass this issue by placing a discardable filament layer between the tape and print.
Being very prone to warping, we highly recommend that an enclosure is used to maintain the ambient temperature; when doing so. You should be careful that this doesn’t raise the print bed temperature enough to melt the packing tape.
Although it generally prints well at lower temperature ranges, you can improve layer adhesion and thus strengthen it by using a hotter print temperature. Around 240°C should be enough for this effect to show.
To reduce the chance of the print permanently bonding with the print bed, you can reduce the print temperature of the first few layers; While this may help reduce the bonding force, it may also result in your print warping.
- Good impact, heat, and fatigue resistance
- Somewhat flexible
- Smooth surface finish
- Very prone to warping
- Low strength
This information should give you a great starting point for polypropylene printing. Have you got any specific projects you’re planning to use polypropylene for? If so, let us know down below.