Polypropylene Isn’t Just for Injection Molding Anymore

Posted by Re3DTech Team on 2/3/21 6:07 PM


When it comes to 3D printing, there’s a wide range of available options for materials. Your material selection is the first important choice you’ll make for your project, as it determines the quality and durability of your part.

Polypropylene: A Classic Plastic for Manufacturing

Polypropylene is the most widely used plastic in the world. One of the standard materials for traditional manufacturing (i.e. injection molding), its prevalence in end-use products makes polypropylene a highly requested and sought-after material.

Polypropylene is both lightweight and durable and is a common choice for the automotive and aerospace industries. Reducing the weight of parts is key for components that go into end products like hand-held devices and drones.

3D Printing with Polypropylene

Providers of 3D printing services have long recognized the value of polypropylene. But it wasn’t until HP debuted its own polypropylene that this material became material viable for 3D printing applications. When combined with HP’s high-volume production capabilities, 3D printing services become a major competitor to injection molding.

Benefits of 3D printing with polypropylene include:
  • Lightweight. Polypropylene is 20-25% lighter than other materials used in 3D printing, such as PA 12 nylon and PA 12 Glass Beads.
  • Recyclable. Unlike most 3D printing materials, which are about 70-80% recyclable, 100% of polypropylene can be recycled. HP is highly focused on green initiatives, and it’s important to us at Re3DTech, too.
  • Versatile. Polypropylene is great for production runs that deliver thousands of end-use products, but it’s also a great material for prototyping and testing, including functional testing, fit testing, and mechanical property testing.
  • Cost-effective. Despite polypropylene’s many benefits, it’s not expensive. In fact, it’s an extremely cost-effective material, especially when used for volume production.
  • Avoid injection molding. Bring your product to market without expensive tooling.

Polypropylene in 3D Printing Rapid Prototyping Services

Previously, 3D prototyping was done with Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) or Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), but these methods had limitations. Thanks to the design freedom provided by HP 3D printing equipment and materials like polypropylene, we can now create prototypes that more closely replicate the form and function of your end-use part.

Re3DTech was the first 3D printing service bureau in the U.S. to purchase the HP 5200 series printer. This series is the only system that can run polypropylene for 3D printing, and the applications of polypropylene still aren’t widely known. But we’re already experienced in printing polypropylene parts, and we’re excited to share this unique capability with our customers.


Curious about using polypropylene in your next 3D printing project? Contact us today and get a quote within 24 hours.




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At Re3DTech, we believe that 3D printing will repatriate and revitalize our manufacturing industry – and is the future of American manufacturing! Re3DTech provides 3D printing and contract manufacturing services with a commitment to quality, speed, and customer service. We supply thousands of parts to customers every week in industries including Healthcare, Automotive, and Aerospace. It is our mission to provide a custom solution to our customers’ needs.

Leveraging our production additive manufacturing technologies, we have the in-house expertise and capabilities to help lead your company down the path of additive. Take advantage of the advances in 3D printing to improve your manufacturing - contact us today to see how we can help!

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Topics: 3D Printing, Application, Post-processing


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