For several months we have been working with the material for 3D printing made by polish Fiberlogy – PP (polypropylene). On the 3D Printing Center website, we have published a detailed test describing the specifics of working with this filament on ZMorph VX 3D printer. The test can be read here.
One of the unusual advantages of working with PP is that we can print it on a cold 3D printer bed, pasted with ordinary office tape. After the test was published, one of our friends from the 3D printing industry asked if we could achieve a similar effect with objects of larger dimensions than the ones we presented in our article? He was wondering if 3D printing of parts with dimensions exceeding 20 cm in axis would not shrink or deform? We decided to try it – here are the results of our test…
As suggested, we created a simple part with dimensions of 200 x 100 x 5 mm. The 3D printing settings were:
- layer: 0.25 mm
- infill: 100%
- nozzle diameter: 0,3 mm
- nozzle temperature: 250°C
- bed temperature: 0°C
- 3D printing profile for FLEX materials (speed was 20 mm/sec.)
The 3D printer’s bed has been covered with office tape.
The 3D printing process took over 11 hours. The results were… well… perfect… The part did not deform at all, perfectly adhering to the surface of the bed.
The only problem we had to face was removing such a large detail from the table. In fact, we had to peel off a large and 5 mm thick sticker. It took a few minutes, but in the end it all worked out. Luckily, PP is flexible, so don’t worry that anything will break.
After all, we had to additionally clean the printbed of glue residues.
This is what the finished part looks like. It is flexible which proves that it is actually PP and not PLA or any other thermoplastic that is easy to 3D print.
The bottom of the printed part is not perfect, which is the reason that the tape we pasted the printbed did not spread out perfectly and the edges plus the each tape did not stick to each other or overlapped one another. The reason was that it was a shirnkage test and not a beauty contest…
To sum up, PP 3D printing is perfect for large parts, when we use office tape as a base. We don’t have to heat up the printbed (it doesn’t even seem advisable to me). We tested it so you would know it already and don’t have to test it yourself…
This article was originally posted on LinkedIn