What is Polypropylene?

Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer made from propylene and, along with polyethylene, is part of the polyolefin family of polymers. There are thousands of different types available - developed for and used in a wide and diverse range of applications from food packaging and medical through to automotive and sports clothing. Forefront Filament has used its many years of expertise working with polyolefins to combine high performance grades to create filaments that process well and produce high quality parts with a range of desirable properties. Below is an overview of how our 3D printing filaments perform against PLA, ABS and some engineering filaments, nylon and polycarbonate.

Property Comparison Table

Property Comparison Table

Why Polyolefins for 3D Printing Filaments?

High performance characteristics - during printing, in the printed part itself, and from an environmental perspective.

Quality PLA and ABS filaments can work well but also have their limitations - producing brittle parts that absorb water and, in the case of ABS at least, producing harmful gases during the 3D printing process. They also don't perform well on reuse after grinding, so waste materials are often just that - waste.

With our knowledge of performance polypropylenes and polyethylenes, we thought we could do better - in relation to performance during the printing, performance of the printed part in use, and environmental performance.

Providing high definition, impact resistant prints that are water & moisture resistant, Forefront Filament offers a range of flexible and tough 3D printing filaments that contain no styrene, isocyanate, phthalates or esters and they produce no harmful gases or unpleasant odours when printing.

Polyolefinic materials offer a great balance of properties and are clean materials to manufacture and work with. They are the most widely used plastics in the world for many reasons as they are also easy to recycle and reuse. These polyolefin filaments create the possibility of engineers and industry designers using 3D printing to create working prototypes in the same polymer materials as the final product.

To find out more about our 3D printing polyolefin materials in use, read our blog.