Unlocking New Possibilities in 3D Printing with Formlabs Polypropylene Powder

In the dynamic realm of 3D printing, materials play a pivotal role in expanding what’s possible. The introduction of Formlabs Polypropylene Powder for the Fuse 1+ 30W SLS 3D printer marks a significant milestone, offering unprecedented flexibility, durability, and a broad range of applications. Lets delve into the unique properties of Polypropylene Powder and its transformative impact on SLS 3D printing.

A Closer Look at Polypropylene Powder

Polypropylene is renowned for its excellent chemical resistance, low moisture absorption, and high fatigue resistance, making it an ideal choice for a myriad of applications. Formlabs has harnessed these properties in a fine powder form, specifically engineered for use with the Fuse 1+ 30W SLS 3D printer.

Polypropylene Powder is a genuine thermoplastic polypropylene that doesn’t require outsourcing to a service bureau, very expensive machines, or hours of endless tinkering with print settings. The result is a material that enables users to access affordable, industrial-quality, in-house polypropylene 3D printing for the first time.

With an elongation at break of 34% and a flexural modulus of 1327 MPa, Polypropylene Powder offers similar properties to common injection moulded polypropylenes.

Key Features:

  • Exceptional Durability: Polypropylene’s inherent toughness and flexibility make it perfect for parts requiring repeated bending and flexing.
  • Chemical Resistance: Its resistance to a wide range of chemicals makes it suitable for containers and parts exposed to harsh substances.
  • Low Moisture Absorption: Polypropylene’s low moisture uptake ensures stability and longevity of printed parts, even in humid environments and when creating watertight parts.

Transforming Industries with Polypropylene

The versatility of Polypropylene Powder enables professionals in engineering, manufacturing, aerospace, medical fields and more to push the boundaries of design and functionality.

Rapid Prototyping

Polypropylene, a widely utilised plastic, is known for its lightweight, low moisture absorption, and flexibility. On the Fuse 1+ 30W, Polypropylene Powder leverages these properties for rapid prototyping, enabling:

  • Innovative Prototypes: Easily create prototypes like print-in-place flexible loops and caps, or shampoo bottles with variable thickness, directly in-house. The powder’s versatility supports diverse geometries, like testing different fan blade designs for HVAC systems.
  • Speed and Efficiency: By prototyping with the actual material used in end products, designers can significantly cut development time to less than a day, enhancing product iteration speed and optimising designs without external dependencies.
  • Realistic Prototypes: With its low sintered density and watertight nature, Polypropylene Powder accurately replicates the weight and functionality of final products, ideal for prototypes of vessels or tubing that need to be liquid-tight without additional post-processing.

Manufacturing Aids and Tooling

Polypropylene Powder introduces new efficiencies in manufacturing aids and tooling, characterised by:

  • Adaptability and Durability: Perfect for creating rugged, industrial-grade, and cost-effective manufacturing aids tailored to specific workflow needs. Its ductility and ability to be welded to other polypropylene parts allow for versatile functional assemblies.
  • Industry-specific Solutions: Its chemical resistance and watertight properties are particularly beneficial in automotive, aerospace, and medical device manufacturing, supporting the creation of durable tooling capable of withstanding repeated use and exposure to harsh conditions.

End-Use Parts

Choosing Polypropylene Powder for SLS 3D printing end-use parts offers several advantages:

  • Flexibility and Customisation: Facilitates testing new products without the high costs of metal tooling, expanding customization options, and allowing for low-volume, cost-effective production.
  • Supply Chain Control: Offers manufacturers more control over their supply chain, reducing the impact of material shortages or supplier inconsistencies.
  • Design Innovation: Unlocks design freedom for complex shapes and lattice structures, enabling a reimagined approach to product aesthetics and functionality.

Medical Device Manufacturing

Polypropylene’s established use in medical devices is enhanced by SLS 3D printing, offering:

  • Customisation and Innovation: Supports the production of ergonomic medical devices, such as thumb braces and orthotic insoles, utilising the material’s high ductility and low moisture absorption for patient-specific solutions.
  • Wearable devices: For skin-safe* devices such as wearables, orthotics and prosthetics Polypropylene Powder will be an excellent low-volume production solution.

*Biocompatibility certification for Polypropylene Powder is ongoing at the time of product announcement. Once the material is certified, it is expected to enable even more opportunities for medical device testing and production.

Advantages for the Fuse 1+ 30W SLS Printer Users

The introduction of Polypropylene Powder to the Fuse 1+ 30W’s material library not only diversifies what can be printed but also enhances the printer’s appeal to industries seeking practical, real-world applications for 3D printed parts. Its compatibility with the Fuse 1+ 30W ensures a seamless, efficient printing process, making it easier than ever for businesses to incorporate SLS printing into their operations.


The Formlabs Polypropylene Powder represents a leap forward in 3D printing material science, combining the advanced capabilities of the Fuse 1+ 30W SLS 3D printer with the versatile, durable nature of Polypropylene. Whether for prototyping or production, this material opens up new possibilities for professionals across a wide range of industries, enabling them to create more resilient, functional, and innovative products.

Eager to explore how Polypropylene Powder can revolutionise your 3D printing projects? Contact us at Thinglab for more information or to discuss how this material can be integrated into your workflow. You can also watch this informative 15 minute webcast and discover how genuine polypropylene can elevate your SLS 3D printing on the Fuse 1+ 30W

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