HDPE which stands for high-density polyethylene is a thermoplastic polymer. It is made from the monomer ethylene and is ubiquitous for its great strength-to-density ratio. It is extremely strong yet light enough to float. Its molecular branch is the reason behind its intermolecular force and tensile strength. HDPE is designed for an optimum balance of density and can withstand high temperatures. With the rapid HDPE is fast gaining popularity as a 3D printing material. Let us look at why it is the ideal material for 3D printing:
HDPE makes for a great material to manufacture containers and is widely popular in the production of liquid containers. The reason being it is not soluble in water. This characteristic makes it preferable to create 3D printed containers.
One of the major reasons why HDPE is considered as one of the best materials for 3D printing is due to its lightweight and enhanced strength property. The high strength of HDPE is relative to its mass. The reason being, the composition of HDPE keeps it from splitting at a molecular level. Therefore, when it comes to 3D printing, HDPE provides excellent support for extensive designs that are lightweight.
What makes HDPE an ideal material for 3D printing is its ability to be dissolvable in limonene which is an organic chemical. For designs that require gaps between sections or overhanging details, a temporary scaffolding can be printed using HDPE to hold those sections as they are printing. Once the product is designed, it can be dunked in limonene. The HDPE will dissolve and will leave your design in perfect shape.
4. FDA Approved:
HDPE is non-toxic and has been given a food safe rating by the FDA. This means you can eat off it without any repercussions to your health. This is great when it comes to printing 3D medical objects without worrying about the end product being contaminated by biological material.
One of the most commonly recycled plastics in the world, HDPE carries a universal sign for recycling. It has a “Number 2” inside the recycling triangle to indicate that it is recyclable. HDPE’s incredible benefit is that it can be easily recycled. Converting it into 3D printing filaments offers a massive advantage when it comes to using making efficient use of plastic waste. Any kind of unused or finished objects that you are not being used, can be turned into 3D printing filaments. These products can include plumbing pipes that help people get clean water, consumer goods containers and children’s toys.
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