Composites Today

Magazine For Composites Professionals

Post-Industrial PET-G or PIPG for large format 3D printing

Post-Industrial PET-G or PIPG is an innovative recycled material utilized in large format 3D printing. Specifically used by large format 3D printers with a pellet extruder, such as CEAD’s Flexbot. CEAD Group (The Netherlands) is developing 3D printing solutions. PIPG has been developed to address both environmental concerns and the need for high-quality printing materials, PIPG is crafted from 70% post-industrial recycled PET-G, offering a sustainable yet efficient option for various manufacturing needs.

PIPG has been developed with pellet extruders for large format 3D printers in mind. CEAD was part of a close collaboration with the manufacturer of PIPG (MCPP), to ensure the material would provide the best results for 3D printing. PIPG is therefore easy to process with every CEAD pellet extruder.

The processing window for PIPG is quite large, minimizing errors that may arise from both operator actions and design aspects during printing. The warpage and shrinkage of PIPG in a large format 3d printer is reduced to a minimum, making sure that the internal stresses of the final part are very low, this makes the printing of very large parts a breeze with PIPG.

Tooling and Jigs

PIPG’s durability and ease of printing make it ideal for creating precise tooling and jigs, aiding in the efficiency of manufacturing processes across industries. Examples are assembly jigs, welding jigs for positioning and work holding, and tooling, such as hand lay-up tooling for the fiber glass industry.

Sand Casting Patterns

In the foundry industry, PIPG has proven itself as a suitable material for large sand-casting patterns due to its strength and ability to withstand significant pressures and environmental stresses. These characteristics are required when being pressed into the casting sand. PIPG is also able to withstand the mechanical stresses such as vibrations and hammer strokes that occur when the pattern is released from the sand mold.

Furniture and Design

The aesthetic appeal and versatility of PIPG have found a place in furniture and design, where its recycled nature and finish contribute to innovative and sustainable creations. The use of PIPG in combination with a large format 3D printer has proven its worth. The high production outputs that can be achieved with a large format 3D printer utilizing pellet extruders makes this production method a real competitor for traditional ways of manufacturing high end furniture and design elements. The aesthetics of PIPG used for 3D printing provide a visually appealing bonus for the furniture and design industries.

Post-Processing of PIPG

PIPG allows for various post-processing methods, including milling, painting, and coating, which enhance the material’s application range and finish quality. This makes PIPG very suitable for large format 3D printing for industries such as furniture and design, sand casting patterns and tooling and jigs.

The unique matte finish of PIPG, contributed by its glass fiber (GF) content, offers a tactile and visually appealing quality, suitable for a wide array of products. The most commonly used PIPG material has a grey look, however, for large format 3D printing, PIPG is available in many colours. Colours like bright red PIPG, as illustrated in the picture, or blue are some examples of the wide range of possibilities. By sanding and polishing, a remarkably smooth surface finish can be achieved. There are also examples of beautiful prints made with PIPG that did not require any surface finishing, making use of the typically printed beads as a design feature.

PIPG is available in various formulations, including PIPG 30% GF and PIPG 19% GF, allowing for customization in terms of stiffness, durability and performance characteristics to meet specific requirements.