A sneak peak at our soluble support material research: An attempt at printing an entire differential gearbox in a single print, with all the gears printed in place in their housing, no assembly performed other than dissolving the support material.
The print obviously didn’t complete due to external factors. However the material was dissolved successfully and the parts of the gearbox that did print are very functional!
More to come on this, the printer is currently whirring away creating the successor to the part you see in the video.
Soluble support material for filament extrusion printers coming soon.
does it dissolve in water? so far I havent found a good soluble support material ( other than the original Stratasys support material)
In the future no more assembly plans
It’s a PVA based material, but with a lot of reworking to make it much much more printable, which PVA really wasn’t, as well as enhance adhesion to a range of plastics.
“PVA on crack”
It does dissolve in water, we’ve been using a heated ultrasonic bath to speed up the process of development and tweaking, but you can just be patient with it in water. Using a scrubbing brush under running water is pretty effective.
Printing with a Chimera; Nylon at 265C on one side and support at 200C on the other.
Yeah I bought some PVA but have been too nervous about ruining it to try. Printing at 160-170C is super low for a material. I’m curious if your new PVA mix will be less susceptible to water infusion
Sounds awesome, PVA is a crappy FDM material and an improved version would be just lovely.
What’s the glass point looking like? Is it going to be compatible with hot chamber ABS printing?
Cool. Are you guys just melting down and stirring up plastic blends in your apartment or working with a supplier?
We’re working with a whole bunch of companies, resin suppliers which is where we get the raw input materials from. These go onto a compounder who does the “melting down and mixing up” part, as well as being a really valuable resource in terms of what changes in resin and additives will result in what changes in material properties etc.
Material from the compounder goes onto the guys who do the extrusion of the material into actual filament. We’ve a few of these companies, some better for short testing runs like these, some better for mass production etc.
Then you print the stuff, try and make some positive changes, and go back through the resin-compound-extrude-test cycle all over again! Which takes weeks.
Painstaking, but hugely interesting.