Has anyone printed with PVA filament?

Has anyone printed with PVA filament?

We’re looking at doing some mold making for casting experiments, and having something water soluble would be perfect.

Any tips?

MakerBot started carrying this a couple years ago. I remember because it was double-extra awesome instead of simply extra awesome.

Has anyone printed with PVA filament?

Successfully? Probably not…

It prints terribly. We’ve had much better results using HIPS as a support material and dissolving it with limonene. Makes your prints smell like oranges.

I’ve had pretty good success with printing it, but I always have to put it in a food dehydrator at least over night before I use it. For dissolvable support it works “ok” with PLA, but doesn’t stick to ABS.

@Tony_Buser have you tried HIPS? It prints just like ABS (it’s essentially the same formula without the A and with more S), and it’s a little cheaper than other printing materials rather than more expensive like PVA.

@Whosa_whatsis Yeah HIPS is great stuff. I printed my gearbox in ABS with it and it worked much better than PVA did with PLA: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:26452
I haven’t tried HIPS with PLA yet though.

@Whosa_whatsis any reason not to use HIPS for general applications then? If it’s cheaper and prints the same…

Other than lack of resistance to limonene, not really. The stuff from filaco (1.75mm only) seems pretty good. We just got some 3mm from Jet that is surprisingly brittle and the diameter is over-spec, so it has already jammed a couple of times. Also not particularly uniform or round, though those aren’t huge concerns when you plan to dissolve it away.

@Nick_Parker See also, Fabbaloo’s recent review of HIPS as a print (not support) material: http://fabbaloo.com/blog/2013/5/29/hands-on-with-high-impact-polystyrene.html#.UbZmQvaY5WQ

We’re mainly looking for an easy to dissolve material we can use to experiment with casting metal…

For casting metal, people generally burn the print out of the mold rather than dissolving it. They also generally use plaster for the mold, which probably wouldn’t do well with water being used to dissolve the plastic out.

I’m working with this dude… We’re experimenting with some new ideas. They may all fail, but we’re willing to try. http://milwaukeemakerspace.org/2013/06/inexpensive-ceramic-shell-aluminum-casting-with-drywall-joint-compound/