Dunk Your 3D Printer Under Water For The Ultimate Overhangs

3D Printing & Imaging
Dunk Your 3D Printer Under Water For The Ultimate Overhangs

The folks at CPS Drone got a crazy idea to submerge their 3D printer in water to see what would happen. When I first saw this, I kind of rolled my eyes as it sounds like one of those things you do just for YouTube views, and never really get anything useful out of it. I am happy to admit I was totally wrong and I’m happy I watched the video!

YouTube player

Their thinking is that many of the problems you find in overhangs are due to the cooling. This makes perfect sense, but would water really help? As it turns out, yes it does! However, getting there is more involved than you might initially suspect.

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They had to go through the process of waterproofing the machine. This is not for the faint of heart as they have fully disassembled most of the printer, even the stepper motors. After taking various methods of waterproofing, like coating all the stepper internals in epoxy, they tackled the extruder. This was enclosed almost completely in a silicone block.

What about moisture in the filament though? The common knowledge is that, at least to some degree, moisture in your filament is bad. While this might be technically true, it turns out that it really wasn’t much of an issue here. Moisture can cause stringing, and yup, they’ve got some stringing.

Normal print on bottom, underwater print on top (in yellow)

The end results are really interesting. Overhangs do work better due to the rapid cooling, however layer adhesion isn’t quite as good.

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. email me at hello (at) calebkraft.com

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