Fused Filament Printing with Water-Soluble Support

3D Printing & Imaging Science
Fused Filament Printing with Water-Soluble Support

Veteran Thingiverse user Tony Buser has printed a model (intended to be an approximation of the fractal Hilbert curve) using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as a support material. Once everything is printed and cooled, the PVA is dissolved away in a glass of water, leaving only the polylactic acid (PLA) model. This technique, when perfected, should allow RepRap-style FFF printers to produce objects with overhanging parts that are currently very difficult, or impossible, for them to print. Tony used two of MakerBot’s Mk7 extruders mounted on a Thing-o-Matic.

6 thoughts on “Fused Filament Printing with Water-Soluble Support

  1. Jim Horn says:

    Wow – the anti-Hilbert curve looks interesting too! Swapping the two injectors would produce *that*.

  2. Tim Hope says:

    Isn’t this already available on the Bits from Bytes machines, using PLA and ABS?

  3. vectormune says:

    Zoomification. Where.

  4. vectormune says:

    Ah, the serial PLL film data storage replacement for both BD+RW and Fruity Loops! Robot muff, very clever. The infinitely sensual Banach-Tarski mustache ride. Or painful sharp-angled velcro for separating structural and floral elements, or making a sound-insulating high-relief fascia (esp. if we ran out of aluminum and silicon oxides, out in the dark matter ghettos of the Kuiper belt.)

  5. macrumpton@gmail.com says:

    I guess this is the killer app for the Makerbot Replicator which has two nozzles!

  6. The Surprisingly Simple Invention That Allows Robots to Make Clothes says:

    […] object when stitching the garment. The inspiration for that came to him while reading an article in Make Magazine that explored the water-soluble support structures for 3D […]

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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