Soluble Support 3D Printing Experiments with HIPS

3D Printing & Imaging
Soluble Support 3D Printing Experiments with HIPS

3D Thursday is a feature about CNC Machining, 3D Printing, 3D Scanning, and 3D design that appears in MAKE every Thursday.


My friend Matt Stultz wrote in to tell us about some cool experiments he’s been doing with dissolvable support material:

I have been playing the past few weeks with a new type of printing filament from Filaco called HIPS (High Impact Poly Styrene). HIPS can be printed along with ABS and then the HIPS can be dissolved away using a chemical called Limonene. This will allow us to print far more complicated models and parts that were unprintable before. The two plastics print really well together but the HIPS portion can also be torn away cleanly after it has cooled.

Matt puts on a monthly meetup at AS220 Labs in Providence called 3D Printing Providence (3DPPVD), and he’s posted a writeup about his support material adventures over at the 3DPPVD blog: Soluble Support Material.


If you’re involved in a particularly revolutionary or awesome project and would like to write about it for 3D Thursday, or you have a related product that you’d like us to review or write about, please contact Eric Weinhoffer at Thanks for reading!

8 thoughts on “Soluble Support 3D Printing Experiments with HIPS

  1. rogerwrhodes says:

    Slow down in sending stuff to me Warning WARNING Thanks Roger Rhodes

  2. Robert says:

    “…which can be printed along with ABS and dissolved away with Limonene, letting you make complicated models and parts.”

    …which forever smell of oranges?

  3. jobigoud says:

    That will be great for making the cavities of soft robots.

  4. Anonymous coward says:

    I don’t know what jobigoud has planned, but count me out! 8) Seriously, this looks like a neat way to build complex shapes, but are the chemicals involved relatively safe? How do you dispose of the solvents and solution after this is done? I’d like to see more discussion on the materials used and the risks/rewards of various forumulations, especially if any of them have environmental impacts it would be nice to know about that.

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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

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