Feb.28, 2013

ABS and PLA filaments have been used in 3D printing community for quite a long time. Some people have been testing other types of filaments, such as Laywood, Nylon or HIPS filament.

HIPS stands for High Impact Polystyrene and is one of the most produced polymers worldwide. It is a flexible product widely used in the food packaging industry because of its strength, hygiene, and ability to retain heat.

HIPS filament is extruded from High Impact Polystyrene. It has bright natural white appearance and is considered to be safe to humans and animals. A blog published by 3DPPVD, a monthly meetup for 3D printer operators in the Providence, RI area, says they have discovered that HIPS can be used to print tearaway support structure.

When printing with an FDM 3D printer, such as a Makerbot or RepRap, you run into problems when printing objects that have large overhangs or bridges within your model. While SLS printers can use their extra material to make spacing for working mechanics within a print, that can be difficult to achieve in FDM prints. FDM printers can print support structures that are made with excess printing material, which can later be torn away, however this excess material must be on the outside or accessible within the print.

Earlier last year Thingiverse user Tony Buser has printed a model uses polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as a support material. Once everything is printed and cooled, the PVA is dissolved away in a glass of water.

3DPPVD discovered the HIPS filament can be a new dissolvable support material. It can be printed together with ABS as dissolvable support material. HIPS is soluble in Limonene, a colourless liquid hydrocarbon that has a strong smell of oranges.

(Images credit: 3dppvd.org)

I made my prints with a Makerbot Replicator 1 with two extruders. My process was simple.

  1. Both extruders set to 235C.
  2. Heated bed set to 115 (HIPS sticks really well at this temp and I did not have any curling issues).
  3. Wait for print to fully cool. HIPS stays very pliable until it's cool and will bend when removing from your plate if not fully cooled.
  4. Place in a glass jar with enough limonene to cover for 24 hours, agitating as frequently as possible. Time may vary depending on the amount of material used, so monitor status every couple of hours.
  5. Remove your print and rinse in fresh water.

This technique could allow RepRapers to print objects with overhanging parts easily on their FFF 3D printers.

HIPS 1.8mm filament is available on Filaco for $20 for a 0.5kg (1.1lb) reel. Recommended printing temperatures: Nozzle – 230C, HBP covered with Polyimide Tape – 115C.

Thanks to Ken Cassetti for the tip!








Posted in 3D Printing Materials

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Tina wrote at 5/10/2016 9:30:34 PM:

Hello, What works good with HIPS? PETG is not compatible. We are trying to use it on our FFF Machine. Thx

ebatt wrote at 1/2/2015 3:51:37 PM:

ABS WONT ADHERE TO HIPS using hatchbox black ABS and gizmo dork natural hips, both materials print perfectly but they wont bond. ABS will not stick to hips raft just like this guy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IluKqvd2pK8

claydiz wrote at 6/13/2014 4:07:41 PM:

So HIPS worked just fine on your replicator 1? awesome!

jackhol wrote at 11/12/2013 12:30:15 PM:

can somebody tell me where i can buy the limonene?

7777773 wrote at 6/4/2013 8:51:32 PM:

Thanks for the heads-up! I'll give HIPS a try. -7777773

Dizingof wrote at 2/28/2013 4:44:46 PM:

Awesome! Now my complex organic designs can be 3d printed without much effort! thingiverse.com/dizingof

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