Jan 5, 2017

California-based Airwolf 3D today announces the release of HydroFill Water-Soluble Support, the world's first highly effective washable support material for large ABS and PLA parts.

Designed for use with any brand of compatible Fused Filament Fabrication 3D printer, the new filament withstands high temperatures, strongly bonds with ABS and PLA plastics and rinses away with water.

Until now, the most basic method of employing support is to use the same material that is used for the object being printed. Here, the support is erected similarly to scaffolding on a building and "props up" any steeply angled overhangs. Referred to as "breakable" support, this type of support is effective, but can be messy, time-consuming, and difficult to remove by mechanical breakage or trimming.

"Some objects are even impossible to print because while the internal geometry of the part requires internal support, the outer portion of the design makes it extremely difficult, even impossible, to get inside the object in order to remove its internal support material," said Airwold 3D. Many have tried to solve this problem with support structures that are supposed to dissolve in water or various chemicals, but none of them have proven very successful.

"Since we started Airwolf 3D over four and a half years ago, our customers have been asking for a soluble support option that truly works," said Airwolf 3D Co-Founder and Lead Designer Erick Wolf. "We finally formulated the first real, water-soluble filament in the world and one of the things that makes HydroFill really unique is that it works beautifully when making large ABS parts. Even when exposed to high temperatures, HydroFill maintains its structural integrity while still rinsing away easily with water."

Hydrofill Water Soluble Support was developed at Airwolf 3D in conjunction with Prof. Miodrag ‘Mickey’ Micic, Sc.D., Ph.D., a department chairman and professor of engineering design technology at Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA.

"HydroFill is a proprietary, polymer-blend formulation that is ideal for printing soluble toolings as well as rafts for large-surface-area parts," explained Prof. Micic. "It is the first viable soluble support material in the world that dissolves in clean water without the use of any caustic chemicals, detergents, or solvents and without the use of special equipment like ultrasonic or heated baths. HydroFill is a universal, green chemistry solution."

HydroFill Water-Soluble Filament is priced at $98 and will be available in both 1.75 mm and 2.88mm diameters.

Features:

  • Most HydroFill structures dissolve in 1 hour or less
  • Strongly bonds to ABS, PLA
  • Readily soluble in clear water -- no need for solvents, caustic products, detergents, or special equipment
  • Prints at the same temperature as main print material (190-240°C)
  • Net weight: 2 lbs

Airwolf 3D will debut the soluble support material at CES 2017 in Booth #42838.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Materials

 

 

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Verins wrote at 1/23/2017 4:09:21 AM:

I'd love to know the effects it has on the environment once you dissolve it in water. Perhaps best to dissolve then allow the water to evaporate and reclaim the plastic..

Perry Engel wrote at 1/10/2017 11:29:27 PM:

This really could be a game changer. I would imagine engineering solutions and prototype makers would really be excited by this. I hope they do a more detailed follow up article on this as This is the first really decent support solution I have seen to date. For those of us who have to wrestle with designing around the constraints of support-free or removable support, this really does change the design choices.



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