3D printing support material is essential for some of the more complex designs to be properly printed. Because of the technical requirements of the FFF technology, thermoplastic can only be extruded on to solid material, whether the 3D printer's build plate or a previously extruded layer of the print. Any 3D printing material extruded into the air, called an overhang, will simply fall and ruin the print.
You can always design your 3D print to include all kinds of scaffolding, which supports those overhangs, but when the scaffolding is made of the same material, it can be difficult to cleanly remove it from the print, resulting in a somewhat rough underside on your otherwise gorgeous printed part.
All of this can be avoided by using dissolvable, or water-soluble, support material in your 3D printer's second extruder. You can achieve the same scaffolding structure for your overhangs, but once your print is complete, simply submerge the entire print in water for several hours (depending on the amount of support filament used), and the PolyDissolve S1 will be gone, dissolved into the water, and your 3D print will remain, ready for display or installation.
The before and after of a print that requires support material
The key to properly using support filament is the layer where support stops and the actual print begins. This interface layer is pivotal to making certain the support material actually holds up the overhang. PolyMaker designed PolyDissolve S1 specifically to ensure an excellent interface, no matter the supported material.
Printing temperature is another crucial element, as every material has an effective temperature range, and if your printing and support materials' print temps don't overlap, the interface layers simply won't adhere. To insure a good interface, and thus good support, make sure to print only with supported materials, and using a print temp that's good for both the material and the PolyDissolve.
Put simply, MatterHackers is the smart place to shop for all things 3D printing and digital manufacturing. The MatterHackers pros are here to partner with you through every step of your journey turning idea into reality and here are just a few of the perks you’ll receive as a customer:
Have a question about this MatterHackers PolyMaker PolyDissolve S1 Support Filament (0.75kg)? Looking for a recommendation? No problem. Feel free to contact us.