Dissolvable Support Gearbox

by tbuser, published

Dissolvable Support Gearbox by tbuser Oct 8, 2011

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This is a simple demo object. It has gears on shafts inside a shell and would require internal support structures that would be pretty difficult to remove without support that dissolves.

Update: It worked! I've had trouble getting PVA to stick to ABS, however it sticks pretty well to PLA when you extrude both at around 210c. Here's a video:


Update 2013-02-04:

Also works with dissolvable HIPS filament supporting ABS. See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tbuser/8522775217/in/photostream

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instead of making a second 3d file, that fills the others overhangs out, is it possible to set the raft to be printed by the secondary extruder?

instead of making a second 3d file, that files the others overhangs out, is it possible to set the raft to be printed by the secondary extruder?

Very cool. Amusing: googling for "dissolve HIPS" does not result in any relevant info to this topic.

Yeah, and whenever I enter hips into chrome search bar, it keeps auto-completing hipster :)

Context sensitive search!

OK, so I have HIPS filament and Lemonine on the way. Dp you have any advice? Do I dissolve HIPS in 100% Lemonine? A 10% solution in water? Let it sit, or do I need an agitator?

I used 100% limonene. I'd like to try adding an agitator to speed it up, but I mostly just shook it ever few hours. Depending on how much support you use or if it's internal support like this gearbox it can take anywhere from a few hours to a day or more.

Where did you find filament? What machines are you guys using? I have a replicator 2x and I'd love to be able to use dissolving supports.

How did you get the raft to work with dual extrusion? I thought you couldn't use a raft with dual heads in replicator. I'm trying to get ABS and PVA to work but the PVA only sticks to the HBP at a different temp then the ABS so I thought a raft would solve the problem.

The trick is to use PVA and PLA, not ABS. PLA and PVA stick together better.

What temp are you using for the HBP for PVA/PLA?

It's amazing what dual extrusion makes possible. Just awesome, so many possibilities. Well done, Tony!

Im a complete 3d printing noob at the moment, i backed the the printrbot and of course anxiously awaiting its arrival, but is it necessary to have a dual nozzle/extruder to print with suppot material?


To print support in a second material like water soluble PVA like I did here - yes, you need dual extruders.

Awesome work Tony! :) 8-)

There are three polishers/agitators at the BotLair from Project Shellter. Put your part and water in a ziploc bag and toss into one of them. The agitation should speed up the dissolving time considerably!

This needs to be featured! :) (and as a bonus it has the makerbot logo on it :)

Hmm.. I think I have to upgrade my printer... NOW!! ;)

Very nice :)

What if you printed this so it was on its side? Seems like it would drastically reduce the amount of support needed, right? You'd really only need support where the pins go through the gears if the housing was designed properly. And if that were the case you could get enough leverage on breakaway support to just crank everything to remove it.

Maybe I'll draw up a gearbox and see how possible it really is!

Hmm, even sideways, I think it would be difficult with such a long narrow space between the shell up to the shafts. I'd suggest you give it a try with this model and see if you can make it work instead of making another one. :)

Besides, I'm hoping with dissolvable support, you don't have to worry so much about designing the part to be printable, you just design the part the way you want it.

I'm still waiting for my Ultimaker to show up! But when it does I'll see how this prints sideways I suppose.

And yeah with dissolvable support a whole lot is possible. It is interesting to think about gearboxes that don't need dissolvable support though.

Every model you upload is more impressive than the last, keep up the good work!

Man, that is exciting.

Nice work! Yet again. With you it only gets better.