We’ve been struggling to get support material to work for many days now. So, I thought I’d query the hive mind of 3D Hubbers to find new things to try.

We print our models mostly in PLA because it doesn’t shrink like ABS and we don’t need the temperature resistance. PVA looks promising because it dissolves quickly in water. HIPS is cheaper but the solvent limonene is more expensive and an irritant. Our dual extruder is the Flashforge Creator Pro.

This is what failed already:

  • The long times required for HIPS to be dissolved damaged PLA models.
  • HIPS didn’t stick to the glass bed as PLA does.
  • HIPS printed on PLA raft didn’t stick.
  • PLA model printed on PVA support didn’t stick.

What else can we try?

  • BaronWilliams suggest to print PLA support under PETG or vice versa since apparently the 2 don’t bond together like PLA under PLA and can be clipped off more easily.
  • print PLA support under PETG and dissolve the former but it uses nasty chemical (drain cleaner)
  • lfenske asked about support material for PETG but got no detailed answers yet.
  • Airwolf recommend ABS with HIPS. Maybe we should change from PLA to ABS because it works better with HIPS. In any case, we had trouble getting HIPS to stick to the glass bed.
  • Maybe we need to print PVA/HIPS extra slow onto the raft or the glass bed to get it to stick? So far we’ve been using standard settings that work perfectly for PLA.

I really hope we can get that to work since peeling of PLA support under PLA models is a pain in the…

Hi jasu,

which temperatures did you target when printing with PLA on PVA support?

We actually have very good results using those two filaments together!

We use T-PVA and PLA filament from corix3D on a helloBEEprusa dual-extruder.

Running on a heatbed with 3M blue tape @50°C and filament temperatures both @210°C

works pretty well for us.

I hope this will help you in some way…

Cheers Daniel // IT4Race GmbH

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Use hips as support for abs. breaks away nicely. White on white works amazing

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Im interested in hearing how best to print PVA with PLA too. A couple of trials recently werent successful, just lots of oozing and not enough support. Im hoping to try again in the next week, so I will follow this thread with interest. Based on early tests I will likely build an ooze shield!

I use a thin film of PVA glue on the glass bed to help PLA to stick. Perhaps something like this would help your HIPS or PVA adhesion?

Use a water-based ‘washable’ PVA glue, if your part sticks too much you can wet it and the glue will release.

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Hi CR, thanks for getting back to us. We can get PLA to stick to the glass plate using a raft. The problem lies in that PVA and esp. HIPS have been very hard to put down. We’ve gotten the PVA raft to stick but then the actual PLA model on top often doesn’t stick to PLA. HIPS and PLA is the same problem. I’m looking for a detailed description of somebody who’s gotten any of these combinations incl. PETG and PLA to work.

Hi Bay3D, let us know what you find out. We can put down PVA using a raft (pictures to follow) but getting PLA to stick on top is tricky. It requires a relatively large and solid surface. We print PLA at 200°C and PVA at 190°C with 40°C heated glass bed on a Flashforge Creator Pro at very slow speeds. At standard Simplify3D speeds the PVA doesn’t stick. We’ve had trouble with the ooze shield because it’s alternating layers of PVA and PLA and those don’t stick well enough at 0.4mm thickness to build up a higher structure.

Hi Kevin, what are your exact print settings? I’d love to emulate your success. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of ABS because it shrinks when cooling causing esp. larger structures to warp up but if it works well with HIPS, I’m willing to try.

Hi Daniel, thanks for joining the discussion. PLA at 200, PVA at 190, bed at 40. Does T-PVA not have the same clogging problems at temperatures over 200? Do you have to print at very low speeds? Can you use partially filled support structures or do you have to make them solid for the PLA to be deposited on top. We are interested in printing proteins (see below) and if we could use hollow support that would go a long way in reducing material cost.
protein ribbon yellow w support red.png protein ribbon hollow Simplify support (only works w PLA currently).png

Yup, I use my PVA glue on the glass to print both PLA and PETG with no rafts. It makes a huge difference. I would expect it to work well with PVA filament too. HIPS im not sure about as I havent tried printing it myself, but I would say its definitely worth a shot. I make a mix of 5 parts water to 1 part PVA glue, put a small blob on the center of the bed (maybe 2-3 ml) and then spread it around evenly with a cloth. If you apply it to a hot bed it dries in minutes. I then give the surface a quick wipe with methylated spirits to remove any greasy finger marks before each print. The PVA film lasts for many prints without needing to be reapplied. I also run my bed a lot hotter than you which might be relevant. I print PLA at 80degC (which gives me about 60degC on the surface of my glass) and PETG at 100degC (so about 80degC on the print surface).