I really need to try and pin a process for using soluble supports and would appreciate any input from your collective experience.
I have been researching and there is a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the subject online.
I can see that stratasys printers appear to have have a good soluble material, but they are very obnoxiously priced for fdm printers. Does anybody know what polymer their soluble support material is? I presume this is a closely guarded secret so that they can charge the prices they do.
I have seen info about using water soluble pva support for pla. Problems are the cost of the pva, storage of the pva, and difficulty printing the pva, and importantly for me, I would like to be able to vapour smooth the finished parts, which cannot be done successfully with pla.
Then there is HIPS support for abs soluble in d-limonene. Again, not very successful trials according to whats posted online, plus the fact D-limonene is expensive and cannot be re-used, but I am still interested in looking into this further.
I have come across some old posts regarding using pla supports for abs which currently sounds the most interesting to me, but there doesn’t seem to be any recent information on this leading me to believe that this technique may not be that good. The info basically said to dissolve the pla in a sodium hydroxide solution in an ultra sonic cleaner. I certainly want to run some trial on this.
Basically has anyone had any success with soluble supports for a base material which can be vapour smoothed, and can recommend a good material combination, or is this the holy grail which has not yet materialized yet?
I’m not adverse to working with various chemicals, as we already have chemicals at my company and we have relevant PPE / ventilation and waste disposal contracts in place etc.
Like I said, I have already read all the doom and gloom, so please don’t repeat this back at me, would just like to hear if anybody has had any success to hopefully save me a bit of time in the trials before I start going down the wrong path.
Thanks very much guys.