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06 Jul New product Launch: PolySupport and New Colour Selection in PolyMax
Polymaker, a company that pioneers in developing new 3D printing materials, has announced PolySupport™, a new support material for desktop FDM/FFF printers.
To date support has always been one of the most intimidating problems in FDM/FFF 3D printing. When materials such as PLA are used for both the model and the support in cases of single-extruder printers, the support structure is often very difficult to remove and can easily damage the part’s surface. Water soluble filaments such as PVA, while conceptually appealing, can perform poorly in practice as the materials generally have very limited shelf life. The material, by nature, absorbs large amounts of moisture from the atmosphere and quickly become unprintable. So if you have large prints that have printing time past 10 hours, you might want to invest in a very large vacuum chamber in order to try sustain your PVA’s printability.
“People, especially newcomers to 3D printing tend to think that they can click a button and print anything from any 3D model“, said Dr. Xiaofan Luo, the CEO of Polymaker, “but they will soon find out, and be frustrated by, how limited desktop 3D printing can handle complex parts, due to the lack of a good solution for support“.
As a result, most designers and experienced printer users are trying to avoid support as much as possible, by carefully designing the models (particularly the overhang portions), or breaking a complex model into multiple less complex pieces for separate printing and assembling them together. Doing so makes it difficult for 3D printing to become more a widely-adopted technology. Limiting the technologies true potential to only those who have the design skills to overcome the current problem with support material.
Polymaker, however, is committed to changing this, and PolySupport™ is the first step towards this goal. According to Polymaker, PolySupport™ is an entirely new support material and works differently from any other existing support material. It generates support structure that can be easily removed by hand or simple tools, while leaving no/ very little residual material or damage to the part surface. When printed as a raft or support material, PolySupport™ generates a very weak structural bond to the model it supports, meaning you can remove virtually any support structure in a matter of minutes by hand.
“PolySupport™ is really easy to use. In most cases you can simply peel off the support with you hand”, said Dr. Xiaofan Luo. The technology behind PolySupport™, as explained by Dr. Luo, is “the careful control and optimisation of interfacial adhesion between the support and the model; we have engineered PolySupport so it has just enough adhesion to ensure the support function, while the adhesion is also weak enough so one can easily initiate a interfacial fracture between the model and the support.”
To give you an example, below we have printed multiple parts with different support needs on different printers. From the left is the Hilbert cube, printed on the Makerbot Replicator 2X with PolyPlus PLA (Black) material as the models material and PolySupport (White) Material as the support. The support was removed in under 3 minutes with a pair of tweezers. The Peel Bunny from Meshmixer was printed on the FlashForge Creator Pro. With PolyPlus PLA (red) being used as the models material and PolySupport (White) used as the support material, the Support was removed under 2 minutes. Finally the Celtic Skull designed by 3DWP printed on the Up Plus 2nd Gen. This printer being a single extrusion printer both the skull model and its support material where printed in PolySupport. This model demonstrates that even when printed as the models material it creates wonderfully clean models and with its pearl like appearance give the model as beautiful shin. The support for this model was removed in under 7 minutes and as you can see even when printed in both model and support material PolySupport leaves no residual support or damage to the parts surface
PolySupport is easy to use and store. It prints reliably at 220-240 °C with no heated build plate required and in terms of handling, it is quite similar to PLA and has little or no sensitivity to moisture.
To see PolySupport in Action come visit our YouTube Channel and watch both our Promotional Video for PolySupport and our Demo Videos showing Support Removal. Finally don’t forget to download our User Guide that can be found on the PolySupport Store Page. In it you will find our recommended printing setting and conditions, as well as a general tip and tricks when printing Support material.
The material is now available on the Polymaker website (www.polymaker.com) and through selected distributors. For a limited time, Polymaker is offering a, one-time 10% discount coupon for purchases through their online store, too those who like/follow them on their social media channels and share pictures of your prints by posting photos on their Facebook page, tweet reviews and prints to their Twitter account and share YouTube videos to the world. Once posted Polymaker will contact those contributors with the discount coupon with 72 hours of the post.
New Colour Selection for PolyMax
On a final note, Polymaker have some very exciting news for all you PolyMax PLA enthusiasts. They have expanded PolyMax’s colour selection to six colours adding red, yellow, orange and blue to PolyMax’s currently available colours black and white so no more do you have to choose between stunningly colourful models and strong, durable parts. PolyMax’s new selection of colours will be available through our online store starting from today.