In 2016, eco-friendly 3D printing filament manufacturers 3D-Fuel and 3Dom (made up of 3Dom USA and 3Dom Europe) teamed up to form 3DomFuel, still commonly known as 3D-Fuel, in order to mutually expand production capabilities and develop high-quality, eco-friendly 3D printing materials under one roof. As 3Dom had previously developed filament lines made from the waste byproducts of beer and coffee, and 3D-Fuel had experience in turning materials like garbage into viable filaments, the conglomerate decision made a lot of sense. The company is able to put renewed focus into its materials development, and it also has increased R&D capabilities. Now 3D-Fuel is back with another new 3D printing material…and this one is water soluble.
3D-Fuel’s latest is called HydroSupport. We’ve seen water-soluble filaments before from the likes of Airwolf 3D (for use with ABS and PLA-printed objects), 3D Systems (for use with PLA-printed objects), and Graphene Laboratories, so it will be interesting to see how 3D-Fuel’s material stacks up to the competition. HydroSupport is nontoxic, and 3D-Fuel says it can simply be rinsed down a sink drain without harming wildlife or the surrounding environment – staying right in line with 3D-Fuel’s eco-friendly mission.
HydroSupport has a high tensile strength, and feels like PLA material once printing is completed; the company says it’s also much easier to print with than PVA filament. The material completely dissolves when submerged in water, and there are two ways of removing the supports. If you want to dissolve the HydroSupport material completely, you can soak the 3D printed object for 12 to 24 hours. If you’d rather work the supports off easily by hand, you only need to soak objects for a few hours. Either way, to speed up the process, you can use warm water and agitation, such as a heated ultrasonic tank.
An important thing to remember is that because this material breaks down in water, it is sensitive to high levels of humidity in the air, so it’s best to store unused HydroSupport in a sealed container, with desiccant, to keep it safe and continue getting the best possible results.
So, what can you use water soluble HydroSupport filament for? 3D-Fuel says it’s perfect for use as a support material to 3D print deep cavities, larger overhangs, and objects that have an intricate inner geometry. 3D-Fuel’s test lab uses many different 3D printer brands to test its materials, such as FlashForge, MakerBot, and LulzBot, in order to make sure that the filament it manufactures is of the highest possible quality.
All of 3D-Fuel’s 3D printing filaments are manufactured, depending on customer location, in one of its two production facilities, located in Moville, Ireland and Fargo, North Dakota. The HyrdoSupport material comes in a clear, natural color, on a 500 gram plastic reel, which is kept safe from moisture during shipment by a desiccant packet vacuum seal. The material is currently available for $64.99, in 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameter spools.
Have you used this material? Let us know in the 3DomFuel forum at 3DPB.com.
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