When it comes to FDM/FFF based 3D printing, there is nothing that unnerves me more than having to spend time removing support material from printed objects. There have been cases where I have spent 4 hours (no joke) removing support material from an object that took just 3 hours to print. There have been other times when I’ve destroyed 3D printed objects trying to pry away stubborn supports. I know others who have actually harmed themselves in the process, needing to visit the emergency room to get stitches on their fingers and hands due to the sharp tools required for the process.
Today, 3D Systems comes to the rescue, with their all new InfinityTM Rinse-Away water-soluble support material. This material, which is being made available for the Cube and CubePro desktop 3D printers, completely dissolves in water, meaning the days of prying, sanding, and cutting away support material are a thing of the past.
“We are thrilled to expand our desktop printing materials with the introduction of Infinity Rinse-Away soluble support material, enabling never-before-possible results from consumer 3D printers,” explained Peter Theran, Vice President of Global Consumer Products, at 3D Systems. “We are excited to see the amazing things that our growing user base will do with these powerful new capabilities.”
The new Infinity material is made up of biodegradable, corn-based plastic and is compatible with objects printed in PLA. Using the 3D Systems’ Cubify App, or the client software for the CubePro 3D printer, supports are automatically generated and optimized for very fast dissolving and a “swift breakaway”.
3D Systems is marketing this new material as a means for printing more complex objects with better articulation, suspension and movement. The material will certainly make printing objects that feature many small, moveable parts much easier than with the more traditional methods. Once an object comes off of the print bed, it can be put into a bowl of water, where the Infinity support material will literally melt away. It is 100% safe to pour the dissolved material down a drain in your home, making cleaning up very simple as well.
It should certainly be interesting to see how well this new filament sells, and how many designers, artists and hobbyist begin utilizing it for their complicated prints. As for pricing, the Infinity Rinse-Away cartridges are available starting at $49 for the Cube 3D Printer and $99 for the CubePro. Be sure to check out the video series on this material to see how others have used it to create truly breathtaking objects.
What do you think about this new material from 3D Systems? Will you consider purchasing it for your Cube or CubePro 3D printer? Discuss in the Infinity Rinse-Away Support Material forum thread on 3DPB.com.