After weeks of trying, I am about to give up on PLA and soluble support on a Raise3D N2. I know that this is possible with other printers (Prusa, Ultimaker), which is mystifying.
I started out trying PLA with PVA from Ultimachine. Their PVA proved to be a bit too runny. If I printed it cool enough to not dribble, then it did not bond well with the build plate or the PLA. If I increased the temperature, it dribbled. I gave up on that.
I then tried Verbatin BVOH. The BVOH prints very nicely for small prints. It prints well at 210, so both the PLA and BVOH can melt into each other nicely. The BVOH also separates from the PLA nicely after the print is complete. But this is only for small prints.
For a large and complex print, things just never work properly. Bugs in the IdeaMaker slicer prevent brims from being printed around the support towers when a wipe wall is used. When a wipe tower is used, the tower is needlessly far away, and while the brims are printed around the support towers, they just touch the outermost edges of the support towers. This does not provide much adhesion to the middle of the tower. The base of the support tower should be solid. And it needs to be made of BVOH, not of PLA. Because the brims are made of PLA, and because PLA and BVOH do not bond well, the brims are not very useful for the BVOH support towers. They separate from the build plate after an hour or so.
I switched to a raft (which I dislike because of the "waste" of time and materials), but that fails for the same reason as above. The raft is made of PLA, and while BVOH sticks well to the build plate, it does not stick well to PLA. Thus, the support towers do not stick to the raft. These prints fail more quickly than the prints that use a brim.
Have any of you successfully printed large and complex prints with PLA and any soluble support material? I know that Raise3D claimed to have done that in the past, but they do not sell the PVA they used, so that is not useful to me. I am sure that the characteristics of the specific soluble support is critical to success here.
I purchased this printer to do this specific job, and it is frustrating how difficult it is to get this working. Any constructive comments would be appreciated.
Topics around mechanical design, controller and electronics. Mods & hacks welcome.
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I've used HIPS in the past; but it can get a bit messy. I recently began to experiment with Polysmooth from Polymaker. It is a plastic that becomes soft & will eventually dissolve in isopropyl alcohol. Unfortunately; shortly after I began to play with this; my heatbed's 3-pin connector literally fell off of the platform (Solder and all); so I'm waiting on my service ticket to be proecessed; before I can experiment further. Since most disolvable materials tend to be far more expensive than PLA, I have also been experimenting with the new Dense support layers feature in Simplify3d V. 4. (instead of using Idamaker.) It allows you the option to use your primary (in this case PLA) extruder for most of your support structure; then use a denser layer from your secondary extruder (where you would have your dissolvable material) where the support layer comes in contact with your print. Of course; this would not work for items where you need to remove internal support structures. In such cases, all of your support would need to be from the dissolvable material. Once again; I would recommend trying the Polysmooth for now. (I recently sent an email to Polymaker about this use of Polysmooth and they indicated that they are actually working on a modified version of Polysmooth; specifically for use as a support material; but no timeline on when it might be released.) For now, try the Polysmooth and see if it works for you.
Hi, could you please publish your settings for the BVOH? I'm just trying to make it work for my N2 with PETG
I can't speak for PLA but I have had a ton of issues with ABS compatible soluble supports. I have tried HIPS and Hydrofill, I was able to get HIPS mostly working but it had some adhesion issues with the ABS, Hydrofill, I gave up on completely due to it's tendency to get too soft to be fed by either the stock or bondtech extruders when it got too warm (which it always did because of the enclosed print area and the conducted heat from the motors) this led to countless feed jams and burned filament in the extruder...
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