IVI 3D Printer | Forum

Can you use water-soluble support filaments?

I (a 3D printing virgin) read this recently; " Printing with supports can be can a major pain in the neck, a strenuous task that leaves you with a stringy and sloppy surfaced print. Thankfully, water-soluble support filaments, such as PVA and BVOH, have grown quite common on the desktop market. Instead of manually pulling plastic material apart, users can simply place their prints in water and let the H20 do all of the labour."

Will the IVI be able to print with two filaments and one of them be water-soluble? If you have you done a test and can you throw a link here to the results?

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To my knowledge, multi material printing is currently not supported. There might be a module in the future but for now it’s not a focus. At the very least, it seems like the printer is able to hold two spools which is a good start if there ever will be a multi material module.

It’s a feature I really want as well. (Mostly to print circuits with conducting filament inside my parts. But water soluble supports would be cool as well.)

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They plan to support multi filament, multi material later on. But they think that IVI is Mosaic Palette compatible. It’s a multi material multi filament add on. I have one for my Ender 3 pro. You can do water soluble supports in it with ease.

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Thank you NovemberMan. This Kickstarter will be my first ever 3D printer - in fact, I have never even seen one - so a lot of your reply is Greek to me but I did some research based on your text and came up with this; https://www.mosaicmfg.com/products/palette-2s which is not cheap, but does appear to be exactly what I asked for. I don’t know if the IVI equivalent will be a similar price - I guess time will tell. Thanks for a great response.

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The most common way to employ water soluble supports is to use a dual extruder printer which, for simple reasons of space constraints, is more difficult to deploy on a delta printer than a simpler cartesian model; something like the Geeetech A10M can be had for under $300.

Thanks Jonny, So is your advice that the IVI is not the best 3d printer to go for (forgetting the CNC and Laser modules) or is there a better process to use with the IVI to easily remove supporting structures, or :slight_smile: would Syzygy’s comment eventually work - wait for a potential future dual extruder? NovemberMan’s Mosaic Palette seems to be a compromise solution with the IVI, however, it comes at considerable cost.

It honestly depends on where you want to go with the hobby and your budget. For one thing, a 3in1 printer is usually compromised in one or more of its tasks but is a good space saver for those of us with very small work areas. Another thing is almost everyone ends up with more than 1 printer, either a larger/smaller of the same design or a different design. fwiw, I currently have 2 mini deltas, a medium size Ultimaker style printer, a small MP Select Mini and a very large 3in1 (400mm print bed) that can also be configured into a 300mm delta printer. Each of them has a different job in my small workspace.
As to supports: honestly they’re no big deal. Tune them properly and they do the job without being a big hassle to remove. People who have problems removing supports usually have the boundary set wrong between the support and the model so it gets way too attached. Or they’re trying something that needs more part cooling than their hot end can provide.

I’m backing the IVI because I like the design direction. The fact that the effector is suspended from the top of the printer leaves some intriguing possibilities for customized work platforms (including a mad scientist unlimited Z axis); most delta designs require the 3 towers to be replaced with longer rails. But if you’re thinking of modding the printer or adding dual extruders an encased delta design is not a good printer to start with. I try to recommend to newcomers to the hobby either going with an inexpensive, common starter printer with a big support community (like A8, Monoprice Select Mini, Ender3, etc) or going big with something like a Zortrax M200, Prusa Mk3, Ultimaker that’s ready out of the box.
TL;DR Supports are just a function of tuning both the printer and the slicer, something you’ll have to do anyway and can be more fo a hassle with dual extruder.

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Thank you for a comprehensive reply Jonny. Very helpful.

I print both with sla(resin cured by laser) and fdm (layers/lines of molten plastic).

In SLA I always print intricate, complex parts that need very small dimensions and can’t be easily post-processed except for some sanding. These SLA prints always have supports which you snap off and I might sand them.

For FDM I think I only printed once (maybe twice) with supports, the rest was without supports. Most parts that are designed for 3d printing (fdm) need no or very little support. I have designed most of my prints myself but also printed some files from thingyverse, specifically for my cr-10 upgrades.

So supports are not necessarily something you have to deal a lot with, however it depends on what you plan on printing.
Well designed functional parts can most of the time avoid the need for supports.
Even many props can often be printed without supports because they were designed with 3d printing in mind.

Supports are annoying mostly when you want to do little or no post-processing. If you plan on painting your models then it really doesn’t matter since you need to sand the part anyway.

HOWEVER if you’re planning on very specific things, such as little manual involvement, strong and complex functional parts/prototypes then yes you might need them. Unfortunately the mosaic palette won’t help you much then. It needs filaments that melt at approximately the same temperature. In my opinion it’s not worth it’s price unless you want to print multicolor models in basic materials.
If you want to print specialty filaments such as PC (300C) you need a dual extruder with different nozzles. Still if you need to do those kinds of things you wouldn’t buy an IVI to begin with.

If you’re new and trying to have some fun and get some useful prints then don’t worry about supports.

There are NO hobby printers that can print perfectly clean looking parts. Anything above 2000-3000 €/£/$ is not really a hobby printer in my opinion anymore.

The best available for well finished parts with minimal post processing is sls, however you’ll have to deal with a bunch of other things. The cheapest of these start as a kit a bit over 5000 €/£/ (Sintratec). I think the cheapest after that is 8000 or 9000 €/£/.

No printing technique is perfect, there are many reasons why 3d printing hasn’t replaced common manufacturing.

Something that might be very interesting for the IVI is having some mounting jigs and stuff so 3d parts can be post processed with the CNC module for surface finish. HOWEVER these will probably more people make.