EDUCATION

ColorFabb Introduces DPA-100 – Its First Dissolvable Support Material

dissolvable support material
dissolvable support material
Above: ColorFabb introduced its first dissolvable support material, DPA-100/Image Credit: ColorFabb

ColorFabb, one of the world’s leading manufacturer of premium FDM filaments, introduced DPA-100, its first dissolvable support material that can be dissolved even in mild alkaline solutions. DPA-100 can be effectively used as a support material with numerous ColorFabb materials.

DPA-100 is a dissolvable polyacrylate support material. A mild alkaline solution is needed to dissolve DPA-100 support material. Unlike PVA our DPA-100 is less sensitive to moisture uptake and offers better shelf-life and print performance over time.

3D PRINTING WITH DPA-100

dissolvable support material
Above: DPA-100 dissolvable support material/Image Credit: ColorFabb

The DPA-100 dissolvable support material is engineered to match with a variety of materials which can’t be supported by PVA due to bad adhesion to the build material. DPA-100 shows strong adhesion to PETG, ABS, ASA, PC and PA materials.

This means the DPA-100 is uniquely suited to match our co-polyester filament offering, nGen, colorFabb_XT, colorFabb_HT and PETG. DPA-100 is not recommended for use with PLA as build material due to the relatively high water temperature needed for dissolution.

The ideal settings for printing with DPA-100 are as below:

Parameter               DPA-100
Nozzle temperature 230-250C
Platform temperature 90-110C
Print speed 40-80 mm/s
Cooling fan 0% for best adhesion between layers
Standby nozzle temperature ~190C
Platform material PEI/BuildTak/Glass + adhesion promoter

 TECHNIQUE TO DISSOLVE DPA-100

dissolvable support material
Above: Dissolving process of DPA-100 in a mild alkaline solution/Image Credit: ColorFabb

A mild alkaline solution is needed to dissolve DPA-100 material. The part from which the support material is to be dissolved is dipped in the solution and is heated and stirred. Higher the temperature, faster the rate at which DPA-100 will dissolve.

The temperature you choose depends on the temperature resistance of your build material. In general 20 OC below the temperature resistance of your build material is a safe setting. Thicker models would be less likely to deform and can handle temperatures closer to softening temperature. The minimum pH value for the alkaline solution is >10. ColorFabb recommends using their DPA Detergent for making the alkaline solution.

3D PRINTING RECOMMENDATIONS

dissolvable support material
Above: Bicycle Helmet 3D printed in colorFabb nGen supported by DPA-100 on the Ultimaker S5 3D printer/Image Credit: ColorFabb/Neomek

Avoid Layer Delamination – DPA-100

Make sure the printing temperature is high enough so as to avoid the support structures from delaminating during the print. ColorFabb recommends to refer to the temperature settings for different materials when printing with DPA-100. Also it is advised that if the printer does not have an enclosure then it can be printed at a higher temperature range to avoid delamination of layers during the print.

Print with Build Material Brim

Use a brim around your model and support structures. If your slicer has the option select the build material to be used for printing the brim. This will help to keep the DPA-100 support structure in place. This is useful for thin and tall support beams to make sure these won’t tip over during the build. It also reduces warping of the DPA-100.

Solid Support Interface Layer and 0 Offset

This might not be a surprise for most users, but make sure to enable the interface support layers and make these solid for the best surface quality on the build material. In our testing we also set the support structure offset to 0, to ensure best chance of good adhesion between support and build material.

Dissolving the Material

For a faster material dissolving cycle, ColorFabb recommends the users to remove as much support material as possible before putting it in the alkaline solution. It is alo recommended that users wear eye protection and gloves when removing support material.

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