|Density / Specific gravity||1.23 g / cm3|
|Solubility||Water & Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)|
|Max roundness deviation||0.10mm|
|Net filament weight||350g / 750g|
|Filament length||~45m / ~96m|
|Melting temperature||163 °C|
|Melt mass-flow rate (MFR)||17-21 g / 10 min|
|Glass transition||58.4 °C|
|Flash point||>70 °C|
|Ignition Temperature||440 °C|
|Thermal Decomposition||>210 °C|
|PVA Removal Station|
|Dimension||303 x 325 x 374 mm (11.9 x 12.8 x 14.7 in)|
|Container volume||13.7 liters|
|Maximum part size||200 x 230 x 165 mm (7.8 x 9 x 6.4 in)|
|Rotor speed||225 RPM (normal)|
|100 RPM (low)|
|Operating sound||< 50 dBA|
|Supported materials||Optimized for: PLA and PVA|
|Also suitable for: PETG, Tough PLA, Nylon, or CPE in combination with PVA|
|(Also supports equivalent third-party materials)|
Desktop 3D printing has evolved from its initial purpose of rapid prototyping to practical and functional applications in homes and businesses. One of the rising methods in 3D printing is fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology. The nature of FFF requires a support material when printing complex geometries, overhangs, and internal cavities.
The water-soluble Ultimaker PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) is a support material designed for dual extrusion 3D printing. Its solubility and adhesion make it ideal for printing complex models, which require support for deep internal cavities, large overhangs, and intricate geometries.
Ultimaker PVA has a melting temperature of 163 ºC. The water-soluble material dissolves in tap water and DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide). The adhesion properties are profound in PLA, Tough PLA, PETG, CPE, and Nylon. As it dissolves in ordinary tap water, the nontoxic formula is safely disposable without any hazardous by-products. On top of these is its thermal stability, which resists degradation more and makes it less moisture-sensitive than other PVA filaments.
The filament has a diameter of 2.85±0.10mm, with a maximum roundness deviation of 0.10mm. It is available in 350g and 750g filament weights with approximately 45m and 96m filament lengths, respectively. The mass-flow rate (MFR) ranges from 17-21g per 10min.
Post-processing – Dissolving
Using PVA as a support material requires post-processing for removing PVA, which only requires dissolving it in water for hours. The process leaves no trace afterward and finishes faster when stirred, done with warm water or running water, and manually removed using pliers. Water rinsing the print after totally dissolving the PVA supports will remove any excess PVA trace.
Disposing of the used water is easy given PVA’s biodegradable nature. A drain with a water distribution network connected to a treatment plant will suffice for the disposal. However, running hot water over the drain for about 30s will help remove traces of saturated PVA, avoiding long-term clogging concerns.
The Ultimaker 3 series, Ultimaker S3, and Ultimaker S5 printers officially support Ultimaker PVA using a BB print core. It also works for dual extrusion with other Ultimaker materials, such as Tough PLA, PLA, Nylon, PETG, and CPE. There is no print profile for single-extrusion printers as Ultimaker PVA works as a support material for dual-extrusion prints.
Recommended settings and configuration
Ultimaker PVA will print at 215-225 °C, while the build plate temperature requirement is 60 °C for printing as a single material. When used as a support material, the build plate temperature will be that of the accompanying build material.
Ultimaker PVA adheres perfectly to a heated glass plate, but the adhesion method may vary depending on the accompanying build material. The process requires a thin glue layer to the glass plate for PVA. When used as a single material, the brim is the default type of adhesion aside from the thin glue layer. When printing with other materials, the recommended adhesion method is that of the accompanying material.
Printing in a room with below 28 °C ambient temperature and <50% relative humidity minimizes PVA moisture upon opening the filament. It is best to store after-print spools in resealable bags along with the supplied desiccant.
Ultimaker PVA Removal Station
PVA Removal Station hastens PVA removal up to four times than using motionless water. The station has 13.7L of water housed in a 303 x 325 x 374mm container. It can process a maximum part size of 200 x 230 x 165mm. A magnetic rotor circulates the water inside up to 225 RPM or 100 RPM for more fragile parts. This rotor changes direction every 2 minutes, pushing water evenly against the material.
Meanwhile, a rinsing basket secures the print in place, completely submerging it while dissolving and lifting it for draining and print removal. The transparent illuminated container gives users a view of the PVA removal process so they can track its progress. Lastly, a saturation indicator tells if it is time to refresh the water.