Wednesday 14 September 2016

3D Printing and support material processing of the Steampunk Octopus

More about the Steampunk Octopus 3D Print.

Many people asked for more details and information about printing and processing the Steampunk Octopus, so here it is.

This was originally an experiment designed to test out settings for Simplify3D on the BCN3D Sigma 3D Printer, but that quickly also transformed into a project I could do with my daughter.

Since this had a large and complex both to print, the support material settings could be tested, and because this model also has many, many separate segments we decided to test out printing the leg parts of various different 3D printers, with different hot-ends, extruders and cooling requirements for the different materials being used.

I have to say a big thank you to the designer of the Ball-joint articulated octopus
model - Ellindsey. It has some different head options and they are a lot of fun to print and build up.

You can also watch this and many more of my video's in HD over on YouTube here.

As you will see from the video, support material removal can be quite a challenge. For some models you just can't use the same material as the main model.

We had fun making this up, and as you can see in the video it's also a good learning experience - thermoplastic softens with a heat-gun or hairdryer and that makes it easier to fit leg segments together.

After a few different test prints, all the leg segments were printed without using any support material.

We spotted that many of the leg segments did not require any support material at all. When using a slightly bigger nozzle size of 0.6mm, you can get a really good overhang greater than 70 degrees.

Water soluble PVA material - make sure you keep it really dry and do not run at temperatures over 200 Degrees - Stick to 195 Degrees C and do not leave it in the hot-end for extended time at temperature without extruding.

I'm currently doing some further testing on a soluble support material from E3D called Scaffold, more info about support material removal in this post here.

Scaffold - Soluble and PVA based but modified to work with more materials and changes to viscosity. Available from E3D.

I have also used PVA based support materials and various other solutions - one being PolySupport from Polymaker (Many thanks for the sample filament roll Ben @ Hawk3DProto).

Polymaker Polysupport - an easy to remove support material - works well with many types of material - not soluble.

Ideally we would all like to use an easy to remove or even better, a water soluble support material that is compatible with many different 3D Printing materials.

The next time I get a tricky to print 3D model, I will compare and challenge these support materials and let you know how I get on.

Thanks for reading, please pop back again soon and catch up with me on the following -

Twitter - @Richrap3d
Google+ - RichardHorne_RichRap3D
YouTube Channel RichRap

Until next time, happy printing.


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