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Soluble Slicing

Prusa Releases Water Soluble Support Upgrade for Slic3r Prusa Edition

Picture of Tyler Koslow
by Tyler Koslow
August 10, 2017

The latest update of Slic3r Prusa Edition will improve printing with water soluble supports for Prusa i3 MK2 users. 

Printing with supports can be can be 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 labor.

Josef Prusa, founder of the esteemed 3D printing manufacturer Prusa Research, has announced an upgrade to Slic3r Prusa Edition that will improve printing with water soluble supports for the Prusa i3 MK2/MK2S 3D printer. All3DP got a sneak peak at these new slicer settings during a recent visit to Prusa Research, and now the software enhancement is officially available for the company’s widespread customer base.

Water Soluble Supports Made Easy For Prusa i3 MK2S 3D Printer

When using basic support, it’s usually difficult to manually remove the structure and still obtain a pristine surface finish. With water soluble material placed everywhere, the supported side comes out with a much smoother finish, but requires more material to be used. In the latest Prusa Slic3r Edition, this method is simplified within the NORMAL SOLUBLE FULL print settings.

However, when only using water soluble support for interface layers, users are able to preserve the pricey support material while also receiving a high quality finish. This setting only places the support material at the surface of the print, using cheaper material in between the water soluble layers. Simply insert the support material into extruder 4 and use the NORMAL SOLUBLE INTERFACE to utilize this feature.

Water soluble support for interface layers

After comparing BVOH with regular PVA, Prusa discovered that the former produces less stringiness and can be printed with PLA print settings. Additionally, it’s also easier to use and doesn’t absorb as much air humidity as PVA. However, if you make sure to store the filament properly in a sealed bag with desiccant, either material type should work with this slicer feature.

The Prusa team has continuously offered both hardware and software upgrades to their users. Over the last year, the Czech Republic-based manufacturer unveiled a multi-material upgrade and an overall performance overhaul that transformed the MK2 into the MK2S.

In the same fashion, Slic3r Prusa Edition has also been under constant renovation, recently adding the Smooth Variable Layer Height feature and making the overall slicing process faster and easier. With the latest improvement to water soluble support structures, Prusa continues to keep its users one step ahead of the desktop 3D printing curve.

(From L to R) Regular supports, water soluble supports everywhere, water soluble support only on interface layers

Source: Prusa

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