To properly 3D-Print with Flexible filament, a nozzle temperature between 200 – 210 oC is required. To start, choosing a temperature of 205 oC would be recommended. When the nozzle temperature is too low, the Flexible filament wont liquefy properly and will cause under extrusion. Read: How to prevent under-extrusion during 3D-printing.
PVA filament requires extra slow 3D-Printing speeds. This is because the filament itself is made out of a flexible material which can easily bend under high stress. If the 3D-Printer tries to print fast, a lot of filament is pushed into the heating chamber which can then buckle under the stress and cause a clog within the nozzle. Recommended speeds for PVA filament are under 25 mm/s.
PVA filament does not suffer much from warping during 3D-Printing. We recommend using your cooling fan on a high or medium setting during 3D-Printing. A lot of cooling during printing gives the best results because it prevents sagging and messy melts. In this article, the importance of cooling is carefully explained with some different cooled samples.
3D-Printing with PVA filament requires a heated bed to prevent warping. The temperature of the heated bed needs to be at 60 oC minimum. The recommended temperature for the heated bed lies between 50 – 70 oC. Still experiencing warping? Take a look how to prevent warping.
To prevent PVA 3D-Prints from warping, a good adhesion with the heated bed is essential. This can be easily accomplished with Kapton tape or spray. The Kapton material will act as an adhesive to make sure the 3D-Print cannot warp and break loose from the heated bed during 3D-Printing. Kapton tape and spray are available on our website.
PVA Filament dissolves in water. PVA is therefore mostly used as a support material and can be removed from the 3D-print with normal water.
Dissolving PVA is fairly easy but can take some time. Submerging your 3D-Print in a container filled with water for a couple of hours will make sure that the PVA support material is properly removed from your 3D-Print. A cube (20x20x20 mm) with 0.8 mm thick walls and 20% infill takes about 2 hours to fall apart and 12 hours to completely dissolve. Refreshing the water in the container halfway will speed up the dissolving process because the water will get saturated over time with PVA plastic.
Storing PVA for a prolonged period of time (>3 weeks) should be done within a plastic bag which is kept air tight with enough moisture absorbing packages inside. Buying cheap vacuum bags would be an even better solution. These bags can easily be deflated by using a vacuum cleaner and will keep the PVA from absorbing moisture from the surrounding air. If you are worried that your PVA spool might be contaminated with moisture, drying the spool in a hot air oven for about 6 hours on 60 – 70 oC will de-moisturize the PVA to prevent it from boiling when being 3D-Printed.