What is PVA Filament?

PVA or Polyvinyl Acetate is one of the types of 3d printer filaments on the market today. It is mostly used as a support material for 3d printers that have a multi-extruder. One notable property of PVA filament is its ability to dissolve in water. This is great for those perfectionists out there because it doesn’t leave any nasty marks on the print after it has been removed from the 3d printed model.

PVA is a filament that is better used with printers that have multiple extruder nozzles which mean that the printer can print more than one filament material at a time. The Ultimaker 3 is one of the 3d printers out there that allows you to do just that.

Most standard printers do not have the ability to print more than one material at the same time. This means that the main part and the support end up being made by the one single material. After the print is completed, the supporting material needs to be carefully removed and can potentially ruin the final print and even cause breakages on the model. The removal of support material proves to be more difficult the more complex the print is.

When objects are printed with support material is the same as the standard model’s material, the removal of the support material can be very tricky and tedious and can be more prone to breaking as mentioned above. On the other hand, if you are using a multi-extruder printer, then PVA filament is the material you want in order to avoid breaking the model or leaving unwanted marks and prints on the final product.

The Dissolvability of PVA Filament is Handy for Large and Complex Prints

Think about it this way. Imagine that you are printing a huge and complex model from your printer. You only own a single extruder printer and therefore you can only print with a single material. When the printing process is done, you then need to go along very, very carefully and begin to remove the support material. After a lot of time consumption, you have then removed all the support, but marks from the support material still remain.

That is why a multi-extruder printer is best because you can print your model with the normal material you planned to use, then you can print the support with PVA at the same time. With the PVA filament, you can then dissolve all the support material and even the hard to reach parts without compromising the end result of your 3d printed model.

What Material Prints Best Alongside PVA?

Nylon filament and PLA both work very well together with PVA. This is because they require very similar temperatures needed to operate properly.

PLA and PVA are the best combination of filaments to print together. This is because PVA is a hydrophilic material, which means that it is dissolvable in water. PLA is a non-hydrophilic material, which means that it will not dissolve in water. These two work well together because you can soak the 3d printed model in water for 24 hours and dissolve the PVA entirely without compromising the quality of the PLA filament.

What Temperatures are Recommended when Printing with PVA?

The temperature range for PVA depends on the brand of filament you are using. If you are using one of Go 3D’s filaments, the heating temperature should be around 190 degrees Celsius. This is the melting point for PVA filament.

Not too sure if you want to invest in a whole roll of filament? Lucky for you, Go 3D has options in which you can order a sample before committing to the entire thing.