The Makers Lab uses a variety of 3D printing filament with the most common being:
- PLA (cheap, reliable, corn based)
- PET-G (petroleum based, food safe)
- PVA (water-soluble, used commonly for support structure, see more information below)
- TPU (flexible)
3D Printing with PVA
Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) is a soft and biodegradable polymer that dissolves in water. It is used as support material for 3D prints with complex geometries, such as protein structures, where plastic supports would be otherwise impossible to remove. The LulzBot TAZ 6 Dual Extruder and Ultimaker 3 support dual-extrusion 3D printing with PVA. Learn how to set up dual-color 3D prints using dual-extrusion.
Once your print is finished, you can dissolve the PVA support structure. To dissolve, submerge the PVA in some warm water and stir the solution occasionally. Change water if it becomes saturated with the PVA or stops dissolving steadily.
Contact the Makers Lab or speak with a staff member to request a PVA print.