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To date, the water-soluble filament PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) has been used to support overhanging structural parts in 3D printing. PVA is nevertheless difficult to process and requires careful storage to prevent the unwanted absorption of humidity. These problems should be a thing of the past when it comes to using the special filament SmartSupply from the Baden-Wuerttemberg-based company Multec.

A second extruder dispenses the material at around 220 °C during the printing process, thus creating supporting structures for overhanging parts on the 3D print product. Thanks to its optimized material properties, SmartSupport is not only better suited in combination with workpieces made of PLA (polylactide) or PLA-HT , but also easier to process on large surface areas and can be removed without residue. The printed product can thus do without further post-processing. Nor does the food grade material have any special storage requirements. The tool service provider HAHN+KOLB plans to present the new filament at the Metalworking Exhibition (AMB) in Stuttgart from September 18 to 22.

Ultimaker is pursuing a similar objective with its support material Breakaway , which likewise avoids the disadvantages of PVA while minimizing post-processing.