Leapfrog Introduces Improved PVA Material

By on October 12th, 2013 in Hardware

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Leapfrog 3D printers introduced a new type of PVA filament for 3D printing that, according to them, “actually works”.  
PVA is a different kind of plastic. It’s not ABS nor PLA, but something different. Because it isn’t ABS or PLA it can be used as a support material for both, but it’s most interesting property is that it can be quickly dissolved in water. Imagine printing a very complex shape with tons of support material, then simply tossing the print in a bucket of warm water and watching the supports dissolve cleanly away. Check out the spider above, which was printed with PVA and is seen after the PVA dissolved. 
Other vendors have offered PVA, including MakerBot, who we believed offered it first some years ago. However, they no longer offer it and instead have something called “MakerBot Dissolvable Filament” that works only with ABS. 
Leapfrog says: 
After much research and experimentation we now introduce the first PVA that does not get in the way of you and your happy printing by boiling in your nozzle or messing up your print in any other way. PVA dissolves in (hot) water, so it is the perfect support material for your PLA or ABS prints. 
Apparently their formula is “100% PVA” and is “not diluted with additives”, which apparently occurs on competitive PVA offerings. 
The improved PVA can be stored in a safer manner because it does not absorb humidity from the air as fast as other PVA. It dissolves completely in about “half an hour”. 
If you’d like to try their PVA, it’s for sale today at a cost of  €69 (USD$94) per 500g. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!