3D Systems announced the availability of a soluble support plastic for use in their Cubify line of personal 3D printers.
The new material is called “Infinity™ Rinse-Away Support” and should dramatically simplify the use of support structures when printing on 3D Systems’ Cubify products.
How does it simplify things? Previously, Cubify owners would have to use “break away” support, in which extra material is printed and then pulled off the printed model afterwards. This approach works reasonably well, except for two issues.
First, the breakaway supports usually leave tiny protrusions where they temporarily attached to the actual model. These have to be filed down, snipped off or smoothed in some fashion.
Secondly, there are many geometric scenarios where you can’t effectively use breakaway support. Consider the case where an object has a roof that requires support – and that support would be inside the object! You can’t get at it to pull it off!
Up to now, Cubify owners could not practically print these complex geometries. Now, the Infinity support material changes that. While it prints in the same way as breakaway supports, you don’t need to pull them off by hand. Instead, you simply dunk the print into hot water and it softens and eventually dissolves. Softening would be sufficient to ease manually pulling off some support structures, but a good soak can get rid of internal support structures.
The Infinity support material is available for the Cube generation 3 and better, as well as the CubePro. Cartridges cost USD$49 and USD$99 respectively.