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For a university project, my partner and I need to print the robot Poppy. This is an open source robotic project, poppy-project.org.

We are printing it with a double extruder SpiderBot with PLA and HIPS as support material. Our principal issue is the weakness of the pieces we print.

It prevents us from removing the support material without damaging the piece. We don't have the chemicals to dissolve HIPS.

Have you some advice to make the pieces stronger, or a more gentle method to remove the HIPS?

Thanks for the replies

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  • $\begingroup$ I've read that lemon juice can be used if limonene isn't available. Have you tried this to dissolve HIPS? $\endgroup$ – Davo Apr 25 '17 at 14:11
  • $\begingroup$ We don't tried yet. Our teacher warn us about toxic gases form during the dissolution reaction. Have you more information about the dissolution reaction? $\endgroup$ – Cailloumax Apr 25 '17 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ I attempted recently to dissolve HIPS using tech-grade limonene, likely the most concentrated stuff available to the general public. It smells citrus-y and no toxins appeared to be created. No bubbling either. It completely dissolved the HIPS and most of the ABS part too! The MSDS for the chemical (sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9924496) suggests using a respirator. I suggest to not stick one's face into the liquid, normal distance and ventilation should be fine. $\endgroup$ – fred_dot_u Apr 25 '17 at 14:59
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Having a bit more experience since my comment post above, I can offer up a possible solution. If your printer is able to print ABS, it works great with HIPS as support material. I've been printing boatloads of ABS models. When support is needed, the HIPS supports will bond reasonably well to the ABS, but when cooled, flick off with a sharp pointed instrument such as a razor knife point.

As an additional reference, a good bond to the print bed is required for both ABS and HIPS and if your slicer allows support density adjustment, increase the support in that manner. My slicer (Simplify3D) would print an accordian type of support unless instructed otherwise. I set up for alternating 45° patterns making a denser but also more vertically rigid structure.

If you cannot print ABS, PLA and PVA as Ogre55 suggests is about your only option. I see from the 'net that the SpiderBot Pro supports ABS, which implies the basic version might not have a heated bed.

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Why not try using PVA(Polyvinyl alcohol) for support material.

I use it for my support material with PLA, and it dissolves in water.

here is a link to some on Amazon.
https://smile.amazon.com/eSUN-1-75mm-filament-natural-0-5kg/dp/B00MVIQASU/ref=sr_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1508539512&sr=1-3&keywords=PVA

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  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't answer the question "Have you some advice to make the pieces stronger, or a more gentle method to remove the HIPS?". $\endgroup$ – tjb1 Oct 23 '17 at 11:19

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