It has been almost eight months since Matt Stultz and the 3DPPVD crew in Providence, Rhode Island, began spreading the word about the delights of 3D printing in High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) Filament. Affordable and easy to print, this material has become a real boon to those with dual extruders on their printers who wish to take advantage of one particular material property: HIPS dissolves in the relatively mild, citrus-smelling solvent Limonene, while ABS does not.
Today, we are starting to see HIPS showing up in the stores of filament suppliers all over, from Filaco to Maker Geeks to Ultimachine (and probably more!). But it is with MakerBot’s announcement of their HIPS filament, which they have rebranded as MakerBot Dissolvable Filament, that more and more people are likely to hear about this process and find ways to experiment with this material. (And those who remember how difficult the various mixtures of PVA could be to print will be amazed how nicely HIPS prints with their other materials.)
The ready availability of so many HIPS options may re-inject FFF style printers with new life and range of expression at a time when more and more resin printers are creeping into the market. Check out this piece from Matt Stultz, the guru of exotic printing materials himself, addressing this recent announcement at 3DPPVD:
MakerBot has finally released their official support for dissolvable HIPS support material based on the research done here at 3DPPVD. They have branded their new filament line MakerBot Dissolvable and made it available to be shipped on the day of the announcement….
With this new material MakerBot has also upgraded MakerWare to support printing support structures on a secondary extruder. Now on a dual extrusion machine, HIPS can be printed alongside ABS without the need to generate two separate models. They have also included color matching support and rafts for dual extrusion multicolor prints. This will eliminate colored scars in your prints from the removal of a different colored support material.
Finally, don’t miss Hack A Day’s coverage of some of our advanced materials research that was on display at this years World Maker Faire.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!