Support Material: Part 3

In Parts 1 and 2 of the Support Material series, we covered the basic and advanced support material settings. While these settings work either single or dual nozzle printing, using Hydrofill - Airwolf 3D’s premier water soluble support filament - requires special settings in order to achieve good quality and support the print properly.

The Support Material: Part 1 and Part 2 Guides covered the Basic(Quickprint) and Full Settings for support material in APEX.

Using Hydrofill is quite easy, but there are a few things you must do in order to have successful results.

Hydrofill is Airwolf 3D’s premier dissolvable support material for ABS. It can be dissolved with normal tap water and no specialized equipment.

First, make sure the nozzles are calibrated in the X and Y, and that the Z is also calibrated correctly. The nozzles need to be leveled.

Make sure to perform the X and Y calibration, as well nozzle leveling and Z height calibration before printing with dual nozzles.

Second, load the Hydrofill onto the upper-left spool holder in the EVO. Make sure to prime the head several times once loaded. If there is any material from the previous loaded filament left in the hot end, it can cause problems while printing, and the Hydrofill may eventually jam.

If there is material left in the nozzle from a previous loaded filament, Hydrofill could have feeding issues. Make sure to prime a few times before starting the print.

Third, make sure to start with the default settings in APEX for Hydrofill. Select ABS with Hydrofill, import your part, and save the GCODE.

Start off with the ABS WITH HYDROFILL settings in the QUICKPRINT menu in APEX.

If you do experience any issues while printing, you can check the following:

Make sure the filament is dry and has not been left out in a humid atmosphere. It is extremely important to use dry Hydrofill, as the  material is extremely hygroscopic. Store used Hydrofill in a sealed bag.

Always seal Hydrofill in a container or bag after using it.

If you experience any jamming, check to make sure the nozzles are level.

If you experience jamming while printing, check to make sure the nozzles are level to each other.

If the material stops extruding, stop the print, remove the Hydrofill and cut it at a 45 degree angle, then reload. Make sure to prime several times before restarting the print job.

If you experience a jam, stop the print, cut the filament at a 45 degree angle and reload it into the hot end. Then restart the print.

Hydrofill is a great alternative to single head support, as it dissolves away and provides a cleaner mating surface to the part. It is more expensive to use and may be a little tricky at first, so make sure you use it only when needed, as single head support can still be quite good, and also has its benefits.

MG-94 ABS and Hydrofill printing a seat belt hook for the Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

Hydrofill can be easily dissolved in a tub of hot tap water. Either wait for it to dissolve completely or soak the part until the Hydrofill is soft, then remove it from the part.