Soluble Support Material with Dual Extruders – HIPS
A Rhode Island 3d printing meetup has been experimenting with printing dissolvable support structures on consumer grade 3d printers. They found that a material called High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) can be dissolved in a chemical bath of Limonene, while leaving the ABS material intact.
If you have a 3d printer with dual extruders, or even one of the new three extruder repraps you can use HIPS filament for your support extruder, and then soak the model to remove them. The process is much easier than the exhausting scalpel method. It also allows models where you wouldn’t be able to easily reach the support material, like the one shown above.
By making support material easy to dissolve away, with inexpensive 3d printers, you can create movable parts that previously were only printable with extremely expensive SLS printers. Ball and socket joints, complex caged gear mechanisms, many previously extremely difficult to print models become much easier with this process. The extra bonus – the Limonene solvent leaves the finished model smelling like oranges.