Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
tsp42

Dissolving PLA using ammonia

Recommended Posts

I might have found by accident a new way to dissolve PLA that might be useful to remove PLA support from print. At least it worked very well to dissolve my headphone cups that I printed with colorfabb copperfill filament when I tried to oxidise the copper. I placed the headphone cups in a closed plastic container with a small cup filled with ammonia water (25% solution). After 24 h the copper had turned into a very dark blue colour. When I tried to remove the cups from the container the outer layer more or less peeled off and the plastic had turned very soft. I haven't tried to repeat the experiment with ordinary PLA filaments. If you are going to try this, please do it outdoors and use gloves as ammonia is corrosive and not very healthy to breath. ABS appears to be resistant to 25% ammonia water so this may be a useful way to remove PLA support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey man came across your thread and it looks interesting! i wanted to know how you're finding the copper filament? did you upgrade your hot ends to print with it or are you running stock? Also since you have the ammonia available, mind testing this idea again? would be a good alternative to the PVA support structure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is not the easiest filament to print with. I had a lot of trouble with the nozzle clogging most likely due to small residues of colorfabb HT filament but after cleaning the noozle with a gas torch the problem disappeared. Now I'm struggling with underextrusion of the first layers. Post-processing is easy as the filament is rather soft and gives a really nice copper shine. I did upgrade my hot end to E3D v6 but mainly for printing high temperature filaments as copperfill did print fine on the standard UMO hot end.

I will try testing the ammonia on some cheap PLA in the weekend to see if it still works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Announcements

  • Our picks

    • Architect Design Contest | People
      The goal of this contest is to design a set of people figurines that could be used in such a project to make an area, office or mall seem populated. 
      Think of different types of people in different environments, like walking people, people standing still, working people, and both men and women.
       
      • 6 replies
    • Taking Advantage of DfAM
      This is a statement that’s often made about AM/3DP. I'll focus on the way DfAM can take advantage of some of the unique capabilities that AM and 3DP have to offer. I personally think that the use of AM/3DP for light-weighting is one of it’s most exciting possibilities and one that could play a key part in the sustainability of design and manufacturing in the future.
        • Like
      • 3 replies
×

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!