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Breakaway seems to work well - are there any downsides?

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I'm very impressed with Breakaway. I've done around 10 days of intensive printing of items which have all needed support. I would say that Breakaway has indeed come away 95% completely at the first attempt, while the remaining 5% has pretty well all come away with a bit of fine tweezer work. In about a third of the cases, some strands still get left which need some very careful work to remove. Compared with PVA, Breakaway is a joy to use. .... and it's a vast improvement on what you can hope to get with scaffolding produced by a single nozzle machine.


There have been a couple of times when Breakaway did not bind cleanly to the print bed when starting a new job immediately following the removal of the previous one. I ended up doing a material change and then clipping off 10 cm or so of the Breakaway filament before re-feeding it into the system. This worked for me, though I don't know if there's any genuine rationale behind my "solution".


Obviously, PVA is still going to be needed when handling sensitive internal structures and, since removing Breakaway involves a certain amount of force, I wouldn't want to use if when supporting particularly delicate structures.


Having been so positive about Breakaway, are there problems around it? Will it continue to perform well after sitting around for some months?

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Hi, it looks like you have a good understanding of when to use PVA and when to use the BreakAway material. 

I don't think there are any noticeable drawbacks in having it sit around, no more than regular PLA or your other build materials. 


Can you show some of the surface quality you got when removing your Break away material? Did you use a regular plier to pull it off?

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SandervG: I've just started a three day print involving lots of Breakaway, so I will have lots to report back on after that. It's of a bird, perching on a book lectern, looking down. 15 cm high. It will be using nearly 30 cm of Breakaway.


I don't have the photos you want, but it seems to leave flat surfaces spotless. Where I did have a few issues was with an irregular egg-style design which I printed on an end. Breakaway supported the print absolutely solidly, but when I came to break the support away, I was left with strands of Breakaway around the bottom of the print which, though not massively important,were quite tricky to clear. Towards the end, I was having to use tweezers to pull away individual strands.


For some jobs, I've been able to clear Breakaway just by using my hands, fingers and occasionally finger nails. After that, I've pliers supplemented by tweezers.


If photos will help, I'll post some once I've finished the three-day print.

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Thanks! I would be curious to see how it works for you 🙂

Was it this particular egg-shaped print that was more difficult to remove, or do you have any idea if it is sphere-shapes in general which are more difficult to clean?


If you can remove it by hands that sounds very easy, and much faster than PVA too. 

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The print eventually took three and a half days. I had to slow it down because the Prime Tower got knocked over about half way through the job leaving some messy attempts to print where the tower should have been.


Otherwise, all went very well. Breakaway continued to print clearly right to the end, and the design called for a lot of support. See the first image below. Using the tools in the fifth image, it took me 20 minutes to clear the model of Breakaway. It involved quite a lot of work with pliers and I had to use quite a lot of force, but that was mostly to do with cutting/crushing the material into manageable sizes. I had quite deliberately toughned the walls of the model, but I didn't sense that I was ever in danger of damaging it. The beak and head of the bird was heavily encased in Breakaway. Once I had cleared the bulk of the support material away, it was relatively easy to carefully clip the remaining material away. The second and third pictures show that the surface of the model ended up in very decent condition.


I shudder to think how long it would have taken to dissolve the equivalent amount of PVA


My verdict is that Breakaway performed admirably, but I wouldn't want to use it on particularly delicate structures or ones involving complicated internal designs.



Rook 01.jpg

Rook 02.jpg

Rook 03.jpg

Rook 04.jpg

Rook 05.jpg

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Hi @FalmouthLouis , thanks for the update! Very interesting to see. When there is such a large structure BreakAway material supporting a part like the head, do you try to just break a part of it using pliers or what do you experience works best to remove it? I can imagine a tool to cut it in half could also work, perhaps in a slightly more controlling fashion than breaking it off. But perhaps I'm completely wrong 🙂


In any case, the result looks really impressive! What did you print the bird for?

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