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PVA Problems with material Station

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Posted · PVA Problems with material Station



I'm experiencing tons of problems using the material station with PVA material.


Basically the problems I have are 2:


  • PVA Brokes always somewhere in the path form MS to Extruder
  • Flow sensor Error during print


The first case obviously is the worst case, since sometimes in order to restore the printer i have to disassemble all tubes and push with ABS [i.e.] filament through the material station and get rid of broken pieces.

This appened a few times using third-party filaments, so i decided to switch to Ultimaker filament of course, but then had lot more problems and the filament brokes even more easily then the other. ( had problems and broke the filament also when loading without material station, it was really too much dry)

Left also the material a couple of days inside the MS to let him "adapt" to the ambient and then re-tried but problems where the same. 

As a last try, in order to verify extruder problems, I had disabled MS and printed a standard S5. No issues with both materials.


in my opinion, the path of the fliament to the extruder is just too complex and dry PVA is too brittle to move along that path without breaking out. Do you have any feedbacks on this? anyone other then me experienced this?


I bought MS in order to use it just for keeping PVA in a good state so it is really a pity that it doesn't work, but i really want to make it work so any help from the community or frm Ultimaker will be really appreciated.


kind regards,


Diego from Medics

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    Posted · PVA Problems with material Station
    32 minutes ago, Diego_Medics3D said:

    Flow sensor Error during print

    Thats exactly my problem. Every print with PVA fails because of this.....Thats extremly annoying.

    I thought the material station would be the solution for printing with pva...


    is there any help from Ultimaker??



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    • 3 months later...
    Posted · PVA Problems with material Station

    Hi all!


    few updates on this topic: since the latest firmware realease things have improved a bit, but I had still minor issues during PVA loading. 


    Please consider that my MS setup is the following:

    1. A - White PLA
    2. B - PVA  (the one actually experiencing failures)
    3. C - White PLA
    4. D - Yellow PLA
    5. E - Red PLA
    6. F - PVA

    Extruder 1 AA 0.4 Extruder 2 BB 0.4


    Last week I have done again a few print tests using brand-new PVA spools from Ultimaker. the first 6 prints were good without any PVA break. Also switched from an empty spool and all good.


    Last weekend a leaved the printer unattended and today launched a print and... POP! PVA breaks.  Stopped the print job and removed the pieces from the bowden. Then started again the print job and noticed that the filament did not broke.


    I think that the problem could be that PVA dries in the position given by the MS (so curved ) and then when loads the internal tension causes the break.

    Maybe one suggestion for ultimaker could also be to reduce the loading speed from the loader to the print core, as my experienced breaks occured only in that portion of the travel. 


    any feedbacks or hints from the community?


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    Posted (edited) · PVA Problems with material Station

    i am having the embrittlement issue with PLA as well as PVA.  i do not use each material daily-they may sit in the MS unused for a week.  in every case the material length with marks from the feeder/prefeeder is brittle and results in my having to cut off/waste almost a meter of material each time i start a print with any of these . i have tried unloading the filament and just leaving the reel stored in the MS with the same result-tooth marked length is too brittle to use. is it better to store all materials not in continuous use outside the MS?

    Edited by Bundle
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    Posted · PVA Problems with material Station

    I had huge PVA problems on both S5 Pro Bundle and S3. I used Ultimaker PVA, tried FormFutura Helios PVA, but after one or the other successful print the nozzle got such clogged that it would stop working after a few layers even after properly cleaning with cleaning filament and pull method. Also the PVA would get grinded at the feeder (of course when the nozzle clogs). I tried drying of the PVA material, I opened fresh/new Ultimake PVA filament and still kept having issues. 


    After these frustrations, I switched over to Ultimaker breakaway filament, which is easy to handle, but doesnt suite all use cases.


    Then FormFutura released a BVOH material, and so far I am really happy. So back again with water soluble material. BVOH prints so far easier and more reliable. Also it dissolves much faster than PVA in lukewarm water (sort of 4hours vs. 24hs).


    You can download material profiles that work with both S5 and S3 from here.





    Here is a picture printing ApolloX ASA with BVOH support material on S5 pro bundle. 



    I am wondering whether others have similar experiences in switching to BVOH.





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