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Support material is lifting off bed

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Posted · Support material is lifting off bed

Ultimaker sells I believe only 2 types of support material: PVA (soluable in water) and Breakaway (it snaps off when the print is done).


I'm guessing you are talking about PVA?  it's transluscent - foggy.  Almost clear.


PVA needs to be kept exceedingly dry.  Even just one day out in normal air is enough for it to absorb significant amounts of water from the air.  One tiny desiccant pack won't help much either once it has been exposed to the air.


One sign the PVA is too wet is it snaps and pops and hisses and you can actually often see steam coming out at the nozzle tip while it prints.  The PVA ends up being snowy instead of clear because it has tiny steam bubbles embedded (hence the snowy look).   If it's only a "little" wet you won't notice the noise or steam but it will still be snowier than usual.


When PVA is wet like this it expands too much and so it overextrudes.  Enough to get lots of stringing and other issues like "not sticking well to the bed".


It's easy to fix with heat.  In cura look up how many meters of PVA are needed for your print.  Unspool that much, place on the heated bed, put the spool on top (no need to cut the PVA).  Put a towel over all that and another blanket on top of that and heat at 70C for 4 hours.  That should be enough to get you going on your print.  To dry the whole spool, dry it for 24-48 hours (not necessarily all at once).


Going forwards keep it in a 2 gallon zip lock with LOTS of desiccant.  And recharge the desiccant every month.  I buy it in liter jugs and store it in a container with a lid that stops the desiccant from coming out but allows air exchange.  I use color changing dessicant that can be reheated (dried) in the microwave.


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