MakerBot Introduces Water Soluble 3D Printer Filament!

We love days like today, where a new product comes along that opens up so many doors for MakerBot Operators around the world. We’ve been incubating this material for about six months and it’s ready to be unleashed. A quote from Zach, co-founder of Makerbot- “Soluble objects are a holy grail of 3D Printing since our early days!” With MakerBot PVA filament you can now print 3D objects that dissolve in water. We at the BotCave have come up with some pretty great uses for this material, but I expect that our users will truly be the masters of invention for water soluble plastics. Just to get your gears turning, imagine these possibilities for objects printed with MakerBot Water Soluble PVA Filament!

• soluble molds for poured materials
• removable support structures
• science demonstrations for the classroom
• biotechnology applications
• art and design objects
• time-lapse video and visual effect displays
• smooth finishes on products without the use of solvents
• biodegradable 3D printed objects
• robots that melt

As you can tell, this stuff has an incredible future when it reaches our users. Pick up some MakerBot Water Soluble PVA filament at the MakerBot Store now!

Tagged with , , , , , , , , 25 comments

25 Comments so far

  • Erik J. Durwood II
    February 21, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Great news! Time to get back to designing my dual-extruder printer derivative! One-pass prints with dissolvable support material, HERE I COME!

  • Stephen
    February 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    This is great! and hopefully with the stepper extruder we can now print objects with water soluble supports so we don’t have to worry about overhangs anymore! (though that will be rather labor intensive)

  • Tweets that mention MakerBot Introduces Water Soluble 3D Printer Filament! - MakerBot Industries --
    February 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Guan Yang, Zaq Mosher and Miquel Lloveras, HN Firehose. HN Firehose said: MakerBot Introduces Water Soluble 3D Printer Filament: […]

  • eagleapex
    February 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I think more people know PVA as Poly Vinyl Acetate or white glue. This other use of “PVA” should be PVOH or PVAl to not confuse any carpenters or book binders or crafters.

  • Daveland
    February 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    After reading the Temperature recommendations I wonder how I clean out an extruder with ABS in it to get the PVA running through it. I don’t know that 180-200C is hot enough to clear the ABS from the nozzle. And if PVA breaks down above 200C it may not get cleared out before it decomposes and clogs.

    Any Input from Makerbot on filament changeover practice?

  • Joris
    February 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    How long did it take to fully dissolve the skull? Is it just still water, or is it moving?
    Would an ultrasonic cleaner dissolve the material faster?

  • zgbot
    February 21, 2011 at 7:10 pm


    i have extruded abs down at about 190º i wouldn’t worry about that.

  • tim1986
    February 21, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    This will be WAY more useful with a dual extruder.

  • tre3
    February 21, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Exciting 🙂

    >• smooth finishes on products without the use of solvents

    hehe… Water: also known as the “Universal Solvent” 😀

    I’ve only seen “raw” PVA in liquid form – for spraying on molds… The alcohol evaporates and you’re left with a (hopefully) beautiful film of vinyl.

    That said, it would be great to get some 1.7mm love 🙂

  • worksofman
    February 21, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I think things just got a little more exciting.
    Ok, perhaps a lot.

  • wirelessprint
    February 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    This material is so interesting. can it be reuse after it melt ?

  • Matt
    February 22, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Quick background history of the video project: this dissolve took place in still water as a test to see how long it would take to dissolve completely without agitation. Most of it was gone in about 4-6 hours. Most folks using this process would use running water or other agitation which would drastically accelerate this process. We pretty much included the entire process in one swoop here (though played the most exciting parts with more frames than the last 20% of dissolving.

  • Rashad Glover
    February 26, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I think Im going to wait and buy the dual head with support material next year or can help and design it now. Please let me know if I can help. I have 12 Years of 3D CAD experience.

  • Donald Pelton
    March 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    The idea of a soluble mold would be wonderful for making a casting of a nonwater based material, such as beeswax. I keep thinking of WSF however for practical jokes. Imagine a cup made of it.

  • Metal 3D Printers
    May 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    […] MakerBot Introduces Water Soluble 3D Printer Filament! A quote from Zach, co-founder of Makerbot- “Soluble objects are a holy grail of 3D Printing since our early days!” With MakerBot PVA filament you can now print 3D objects that dissolve in water. We at the BotCave have come up with some … MakerBot Introduces Water Soluble 3D Printer Filament! […]

  • Nowy członek rodziny Makerbotów |
    January 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    […] dysze oznaczają możliwość druku obiektów w dwóch kolorach lub druk z materiałem podporowym wymywalnym wodą. Obie opcje z pewnością umożliwią dojście do bardzo ciekawych […]

  • PerryMakes
    January 21, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Looks like this filament is no longer available – and NOW would be the time to have something like this with the dual-extruder option now being offered!!

    What’s the story?

  • Danny
    January 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    PVA filament URL moved to here:

  • michael shiloh
    March 22, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    What are the fumes like for this material? I use PLA primarily to avoid fumes.

  • akka69
    March 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Why not use sugar filaments?
    It melts around 185,5°C and dissolves in water…

  • Ken Hecker
    July 4, 2013 at 12:15 am

    I think MakerBot needs to lay this out completely. I mentioned to MakerBot that I was excited about the opportunity to use PVA as support material, and to use one of the extruders on my just-ordered Replicator 2X for just that purpose. But a MakerBot rep told me that MakerWare cannot be told which extruder to use for the supports, and since ABS and PVA melt at drastically different temps, they will not adhere to each other. So how can you load PVA into one of your extruders, and know it will be used to make the supports?

    My question is: If MakerWare can decide automatically to add supports, using one of the extruders, why can they not change the software to allow the operator to select which extruder to use for the supports, and then we could load that extruder with the PVA. The best Cubify/3D Systems can come up with is to use ABS for the build, with PLA for the support, and then we can buy their $1300 ultrasonic cleaner, pour in the drain cleaner, and let it run for 3 hours – OR – soak the whole thing in hot water for two days.

    Earlier today is the first time I’ve seen PVA for sale on the MakerBot site, and it’s OUT OF STOCK already.

  • Ken Hecker
    July 4, 2013 at 1:21 am

    “PVA filament URL moved to here:

    Danny, that URL takes you to the page for 3mm PVA. As far as I know the Replicator 2X only comes in a 1.75mm filament model.

    If you go to that page and click on Send to your Shopping Cart, you’ll see that both sizes are out of stock.

  • Adrien
    February 16, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Some use concrete filaments!! Check this out 😉

  • ToolBuilder
    February 27, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Ken I’ve been researching the PVA and it does come in 1.75mm depending where you look.
    Also apparently it will work with rep2x exp which does have the feature to tell which extruder to use for what.
    On mine the right extruder is the one with those options and the left is just a plain extruder.
    Also if you pick the option to colour match your rafts and/or supports it will print all with that right extruder.


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