MakerBot Filament | It’s Melting, It’s Melting!

Posted by on Monday, September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized


Made specifically for the MakerBot® Replicator® 2X Experimental 3D Printer, new MakerBot® Dissolvable Filament works beautifully with MakerBot® ABS Filament and dual extrusion prints, giving you solid infill for delicate overhangs and objects with internal moving parts.

Our crazy-in-a-good-way advanced-materials scientist, Polymer Bill, says, “I’m really excited about MakerBot Dissolvable Filament. It opens up possibilities. You can get to 3D prints that were simply unobtainable before. It just makes you think differently about how to 3D print.”

Polymer Bill is right: there’s something a little different about MakerBot Dissolvable Filament. You can use it to print as a solid block of infill inside an object, allowing you to create detailed and delicate internal structures like the inside of this ball bearing.

MakerBot Dissolvable Filament dissolves in limonene, a common, colorless, citrus-scented solvent available online and in grocery and home stores. Just immerse your print in a limonene bath and, depending on the size and geometry of your object, MakerBot Dissolvable Filament will melt away in just 8-24 hours.

Bonus: Your print holds a refreshing citrus scent for a few days after its bath.

Buy your spool of MakerBot Dissolvable Filament now.

Tagged with , , 36 comments

36 Comments so far

  • CornGolem
    September 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I guess that it isn’t PVA, what is it ?
    Too bad it takes so long to dissolve.

  • bonooobong
    October 1, 2013 at 7:07 am

    is this one an alternative for the water-soluble PVA filament which is too expensive? which polymer is it made from? btw it looks awesome, cannot wait to give it a try!

  • propellerscience
    October 1, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Limonene smells like a thousand fresh oranges at once. Somehow.

  • Jon
    October 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    This a great development in 3D printing technology.

  • T
    October 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Its just HIPS

  • Jeremy
    October 9, 2013 at 4:54 am

    Will this also work in the standard replicator 2 machine or only the 2X? If it works with the 2, I have a bunch of fun dissolving tricks planned!

  • Bence
    October 11, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Would this work with a Replicator 1 Dual?

  • Rex Brodie
    October 12, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Used the Hilbert cube for my first HIPS test . Limonene works remarkably well … Raft and supports completely dissolved in 5 ½ hrs.

  • Trev
    October 16, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Limonene is absolutely not friendly to your heath, especially in concentrated form. You should not be breathing its vapors. Vent the solvent outside your home. You should wash the printed product so that no traces of residue or vapors remain after the solvent has done its job.

  • Jay
    October 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    @ Trev – Excerp from from WebMD
    “Limonene is a chemical found in the peels of citrus fruits and in other plants. It is used to make medicine.

    Limonene is used to promote weight loss, prevent cancer, treat cancer, and treat bronchitis.

    In foods, beverages, and chewing gum, limonene is used as a flavoring.

    In pharmaceuticals, limonene is added to help medicinal ointments and creams penetrate the skin.

    In manufacturing, limonene is used as a fragrance, cleaner (solvent), and as an ingredient in water-free hand cleansers.”

  • Elliot Nesterman
    December 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Here’s a limonene MSDS. It’s an irritant. Don’t get it in your eyes. Don’t soak your hands in it. Don’t breathe the concentrated vapors.
    But it’s only toxic if ingested, nor is it carcinogenic, and it’s far less dangerous to one’s health than petroleum solvents.

  • Manifester
    December 17, 2013 at 3:51 am

    You’re both half right.
    Limonene is used in many products, particularly cosmetics and luxury soaps.

    However, in the concentration you will likely be using, Limonene can be a potent skin irritant.
    You must always wear gloves when working with it. Nitrile gloves are recommended as many “rubber gloves” that you normally get will actually also dissolve in Limonene.
    You must wash the prints well after the process or else they’ll make your hands very itchy.

    The fumes can be irritating too, affecting some people worse than others. I always go outside to work with it and it tends to be fine at room temperature. Generally you want to put whatever you’re dissolving in a seal-able container or pot.

    DO NOT heat up limonene in an attempt to make the HIPS dissolve faster: This greatly increases the danger of the fumes and often can discolour the model (I’m not sure how its reaction with the dye but heated limonene turned all our prints white).

    A last note: Limonene is a bit expensive and considered hazardous waste because of its low flash point. It’s not a bad idea to recycle it, just make sure that you be careful and put it in a container that won’t dissolve (like glass or PLA. ABS will eventually soften in limonene because it also is Styrene)

    As long as you follow those guide-lines you should be able to operate fairly well.
    At manifester ( we’ve been using HIPS as support structure for the last three months and it’s been working great.

  • Marcus Olsson
    February 4, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Should I blend it with water, or shall i use it in the concentrated form?

  • Gerald
    February 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Does anyone know if you can print an entire object with the dissolvable filament? My plan is to print an object, build up a plaster mold around it, dissolve it and replace with molten bronze. Thoughts?

  • Tiffany Diorio
    March 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    @Gerald – You can certainly print an object entirely in dissolvable. If you’re looking to create a lost wax molding though it’s a bit easier to do with PLA filament. If you have any other questions about this please reach out to us at thoughts(at)makerbot(dot)com.

  • Charles
    March 28, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    We just purchased a MakerBot Replicator 2X, and found it to work great. We currently have a Dimension SST 1200es, which uses soluble support. It dissolves in either EcoWorks ( or a Hydroxide solution. We switched from Hydroxide to EcoWorks because it is less caustic and easier to work with and dispose.

    Because of this, we actually have a heated recirculating tank (we heat our Dimension parts to 70°C) in a bath that recirculates the solution. Is there an appropriate solvent that will work well with our existing recirculating tank?

    Manifester suggests not using our heated recirculating tank with limonene.

  • Charles
    March 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    What concentration of limonene is suggested? I can find it in “up to 5%” concentration, and 100% concentration.

    I assume we need to be using it in 5% concentrations?

  • Alex
    May 28, 2014 at 2:32 am

    @Gerald – Just did a “lost” casting with dissolvable filament in plaster and learned some interesting things that others have mentioned. First, the dissolvable filament floats in liquid plaster, so you need to hold it down mechanically. Second, the d-limonene takes a long time to work. My object took 5 hours to print and it took about 5 days in 100% d-limonene to dissolve. This was without agitation or ultrasonic vibration. The final mold looks great, though!

  • Steve
    July 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    This looks very promising for some parts with overhang I am doing and just put in an order for makerbot replicator 2x (already am very happy with makerbot replicator 2, but am stuck on some parts that have significant overhang in places where supports are hard to remove).

    • Tiffany Diorio
      July 7, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Hi Steve,
      In general, the saturated solution is non-hazardous waste and can be thrown away, but we recommend checking in with your local waste management corporation on the best way to dispose of it just so you’re sure.
      Also, to answer your second question, MakerWare will automatically generate supports, so you don’t have to create them yourself. To make sure that you’re printing supports with dissolvable filament you can go in MakerWare and select which extruder you want to print supports out.
      If you have any other questions feel free to reach out to us at thoughts(at)makerbot(dot)com.

  • steve
    July 4, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I am curious how people dispose of the solution of limonene and polystyrene that results after dissolving the support material. The limonene is biodegradable but the polystyrene support material is not. Do you wait for the polystyrene to evaporate and recycle or throw away what is left?

  • steve
    July 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Also, will the software automatically create supports and raft using the dissolvable material or do you have to build those in and specify? I have not used a two color 3d printer before.

  • Evan
    July 26, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    What should I do if this filament has been waterlogged? Can I heat it in the oven at a low temperature?

  • Jordan
    November 7, 2014 at 3:25 am

    Other commercial printers have dissolvable materials that dissolve in water not a solvent like limonene. Does makerbot have plans to develop filaments like that?

    also can the replicator 2X print in both ABS and PLA?

    • Jodie
      November 7, 2014 at 10:32 am

      Hi Jordan! Although there aren’t any current plans of production of a dissolvable filament that disperses in water, we do listen to your feedback as it helps us make improvements to enhance your MakerBot experience.

      Also, the MakerBot Replicator 2x prints with MakerBot ABS, as well as with MakerBot Dissolvable Filament which can be done at simultaneously in one print thanks to it’s dual extruders. I hope this answers your questions. Thanks for reaching out!

  • DrTrev99
    November 24, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I tried this with an ABS part and the D-limonene melted both the support and my ABS part. I bought the stuff off Amazon and used it at 100% concentration. Bye, bye 8 hr beautiful part 🙁

    How are you all getting this to dissolve only the support structure?

    • Jodie
      November 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Trevor – What length of time are you allowing your part to soak in the limonene? Also, are you supervising it as it dissolves?

  • Steve C
    November 26, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Can someone suggest a solution to try, I have tried ZEP Commercial cleaners Fast 505 and Heavy-Duty Citrus Degreaser neither one worked. I want to print a DNA Model and it requires a lot of support.

  • Rob Holmes
    December 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Does this filament stick well to ABS. I’m looking for an alternative dissolving filament to PVA. It’s expensive too but all I’m doing is wasting it. It won’t stick to ABS at all and barely to PLA. I’m having no luck with PVA.

    So, I’m hoping this can solve my problem. How well does it stick?

  • matt
    December 31, 2014 at 7:01 am

    i bought to spools…..i dont understand why makerbot wont make any brand recommendations? at least than we could compare and contrast their results against other products

  • Chuck
    January 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Hey Jodie! (Or any other MakerBot person…)
    I just ordered the dissolvable filament. Please answer the question that I have seen a few times above: Do I want a 5% solution of limonene, or 100%, or something else?

    • Jodie
      January 20, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Hi Chuck – Depending on the size and density of your print, you can place your model printed in dissolvable filament in a glass of 100% limonene.

  • Mike
    April 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I’m having problems with the HIPS dissolvable filament adhering to the heated build plate, I’ve used temperatures up to 120 degrees C and it still isn’t adhering well. I’ve recorded that on the top of the surface the temperature is only reading at around 80 degrees C when its was set to 115.
    Other noted settings from experimentation and research: I’ve also had to use a nozzle temp of 250 for the HIPS material versus 230 for the ABS plastic. and can only get the supports to print out of the left nozzle.

    • Ian
      Social Support
      April 10, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Adherence to the build plate is most likely due to leveling. I’d suggest leveling the build plate a little closer than you would usually, and make sure you’re printing with a raft if the HIPS sections have lower surface area.

  • Mike
    April 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Also is it possible to print with PLA in the Makerbot 2X along with the HIPS dissolvable material? I’ve only had success with ABS and would prefer to use PLA b/c it won’t eventually also dissolve in the 100% d-limonene.

    • Ian
      Social Support
      April 10, 2015 at 10:20 am

      PLA printing is not officially supported on the Replicator 2X. Even with custom slicing profiles, I would suggest against it given that it’ll void your warranty.


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