Hot plate stirrer dissolves support material in 3D printed objects

Hot_plate_stirrer

When you want to print a 3D object you run into problems if there is a part that has nothing below it. The hot, soft filament coming out of the extruder will droop with gravity if not given something to rest on while it hardens. The solution is to use a second material as a support. But then you’ve got to find a way to remove the support structure when the printing is done. That’s where this beauty comes in. It’s a heated stir plate for dissolving PLA.

The PLA is printed using a second extruder head. Once the part is cooled [Petrus] puts it into a heated bath of sodium hydroxide (lye). The solvent will remove the PLA but not harm the ABS. Speaking of ABS, [Petrus] also mentions that this can double as a temperature controlled hot plate for polishing ABS prints using acetone vapor.

There’s all kinds of good stuff inside of this beast so do check out the full plans to learn more. Our favorite part is the stir bar which is a piece of threaded rod and a couple of nuts. To make it safe to submerge in the chemicals he 3D printed a pill-shaped enclosure for it.

[Thanks Matt]

Comments

  1. Elias says:

    Absolutely brilliant!

  2. oodain says:

    very nice writeup,
    definately usefull for a lot of different tasks.

  3. popeiler says:

    That’s a pretty cool build. It might be a good idea to ventilate the enclosure though. The heat generated by the heating element can significantly shorten the life of the electrolytic capacitors.

  4. Scott says:

    Any idea’s as to how much this would cost to build?

  5. not says:

    Excellent for a diybio or chemistry lab too.

  6. Hack Man says:

    Or just buy a PTFE encapsulated stirbar……they are pretty cheap.

  7. hemalchevli says:

    Thumbs up!!

  8. Jason Dubrow says:

    I’m going to have to try to make something like this for making cheese….it’s very time consuming to keep it at the right temperature and continually stir for the few hours it takes to make a good cheddar cheese.

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