Which 3D Printing Supports to Use: PLA, PVA or Breakaway | Ultimaker Support Material

With the launch of Ultimaker’s Breakaway support material, there are now even more options for supporting your 3D prints. But which one is right for your design? Let’s take a look at the different options and when to use each one.

When using an FDM 3D printer, support material enables you to print models that would otherwise not be possible due to, well, gravity. It ‘supports’ the material above it so you can print objects with features like overhangs or cavities.

3D print with support material
A model with support material
with support material removed
And with support material removed

For more advanced users, support material can also give you more design freedom. With it you can orient your model exactly how you want for the best results, or create designs with moving parts built in that are free to move once you remove the support material.

Read the full article, including detailed descriptions of build material supports, dissolvable PVA and breakaway supports at: https://ultimaker.com/en/blog/52274-which-3d-printing-supports-to-use-pla-pva-or-breakaway

Quick comparison: When to use…

  • Build material supports: When you don’t need a print that is 100% accurate compared to the dimensions of your 3D design. Or if you only have a single extrusion 3D printer
  • PVA: Ideal if you’re printing a complex shape or when you want a really smooth surface finish beneath your supports, but takes several hours to dissolve
  • Breakaway: If you’re short on time, Breakaway is quicker to remove than PVA and keeps the dimensional accuracy of your print, with a quality surface finish