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Institute for Measurement Technology
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Bachelor Theses.

Device Engineering to Remove PVA Support Structures for 3D printed Parts

Ricardo Gridling

For the manufacturing of 3d-printed parts it is often essential to use support structures made of water soluble polymers like PVA (Polyvinylalcohol). After fabrication these support structures should be easily removable with less effort. In this bachelor's thesis a device was designed and built to be able to control and improve the dissolve process. The increasing solubility of PVA with rising temperatures and water flow was utilized.

The built heating unit, which is located inside the water tank, sets the requested temperature. With the help of nozzles and a pump, water can be directed to crucial locations. This increases the solution speed additionally.

Figure 1: Realized device with heating unit, operating and control unit and process visualisation.

The control of the device is implemented on a Raspberry Pi. The device can either be operated locally or via webinterface.

Keywords: 3d printing, support structures, PVA, temperature control, Raspberry Pi, process visualisation

February 4th, 2020

Figure 2: Measurement of the system behavior for a temperature specification of 35 °C over 3 hours. The heating was switched off after approx. 100 min. The black curve shows the water temperature curve.