HIPS Filament: An Excellent Support Plastic Material for 3D Printing

If you want to try out a new filament for 3D printing, check out HIPS filaments. It is an excellent material that you can use by itself or as a support for your 3D printing projects.

Anyone who is trying out 3D printing would love to challenge their designs and take them to the next level each time. The prints become more complex and more detailed. You may want to print your prototypes that need gluing or painting.

Maybe you want to try 3D printing with a material you haven’t experimented with before but is quite easy to use for printing. You definitely should try out HIPS filaments. It is not just a great support material for your complex designs, it is also an excellent standalone material for 3D printing.

Let’s take a look at its properties, features, how HIPS is a wonderful material to use for 3D printing. We will also provide you with some tips on how to use this material properly so that you can get amazing results each time.

What is HIPS?: HIPS Filament Properties

High Impact Polystyrene or HIPS filament is a synthetic copolymer. It is known to be recyclable, non-toxic, durable, and strong. Apart from that, HIPS filament dissolve in Limonene which is a solvent that comes from lemon skins.

HIPS 3D filament is a graft copolymer which incorporates polybutadiene rubber and pure polystyrene. With this combination, HIPS plastic filament gets the rubber’s elasticity and polystyrene’s hardness. This produces a high impact thermoplastic which is strong and tough without the tendency of being brittle.

HIPS plastic is mostly used commercially to make appliances and toys. It is also being used for product cases and packaging. When it comes to 3D printing, it is a good material for support because it is soluble.

When do You Need a Support Material?

For anyone who has tried 3D printing, you understand that the process of printing a material begins from the bottom and then upwards.

If your design includes overhangs, then you won’t be able to print it without using a support material. 3D printers won’t be able to extrude the filament without it.

HIPS support material can be utilized so that your print can get the needed support for the overhanging areas. What happens during printing is that the printer will lay down the HIPS material under the overhang should be. After that, it then prints the other material on top of the HIPS support.

Through this process, HIPS plastic 3D printing can help in preventing the print from collapse, deformation, or warping that would usually happen if there is no support.

HIPS Filament as Support Material

HIPS is the acronym for High Impact Polystyrene. It is a kind of filament that can be dissolved, making it a great support material. HIPS filament can be removed using Limonene solution. What you will have is a high-quality print that is clean.

You don’t need to cut or scrape the material to take it off. The solution is sufficient to remove it. You won’t risk damaging your prints this way.

3D Printing with HIPS and ABS Filaments

HIPS 3D printer filament has many similar properties to that of ABS filaments. Their main difference is that with HIPS, you will use Limonene as the solvent. This allows you to use HIPS as a material for support because you can dissolve it just by putting it the print in Limonene.

This is a great way to remove the material instead of sanding or cutting the support. You won’t have any problems of your hand being sore or your prints being damaged.

Having a dual extruder will also allow you to print all sorts of designs that can only be made possible using a support material such as HIPS filaments.

Printing with HIPS is as easy as that of ABS but you won’t have any issues of your print warping. You can print HIPS along with ABS. They have similar stiffness and strength so that means they can complement each other’s features.

Another thing that’s good about these two kinds of printing material is that they can be printed using the same temperature range. As for the HIPS filament temperature, it usually works well with the extrusion temperature at 225°C and the bed at 55°C

How to Dissolve HIPS Support Material

Once you are done printing your design, allow it to cool. To remove the HIPS support material, submerge it in Limonene and let it stay there for twenty-four hours.

Within that period, all of the HIPS will have dissolved. What would be left is the final product that has the right overhangs, crisp angles and corners, and a clean surface.

Again, you don’t need to use knives to scrape the support material. You can let the Limonene do the work for you and you will have your amazing print the next day.

Using HIPS Material for 3D Printing

In its own right, HIPS is also a good 3D printing material. If you compare HIPS with ABS, you will see that it is stronger and harder compared to it or to PLA. The great thing about HIPS is that it is as easy to use as these other filaments. You also won’t have any issues with it warping like ABS.

Using specialty adhesives, you can have the HIPS filaments glued together. You can also sand it because HIPS will be able to tolerate it. Painting the printed material made of HIPS plastic can be done easily. You can definitely use this 3D printing material to print your prototypes and mockups.

Pros
  • Durable and strong printing material
  • Has good resistance to impact
  • Does well as a support material
  • Easy to paint and works with a wide range of adhesives
  • Safe to use for food consumption
  • Recyclable and non-toxic
  • Non-hydroscopic
Cons
  • May need high printing temperatures
  • Needs a heated bed
  • May have some issues with curling and adhesion

Best HIPS Filament Brands

If you are interested in using HIPS filament for your 3D printing projects, here are some of the best brands in the market that sell HIPS filaments. Let’s take a look at the features of their product.


1. Gizmo Dorks HIPS Filament

There are a number of HIthat you can choose from with Gizmo Dorks. There are grey, black, yellow, red, blue filaments, and other colors. You can use the material as a primary filament for your projects. It is quite rare for brands to offer this because the assumption is that most users will simply utilize HIPS as a support material.

Shop Gizmo Dorks HIPS Filament at Amazon


2. eSun HIPS Filament

This brand also has several colors available. However, the most popular are black and white, especially if it will only be used as a support material for the 3D printing project. You can expect that the HIPS filament from eSun will get the job done and you won’t have a lot of issues using it for your 3D printing projects.

Shop HIPS Filament at Amazon


3. Filament Outlet HIPS Filament

If you are looking for a very affordable HIPS filament, you should consider checking out Filament Outlet. This brand has an edge just by its price. Since HIPS is often used for making prototypes and is often disposed of, many users look for the brand that offers the most affordable price. However, the downside of this feature is that there is only one color from Filament Outlet and that is natural.

Buy eSun HIPS Filament at Amazon


Specifications Gizmo Dorks eSun Filament Outlet
Star Rating 4.6 4.4 3.7
Printing Temperature 210-230°C 220-260°C 220-230°C
Price $24.95 $22.99 $21.97

Conclusion

These are the many features and benefits of using HIPS filament for your 3D printing projects. Hopefully, this guide has given you the information that you need so you can work with HIPS filaments with ease. If you have tried using HIPS, do share your experience in the comments. We’d love to know what you think about this 3D printing material. Also, if you have any questions about it, feel free to ask us and we will surely get back to you.

Other Sources:
https://www.allthat3d.com/pla-vs-abs
https://www.allthat3d.com/abs-filament
https://www.allthat3d.com/nylon-filament
https://www.allthat3d.com/pett-filament
https://www.allthat3d.com/pet-filament