If you have a complex model to print with ABS you can mix it with soluble HIPS filament. In this guide you will learn what HIPS is, how to set up your 3D printer, and how to dissolve the support structures.

ABS/HIPS mix 3D printed on ZMorph VX.
ABS/HIPS mix 3D printed on ZMorph VX.

What is HIPS?

HIPS stands for high impact polystyrene. It’s a blend of polystyrene and rubber. It exhibits a good strength and stiffness profile and has similar technical properties as ABS. Therefore, you can successfully mix ABS and HIPS in dual extrusion 3D printing.

HIPS is mainly used in 3D printing as dissolvable support material for ABS. You can use Voxelizer settings for dual extrusion to 3D print with HIPS and ABS. HIPS support structures dissolve in Limonene. More on that later.

ZMorph VX, ZMorph Dual Extruder toolhead, two HIPS/ABS sample prints.
Dual Extruder and HIPS sample prints.

How to 3D Print with HIPS?

Thanks to Voxelizer presets, 3D printing with ZMorph VX is hassle-free, and the workflow is easy to manage. We focus on printing models with two filaments (ABS and HIPS), but you can also make single-material objects with only HIPS filament.

Voxelizer Settings

After you upload the model to Voxelizer, you need to determine which part should be printed with HIPS (usually that would be the support). To do that, right-click on the model and assign left or right filament (see screenshots). If you have any trouble, check ZMorph Academy for more detailed guides.

Voxelizer printing settings. ABS and HIPS filaments mixed in ZMorph Dual Extruder.
ABS model with HIPS support / Voxelizer screenshot.

Adhesion

Apply adhesive agent before printing. If you encounter any problems such as warping or poor quality first layer, check the ZMorph Academy, where we discuss the most common 3D printing issues.

HIPS Printing & Bed Temperature

HIPS can be mixed with ABS because both materials exhibit similar printing temperatures. Set up your extruder to 220-250 °C. Bed temperature should be set to 70-80 °C.

Other Printing Settings

To avoid warping and other issues you should use closed chamber for 3D printing HIPS. Similar to ABS, with closed covers your model will be of higher quality and there’s little to no risk the print will fail.

Finished HIPS and ABS model printed with Dual Extruder.
Finished HIPS and ABS model printed with Dual Extruder.

HIPS Applications

HIPS is mainly used as a support material for ABS as it is dissolvable in Limonene. Apart from that you can use it for casings, containers, protective elements and mechanical parts. 

3D printing HIPS support.
HIPS support.

Soluble HIPS Support

Similar to PVA/PLA, HIPS can be fused with ABS to create a soluble support. As we mentioned previously, it can be dissolved in Limonene. Simply dip your model in Limonene after it’s ready and wait for the support structures to dissolve.

Remember that Limonene can irritate your skin so it’s best to use protective gloves when using this solvent. 

Two models with HIPS support.
Two models with HIPS support.

HIPS vs PVA

Compare PVA and HIPS by reading PVA material overview. In a nutshell: PVA is used in a similar way as HIPS; it’s a water-soluble filament that is perfect for mixing with PLA.

Health & Safety

Fumes generated by 3D printed HIPS can be harmful. Please, bear that in mind and always place your 3D printer in a well ventilated room. Minimize the risk of breathing in the fumes and limit your presence in the same room as the machine while it’s operating. 

If you feel dizzy or your head starts to hurt, leave the room immediately, grab some fresh air and contact a doctor if the symptoms don’t stop. 

ZMorph VX operates with high temperatures. Always wait until the machine cools down (it shouldn’t take too long) before removing ready models. This way you won’t get burned. 

More Materials for ZMorph VX

WIth ZMorph VX you can work with almost 50 materials for additive and subtractive manufacturing. Read the ZMorph Materials Library to learn about their most popular applications, technical data and features. Download the document for free and start creating.

ZMorph Materials Library

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Content Manager at ZMorph

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