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May 12

Printing With SUP706 on Connex Printers: Tips & Tricks

In Q4 of 2015 Stratasys officially announced the release of Soluble Support material (termed SUP706) for the Connex platform, enhancing the already-outstanding capabilities of their triple-jetting technology. In today's blog post we will be reviewing the advantages of SUP706, as well as providing insight our Applications Team has to offer after upgrading our Objet 500Connex 3 to the soluble support system and integrating it into our workflow. 

Support 706: The Practical Advantages

Though touting the obvious advantage of hands-free support removal, this new support material boasts several advantages over its predecessor, SUP705. Designed to work complimentarily with each other, at Cimetrix we have found that SUP706 can essentially act as a replacement for SUP705 for 99% of the parts we are producing in-house. This has facilitated streamlining of our Polyjet workflow, vastly improving our throughput for multi-component projects. Moreover, the adoption of SUP706 has allowed our team to engage in increasingly complex projects that would not be possible with SUP705.

Below we have outlined the advantages we have experience with the adoption of SUP706:

  • Reduces time and labour required for support removal
  • Freedom to design intricate and delicate multi-material parts without having to consider manual support removal within the design process
  • Improved surface quality of parts, as well as improved clarity for VeroClear components
  • Ability to print and clean fine details, delicate features, and difficult interior cavities
  • Hands-free support removal
  • Quicker support removal and overall faster part-in-hand time; with SUP706 we have found improved throughput of our Connex3, bringing it closer to the throughput we see with our FDM technologies
  • Bio-medical approval; compatible for use with MED610 and MED620 facilitates production of even the most complex parts for medical applications

Support Removal with SUP706

SUP706 opens doors with regards to the support removal process - regardless of the method used, we have seen increased throughput and reduced time-per-part with the adoption of SUP706. In addition to being completely soluble, the support material is also much easier than SUP705 when utilizing manual removal. As such, we now utilize 706 for every Polyjet build regardless of the intended removal method. The three main support removal processes are: manual, hands-free (via clean station), and a hybrid of the two.

1. Manual Support Removal: This method provides the fastest support removal method that also uses the least consumables. When compared to removal with 705, manual removal with 706 tends to be much more efficient whether utilizing clay scrapers or the Water Jet. At Cimetrix, we use this method for larger parts, or fairly straightforward parts free of complex geometries or delicate features.

2. Hands-Free Support Removal: This method parallels the removal process utilized with our FDM technology, providing the most automed process for Polyjet support removal, and when considering the price of labour, the most cost-effective. In this process, the part is placed in an alkaline, room-temperature agitation bath. We find that most parts are free of supports within 12 hours, though complex parts may require 24+ hours before supports are removed. Around the office, we will opt for the hands-free method for extremely complex/delicate parts, or on days where our team of Applications Specialists is too busy to spare the time required for manual support removal.

3. Hybrid Manual Support Removal: This method is what is most oft used at Cimetrix, providing optimal throughput via a balance of manual  and hands-free processes. By using this hybrid process, we minimize both the time spent by our Applications Specialists, as well as the costs required for support removal. This process consists of manual removal of bulky support structures in the waterjet, followed by placing the parts in the alkaline solution to remove any remaining support material.

SUP706 Compatibilities & User Benefits

SUP 706 is compatible with a host of Polyjet Printers from Stratasys, including all platforms based on the triple-jetting technology. Furthermore, the option exists to upgrade an Eden260VS to use SUP706, and there is planned adoption for both the J750, as well as the Dental Series of Polyjet printers. SUP706 is compatible with all Polyjet Photopolymers, including Tango and the entire range of Digital Materials. All that is required to begin printing with SUP706 is a simple hardware upgrade, performed by our team of specially trained Applications Specialists.

Almost all Polyjet users will experience immediate benefits when switching to SUP706, including current users of SUP705, current users of WaterJet for support removal, users of any triple-jetting system, and users wanting to produce parts with more complexity/delicacy that SUP705 allows. For more information on SUP706, including complete user guides and application stories, or to schedule your upgrade, please contact our team of Applications Specialists.