High impact polystyrene, or HIPS, is a filament type primarily used for creating support structures. This is thanks to the fact that it can be dissolved away in d-limonene. Using dissolvable support structures allows you to place supports in areas where it would normally be difficult or impossible to remove them during post-processing. Dissolvable support structures also don’t leave any marks on prints when removed.
HIPS is generally used in combination with ABS, thanks to their similar printing temperatures and requirements. HIPS is also more stable and lighter than ABS too making it a good choice for prints that are likely to face more wear or where weight is an important factor.
- Bed Temperature: 100-115 °C
- Heated Bed Required
- Enclosure recommended
- Build Surface: PET sheets, Kapton tape, Glass plate, Glue stick
- Extruder: Temperature 230-245 °C
Best Practices and Tips
Kapton tape or PET sheets can be a huge advantage in achieving good bed adhesion. As with ABS, HIPS is prone to warping when cooled too fast. Good bed adhesion is a key part of preventing warping and keeping your prints in good shape.
HIPS, just like ABS, contracts when cooled rapidly. By placing the print in an enclosure and keeping the ambient temperature high, you can allow the print to cool slowly, preventing It from warping.
HIPS can be prone to having layers split from each other. Lowering the layer height or increasing the print head temperature can help to increase layer bonding and prevent delamination.
Some HIPS filaments include additives that are designed to make them easier to print. These same additives generally make it harder to dissolve. It’s a good idea to check the properties of the HIPS filament you’re buying and comparing them to your planned use case.
- Relatively cheap
- Impact and water-resistant
- Dissolvable in d-limonene
- Requires a heated bed
- Works best with a heated enclosure
- Has a high printing temperature
This information should give you a great starting point for HIPS printing. Have you got any specific projects you’re planning to use HIPS for? Let us know down below.