How to optimize water-soluble materials usage

Some tips to save some time and material used





BCN3D has two water-soluble awesome materials that allow us to create complex geometries, while not worrying about breaking the part we want to print during support extraction or poor overhang quality. In this article, you're going to learn how to save on material and printing time. 


This is an extension of the learning article The best way to optimize the use of PVA for 3D printing


If you want some tips or know a bit better on how to print PVA or BVOH, feel free to check out these links:

How to print BCN3D BVOH

BVOH: Tips and tricks

How to print PVA

PVA: Tips and Tricks

How to set up the PVA or BVOH Support Interface

Support interface is a BCN3D Cura setting that creates a denser pattern on the top and bottom of the supports to improve the surface quality of the parts that are in contact with the supports. 


In BCN3D Cura, you can set this top and bottom part to be printed by another extruder. This means we can print only the interface in PVA or BVOH, while leaving the rest to be printed with the main filament. To do so, follow these steps:


1. In BCN3D Cura, go to Custom settings:



2. Open the Support tab and click on Generate Support:



Note: If you don't find the support interface settings, just like the in the picture above, you should configure your setting visibility:


1. Go to Settings/Configure setting visibility:


2. Click on the "Check All" box:



3. With the setting visibility properly configured, go back to the support tab and locate the Support Interface Extruder setting:



4. Set up the extruder with PVA or BVOH as the support interface extruder: 


PVA Support Interface vs Traditional PVA Supports

This section will show a practical application of the Support Interface and its comparison with the standard PVA supports, make sure to check out this article to know a bit more about it: 

The best way to optimize the use of PVA for 3D printing


For this comparison, we will use a tilted, regular 3DBenchy, this is a complex support structure, this represents a quite complex print. 


We will set up both the traditional PVA supports and the PVA support interface. We will evaluate the printing time, as well as the amount of material used:


Traditional Supports PVA interface supports
traditional-supports support-interface


As observed above, the printing time is cut by more than 4 hours, as well as the amount of PVA that's printed, thus needs to be dissolved. The size of the benchy is the same. 



If you want an even lower print time, you can disable the prime tower. Remember that disabling the prime tower can lower the quality of the part you want to print. 

Forum community 

Need more help? Check out our forum community for troubleshooting help.


It's important to keep your printer in good shape to make the most out of it. In this chart you can find a list of the extruder maintenance procedures and how frequently these should be done.

Maintenance Plan (BCN3D Epsilon)

Maintenance Plan (Sigma Series)

Maintenance Plan (BCN3D Sigmax)

Maintenance Plan (BCN3DSigma)


bcn3d-recycle  Take your e-waste to a certified recycler. Check how we do it in BCN3D.



filament humidity eng


store filament eng


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