Removing Solid Support Material from a 3D Printed Gear

Vacuum Cycle Nucleation (VCN) Removing Solid Support Material from a 3D Printed Gear in a Sodium Hydroxide Solution.

Originally Printed Gear

Gear After One Hour

Gear After Three Hours

The gear was treated in a 3% sodium hydroxide solution pulsing a vacuum to produce vapor within the part every 15 seconds. The VCN vacuum removes the spent solution from the internals of the gear and brings in fresh solution to continue dissolution. After 3 hours the gear was completely cleaned and all the gears rotated freely. Generally this part takes 48 hours in a circulation bath of 10% sodium hydroxide to remove all the material.