Maximizing the power of Ultem® with water-soluble support

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How can a notoriously difficult build material be used in new ways? By combining it with an industry-first water-only soluble support material created to accelerate engineering possibilities and promote design freedom.


A global manufacturing company was looking for a better solution for working with Ultem® (also known as polyetherimide or PEI filament), an engineering thermoplastic requiring high-temperature printing conditions.


While Ultem is valued for its performance characteristics — such as superior strength-to-weight ratio and chemical resistance — it's a historically difficult material to work with. Products printed with Ultem require the use of break-away support material, the removal of which in post-processing can be a difficult and cumbersome process, with the added risk of damage to the integrity of the printed part.


As an Ultem support material, AquaSys®180 opened up design and print possibilities in industries such as aerospace and automotive. Because AquaSys 180 is a water-only soluble support, the company could print the part in any direction and use as much support material as needed without concerns about breakage or labor costs.


AquaSys 180 proved to be a productive Ultem® support material, saving the company time and resources, reducing waste in terms of product breakage, and promoting greater design freedom and engineering flexibility. The overall response to AquaSys was that it "blurred the lines between theoretical capabilities and actual results."



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