HIPS Filament vs PLA, PETG, ABS

by Mike Brooks | Last Updated: October 25, 2021

Introducing a group of support materials such as HIPS and PVA filaments revolutionized how professionals and hobbyists conduct their 3D printing projects.

HIPS Filament vs PLA, PETG, ABS

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Also, this new technology introduced the support material that makes it possible for 3D printing enthusiasts to experiment by printing complex models they never thought they would ever print.

Additionally, soluble support material such as the HIPS filament and PVA filament enables you to print complex 3D objects with curves and cavities.

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The support materials’ functionalities excite 3D printing hobbyists. For instance, after 3D printing an object, you need to put it inside the soluble agent, and the support material will dissolve, leaving behind a high-quality 3D print.

This article provides you with in-depth information about the HIPS filament. HIPS filament remains one of the most famous and highly used 3D printing support materials in the market.

What Is HIPS Filament?

HIPS stands for High Impact Polystrene. It’s a dissolvable filament used as a support material in the 3D printing industry. Because of its soluble properties, the HIPS filament can be easily removed from the 3D model using a solution called Limonene.

Previously, you would print using a 3D printer filament such as the ABS filament successfully. However, at times, you needed to scrub or sand the surface and the edges of your final object to spruce up its quality.

You no longer need to go through that, as HIPS supports the production of high-quality prints as a soluble support material.

Features of the HIPS Filament

The HIPS filament enjoys several excellent qualities that make it a favorite for most 3D printing enthusiasts:

Disadvantages of the HIPS Filament

HIPS Hardware Requirements

Using the HIPS Filament

3D printing using the HIPS filament requires a 3D printer with a bed temperature of between 90 to 110 degrees celsius. Consequently, you may run into challenges with some machines as they will develop bed adhesion issues.

Also, a high bed temperature can be challenging to achieve. Therefore, as a remedy, you can use the Kapton tape (view on Amazon) to help you achieve the correct bed adhesion whenever you use HIPS filament.

Temperatures in the heated chambers need to be correctly adjusted to suit the HIPS filament requirement.

Is PETG Stronger Than PLA?

PLA Filament

Polylactic Acid (PLA), a thermoplastic monomer manufactured from renewable organic sources like sugarcane and corn starch, remains a popular 3D printing plastic material.

PLA filament uses biomass resources for its production; its chemical properties remain different from fossil-based plastic filaments.

Properties Of The PLA Filament

PETG Filament

PETG stands for Polyethylene Glycol. Also, PETG remains a thermoplastic polyester that provides durability, manufacturing formability, and chemical resistance.

If you closely look at it, you realize it comes about as the adoption of PET( Polyethelene Terephthalate). The “G” represents Glycol and serves to add a molecular property that makes it possible for 3D printed objects to have that shiny appearance and a nice touch.

Properties of the PETG Filament

Comparison Between PLA And PETG

Both the PLA and PETG fall under the polyester plastic group. Also, they belong to the thermoplastic group like other FDM 3D printing filaments (view on Amazon).

The thermoplastic property of the filament softens it up when exposed to a particular level of temperature. Additionally, you can find both of these filaments in both the 1.75mm and 2.85mm diameters.

PETG boasts a higher physical strength than the PLA filament.

The PETG temperature tolerance capacity remains higher than that of the PLA. So, the PETG temperature tolerance, recorded at 75 degrees celsius, remains more elevated than the PLA temperature tolerance paged at 55 degrees celsius.

PETG filament handles the outdoor weather and the sun far much better than the PLA filament. However, you can make the PLA more durable in difficult weather conditions by painting it.

Paint remains a known remedy for protecting PLA filament from adverse weather conditions.

Support materials enable 3D printers to produce high-quality prints. Therefore, choosing the suitable support material for the leading 3D printer filament proves to be the game-changer as enhancing print quality remains the issue.

On this front, PLA enjoys more wide-range support materials compatible with it than the PETG filament.

HIPS Filament vs ABS

The ABS Filament

Together with the PLA filament, the ABS filament remains one of the most popular and widely used filaments in the 3D printing industry.

ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. Also, it enjoys the thermoplastic properties that mold it when heated and solidifies when cooled quickly.

Additionally, it can take numerous forms and maintain its quality, making it attractive to traditional 3D printing manufacturers and 3D printing hobbyists.

Advantages Of The ABS Filament

On the other hand, you can use the dissolving HIPS alongside the ABS filament. Ideally, when used to support 3D printing with ABS being the central filament, you can dissolve HIPS using Limonene to free the 3D object from markings caused during HIPS removal.

More importantly, HIPS hosts many of the qualities commonly seen in ABS. Thus, making HIPS the preferred ABS filament dual extrusion partner.

The HIPS filament boasts dimensionally more potent and slightly lighter mechanical properties than the ABS.

Thus, this particular property makes HIPS a preferred choice for parts that end up wearing out in applications that benefits from the lighter weight.

HIPS Filament vs PETG

PETG Plastic Filament

PETG stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol. It’s a co-polyester famously utilized in the 3D printing industry for its durability and user-friendliness.

The “G” in the PETG represents Glycol- modified, a molecular property that makes the final 3D object clear and enjoys the shiny glass-like properties.

Furthermore, PETG combines some of the best qualities of PLA and ABS.

For example, while it picks the easy-to-use quality of PLA, at the same time, it enjoys the rigidity and mechanical properties of ABS.

Advantages OF the PETG Filament

PETG Run Conditions

Properties Of PETG Filament

PETG versus HIPS

Having seen the properties of the two filaments, PETG, and HIPS in this article, it makes an exciting prospect to compare the two.

You can use HIPS as a print filament in its own right and a supporting material in the 3D printing process. But PETG remains a printing and not a 3D printing support material.

The two plastic filaments demonstrate a tremendous resistance impact; hence they attract many applications in various 3D printing industries.

Also, PETG comes on top when performing under significant stress levels compared to HIPS filament.

HIPS quickly turns the table on PETG when it comes to providing a final product with better rigidity. However, the same quality renders HIPS the more brittle filament between the two.

In 3D printing jargon, tensile strength means the ability of a filament to resist breaking up when subjected to high temperatures. In this regard, PETG outperforms the HIPS filament as it enjoys a tensile strength paged at more than twice that of the PETG filament.

Furthermore, HIPS gives a translucent white look with a matte finish to its 3D prints. Also, it can be produced in a variety of colors as it takes colors well.

On the contrary, PETG remains transparent, and its products enjoy excellent clarity.

Can HIPS Be Used With PLA? Is It Better Than PLA?

You can use HIPS with PLA because Limonene, the chemical that dissolves HIPS, does not affect the PLA filament.

However, using HIPS with PLA may not be recommended because the two plastic filaments do not have similar printing temperatures.

While the PLA material prints at a nozzle temperature of 180 degrees celsius, HIPS prints at a higher temperature of 230 degrees Celsius.

Therefore, striking a balance between the two printing temperatures during printing time may prove to be a complicated task indeed. Thus, the PLA filament may not stick to the HIPS resulting in a misplaced undertaking.

When you look deeply into the mechanical properties of both plastic filaments, you will find:

Elastic Tensile

HIPS 1.9 and PLA 3.5

Elongation Of Break

HIPS 4% and PLA 6%

Ultimate Tensile Strenght

HIPS 32 and PLA 50

Stiffness To Weight

HIPS 40 and PLA 40

Strength To Weight

HIPS 8.5 and PLA 11

The above statistics lead us to the logical conclusion that PLA remains the more robust filament between the two 3D printing filaments. Thus, it may appear to be the better filament.

However, 3D printing professionals and hobbyists have different needs other 3D printer filaments can serve.

The best filament for a particular need may not be the best for a different requirement and application.

Is HIPS Filament Toxic?

HIPS filaments have mechanical properties that make them release toxic fumes when subjected to heating. So, when heated up, HIPS produces small amounts of styrene into the environment.

These emissions may be pretty hazardous to your health, and you need to take precautions to keep safe from them.

If you get exposed to high amounts of HIPS toxic fumes, you may suffer irritation of the eyes and suffer respiratory tract health challenges. You may get nausea and severe headaches.

To tackle this challenge, you can install a unique filler system in your office or workshop. Also, increasing room ventilation automatically activates the installed filler system.

Furthermore, you can buy or even create your printer enclosure to keep the toxic fumes from you during 3D printing.

Top 3 HIPS Filament Brands

1) Fillamentum Extra Fill

This HIPS Filament Brand comes from the Czech republic. The Fillamentum Extra Fill offers its customers high-quality 3D printing materials that include the HIPS filament.

You can find the product in five different shades of colors, and 3D hobbyists have an extensive range of colors to pick from the available options. The manufactures also provide adequate information on the technical aspects of the Fillamentum Extra Fill Brand.

Additionally, the manufacturers of this brand offer 3D enthusiasts a dissolving solution known as Lemonenesal. The soluble solution comes in 315 and 625ml bottles.

Brand Features

2) Gizmo Dorks

The manufacturers of this particular HIPS brand come from California in the US.

Gizmo Dorks 1.75mm Hips Filament 1kg / 2.2lb for 3D Printers, White

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The Gizmo Dork HIPS filament brand enjoys rave reviews from many customers and 3D printing hobbyists.

Its most significant selling point remains the provision of a wide range of colors for its products.

Brand Features

3) Kodak

Kodak will remain a company mainly linked to the photography and paper print business.

KODAK 3D printer limonene soluble filament HIPS BLUE +/- 0.03 mm, 750g (1.6lbs) Spool, 1.75 mm. Lowest moisture premium filament in Vacuum Sealed Aluminum Ziploc bag. Fit Most FDM Printers.

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However, It diversified its operations and now offers well-packaged HIPS spools for the 3D printing industry.

The HIPS filaments come in different sizes and colors that will remain adequate if you use the filaments as a support material.

Brand Features

Are HIPS Filaments Expensive?

HIPS filaments remain comparatively affordable to other filament types available in the market. At a price of between $20 and $60, they fit perfectly in the price range that you may find some of the cheapest filament brands in the market.

Conclusion

The HIPS filament provides one of the cheapest and most effective soluble support materials in the 3D printing industry.

Also, due to its mechanical properties, the HIPS filament can be applied in prototype creation.

Equally, you can use it to fabricate home appliances, paint, and glue object parts. More importantly, you may readily find HIPS filament in the market in different brands, colors, and are quite affordable.

Michael Brooks is the founder of M3DZone.com. He sees a very bright future for 3D printing that's why his mission is to try and make this easy for everyone. Discover your hidden talent and creativity. You can follow here: Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.