HIPS Filament Everything You Need to Know

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Explore the versatile world of HIPS filament in 3D printing. Learn about its properties, advantages, applications, and tips for effective use.


by Editorial Staff: We are a team of 3D Printing Enthusiasts who have build a lot of knowledge about 3D Printing the last 8 years. Our aim is to create the knowledge hub for 3D Printing covering all minor and major topics. Providing one source of reliable Information for everybody regardless of Beginner or Expert.


Introduction

High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) filament is a versatile and user-friendly material known for its excellent impact resistance and ease of printing. Commonly used as a support material in combination with ABS due to its similar printing properties and solubility in limonene, HIPS also stands on its own for creating durable, lightweight parts with a matte finish. Its ease of painting and gluing makes HIPS Filament particularly appealing for model makers, hobbyists, and professionals in need of detailed prototypes or components. Additionally, HIPS’s low cost and good dimensional stability contribute to its popularity in a wide range of applications, from consumer products to intricate artistic creations.

While HIPS is relatively easy to print with minimal warping and odor compared to ABS, proper ventilation is still recommended due to the release of styrene during the printing process. With the right settings, HIPS can yield high-quality prints suitable for both functional and aesthetic applications.

About HIPS Filament

HIPS offers a good balance between mechanical strength and workability, making it a prime candidate for parts that require subsequent processing, such as sanding or painting. Its impact resistance ensures durability, while its lightweight nature makes it suitable for applications where reducing mass is beneficial. Known for its compatibility as a support material, HIPS can be easily dissolved away in limonene, leaving a smooth surface on the primary material, typically ABS.

Optimal printing with HIPS involves standard temperatures and bed adhesion techniques, making it an accessible material for beginners and seasoned users alike. Its versatility extends to various printing projects, providing a reliable option for those seeking a balance between performance and ease of use.

Possible Applications of HIPS Filament

Prototyping

HIPS is extensively used for creating detailed prototypes that require finishing processes to achieve their final look, including sanding and painting.

Support Material

In dual-extrusion printing, HIPS is valuable as a dissolvable support for ABS, facilitating the creation of complex parts with overhangs and intricate geometries.

Hobbyist Projects

Model making, cosplay, and decorative items benefit from HIPS’s ease of use, paintability, and matte finish, allowing for creative freedom and customization.

Packaging and Containers

The material’s low cost and easy processing make it ideal for disposable packaging, containers, and other lightweight products requiring impact resistance.

Pros and Cons of HIPS Filament

Pros:

  • Impact Resistance: Provides durability against physical stresses, making it suitable for functional parts.
  • Ease of Printing: Exhibits minimal warping and is generally easy to work with, even for those new to 3D printing.
  • Finish and Post-Processing: Accepts paint and adhesive well, offering a matte finish that can be easily sanded for post-processing.
  • Cost-Effective: Offers a good balance of performance and affordability, especially for large-scale or budget-conscious projects.

Cons:

  • Styrene Emissions: Releases styrene when printed, necessitating a well-ventilated environment.
  • Solubility in Limonene: While an advantage for support, requires careful handling and storage to prevent unintentional dissolution.
  • Limited Application as a Sole Material: Often used in combination with other materials for more comprehensive mechanical properties.
  • Heat Resistance: Lower than materials like ABS or ASA, limiting its use in high-temperature applications.
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Material Settings of HIPS Filament

SettingValue
Print Temperature [°C]220 – 270
Build Plate Temperature [°C]80 – 110
Print Speed [mm/s]40 – 60
Cooling Fan [%]0 – 50
Enclosed Build ChamberRequired
Air ManagementRequired
Min Active Heated Build Chamber Temperature [°C]Not Required
DryingRecommended
AnnealingRecommended

For successful printing projects with HIPS, adhering to these settings will ensure optimal adhesion, layer bonding, and an overall high-quality print that requires minimal post-processing.

Mechanical Properties of HIPS Filament

PropertyValue
Shore HardnessD70 – D80
Specific Gravity [g/cc]1.03 – 1.07
Tensile Strength at Break [Mpa]20 – 30
Elongation at Break [%]5 – 70
Flexural Strength [Mpa]40 – 70
Flexural Modulus [Mpa]1250 – 2000
Impact Strength Charpy 23˚C [kJ/m²]10 – 30
HDT B [°C]80 – 95
Tg [°C]90 – 100
UV ResistanceModerate

HIPS’s mechanical properties highlight its adequacy for producing parts that balance durability with the capacity for intricate detail and aesthetic finishing.

Material Comparison

MaterialPLAABSHIPS
Print Temperature [°C]180 – 235230 – 270220 – 240
DurabilityModerateHighModerate
Ease of PrintingHighModerateHigh
UV ResistanceLowModerateModerate
Heat ResistanceLowModerateLow

HIPS provides a compromise between the ease of printing seen in PLA and the mechanical strength and finish quality akin to ABS, with the added benefit of being more user-friendly and cost-effective.

FAQ´s about HIPS Filament

How does HIPS compare to ABS in applications?

HIPS is similar to ABS in terms of processing but offers better impact resistance and a more matte finish, though it falls short in thermal stability.

Can HIPS be used alone, or is it just a support material?

While often used as a support material for ABS due to its solubility in limonene, HIPS can also be used standalone for creating durable, impact-resistant parts with excellent finish quality.

How should HIPS filament be stored?

HIPS should be stored in a cool, dry place, ideally in a sealed container with desiccants to prevent moisture absorption that could affect print quality.

Is HIPS safe for creating toys or household items?

HIPS is generally safe for these applications, but proper ventilation during printing is crucial due to styrene emissions. Post-processing, including painting and sealing, can further ensure safety.

How can warping be minimized when printing with HIPS?

Using a heated print bed, applying an adhesive to the print surface, and minimizing drafts can reduce warping and improve print success with HIPS.

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