YouSu is a 3D printing material manufacturer based in China that specializes in high-tech 3D research and development. One of the products Yousu offer is their YouSu PVB filament. It is a special 3D printing filament that softens in Alcohol allowing you to produce strong and perfectly smooth 3D prints. Let’s take a look!
YouSu’s PVB Filament Color Options
PVB 3D printer filament comes in four colors: red, blue, grey, and green. All colors only come in one size, 1kg, which is the standard spool size. You have a choice between 1.75mm and 2.85mm in diameter depending on what your printer is compatible with.
YouSu PVB Filament Packaging And Spool
YouSu’s PVB filament was packaged very well, it was in a cardboard box with some bubble wrap to keep it from sliding around. The filament box itself is a cardboard box with the company name and a nice quote. Inside the box, I was greeted with a nice, smiley face and the PVB filament. And to my surprise, a spare 0.4mm nozzle, is always nice to see manufacturers do small things like this. The spool was vacuumed, sealed with some desiccant inside of a resealable Ziploc bag. The spool itself is clear so you can see how much filament you have left. Also, you can find the printing temperatures and YouSu social media on the side of the spool.
Scout Trooper Bust – by Saxon Fullwood on MyMiniFactory
Furrow Vase – by Clockspring on MyMiniFactory
Greek bust and Corinthian Helmet – by Blue Sand Development on MyMiniFactory
Crystal Dragon – by Cinderwing3D on MyMiniFactory
Xbox Controller Faceplate – unknown source similar one here
How The YouSu PVB Filament Prints
Printing with YouSu’s PVB was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I just set the temperature to what was recommended by YouSu and it printed like a charm. The only issues I had came after the PVB absorbed water, but even then the only issue was stringing. The steaming and bubbles at the nozzle didn’t have much of an effect on the surface quality of the print and it wasn’t noticeable at all after smoothing the prints in IPA.
(these pictures are before smoothing)
The Wrong Way To Smooth YouSu PVB Filament
PVB is a material that can be smoothed with alcohol, but how? When I first got the PVB, I didn’t know how to smooth the prints. There were no instructions. I just went for it and dunked them right into the IPA, and it worked… kinda. It smoothed fast, but the larger layer lines were still noticeable and anything with thinner walls just melted away like the vase below. Small details were also washed out quite easily with this method.
The Right Way To Smooth YouSu PVB Filament
After that method didn’t work too well, I decided to go to YouSu’s website and try to find directions. There were no clear directs, but they did mention “smoothing in polisher” and “smoothing in IPA vapors” so I gave it a try. I put the printed part on a tray and put it into my Anycubic wash and cure station, I emptied the wash and cure station most of the way so the printed part was not submerged in the IPA at all and set it to wash to agitate the IPA. It took a lot longer, but it worked so much better. The print had a nice glossy surface and no visible layer lines whatsoever.
Procedure For Smoothing YouSu PVB Filament
After spending a good amount of time printing with the PVB filament, I have developed a procedure for smoothing the parts. First, I remove all the support material and clean any stringing. Next, I place it on the tray with a piece of wax paper to keep it from sticking. Then I put it into the wash and cure station and set it to wash and I leave it for a couple of hours or so depending on the size of the print. Lastly, I take it out and set it in a warm area to fully dry. I found it is dry to the touch after a couple of hours and completely dry after a day. For larger parts, I found it helps if I use a sprayer on the mist setting to speed up the smoothing process.
YouSu PVB Filament Is Hygroscopic Water Absorption
YouSu’s PVB is very Hygroscopic meaning it absorbs water out of the air very fast. This might not seem like a big issue, but it does affect print quality. Wet filament steams and bubbles at the nozzle, causing slight defects in the print and also causing stinging. This is just the nature of the material and has nothing to do with how it was manufactured.
How I Avoided This Issue
I stored my PVB filament in a dry box anytime it was not printing. However, this didn’t eliminate the problem: the YouSu PVB Filament absorbs water so fast that during printing the PVB absorbed enough water to cause noticeable bubbles, stringing, and even a clogged nozzle.
There are ways to avoid this, though. The first and best option is to buy a filament dryer. All you have to do is dry the YouSu PVB filament before you use it and you are good to go. Some filament dryers even double as a dry box and you can print right from the box. However, filament dryers can be expensive and you might not want to deal with the hassle. Another option is to store the filament in a dry box and use it as fast as possible. This isn’t the best option but it has worked for me. I don’t have a filament dryer or a dry box, so I made a dry box. All I did was put some desiccant in a cookie tin and through the YouSu PVB filament in with it.
Flexibility Of The YouSu PVB Filament
The YouSu PVB filament is rigid and not flexible at all right off the printer. But after it is treated in IPA, the print becomes flexible. The flexibility, along with the smoothed layers, creates an incredibly strong print. Most flexible filaments are difficult to print with because they are hard to extrude due to their flexibility, but you won’t have that problem with PVB. YouSu PVB Filament is rigid up until it is treated in the IPA. Only then does it become flexible. The PVB is not as flexible as an average TPU after it is completely dry.
Price Of The YouSu PVB Filament
The YouSu PVB filament comes in at $29.99, which is an incredible price for what it is. PVB is not a widely available material and usually, that would make a filament cost a lot more, but YouSu has the PVB priced at the average cost for a roll of PLA. YouSu’s PVB can be purchased from their website.
YouSu’s PVB Filament Review Conclusion
In conclusion, I had an excellent experience with the YouSu PVB Filament 3D printing filament. It was easy to print with and easy to smooth. The entire idea behind this filament is its ability to be treated with IPA to get a perfectly smooth surface and increased strength. It is very similar to printing with PLA and just as easy to print. The smoothing process is a little of a learning curve but it is easy after a few tries. The smoothed parts look amazing. There are no visible layer lines and the parts have a nice shine to them. I would definitely recommend you pick up a roll for yourself and try it out. Take 3D printing to the next level with 3D printed parts that look like injection molded parts.