PVB Material For 3D Printing – Properties Guide

This guide covers PVB material properties, printability, and what applications it can be used for.

PVB Overviews

pvb material

PVB (Polyvinyl butyral) is an intrinsically transparent and attractive (bond) thermoplastic material for making objects with see-through effects.

It's very much a resin used to bond parts. It's not exactly like glass and it's a material that can be layer smoothed to be glossy.

This material isn't widely used in 3D printing as other plastics like ABS and PLA for strong parts, but it's easily printable material due to its low melting temperature, and it's good for creating display pieces.

Above all, PVB is soluble with isopropyl alcohol (IPA), and its two main features are to be bonded easily with other PVB parts and be smoothed.

PVB Material Properties

pvb material structure
  • Impact Resistance Charpy - 55kJ/m2
  • Heat Deflection Temperature - 55°C
  • Tensile Strength - 50 MPa
  • Extruder Temperature - 215°C
  • Bed Temperature - 75°C
  • Price (per kg) - $60.5

Areas Of Strength

  • Soluable with common solvents
  • Low melting temperature makes it easy for 3D printing
  • Low warping
  • Easily to get smoothed
  • Easily bond with other PVB parts
  • Moderately strong

Areas Of Weakness

  • Hygroscopic (Absorbs moisture)
  • Brittle (Not for durable use)
  • Low glass transition temperature
  • Not for mechanical parts
  • Expensive

Common Applications For PVB

solar panel module
  • Lamp shades
  • Jewllery
  • Vases
  • Solar modules
  • Display models
  • Transulcent parts

Which 3D Printers Can Print PVB

Please make sure your FDM 3D printer has the following capability:

  • Extruder temperature - 215 °C
  • No special hot end required
  • Heated bed - 75 °C
  • Enclosure - Not required
  • Build surface - PEI, satin TXT sheet

Best PVB Filament Materials To Use

prusament pvb material
  • Prusament PVB
  • Polymaker PolySmooth

Best Practices Using PVB Material In 3D Printing

Use A Larger Nozzle

  • Try 0.8mm nozzle to have great success printing parts to be smoothed
  • Turn spiral vase mode on

Don't Use Too Much IPA

  • Excessive solvent can lead to cloudy effects especially on transulcent surfaces

Store PVB Materials Away From Moisture

  • Store it in air tight container under room temperature as much as possible

Tweak Settings Until Optimized

  • Change layer height, number of perimeters and fill density until optimized
  • Use smooth PEI sheet or satin TXT for good adhesion (Don't use powder coated TXT sheet)

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