Best PVA Filament
PVA is an attractive support material for a few reasons. It is water soluble, so when your print is finished, you can simply dunk the object you printed in tap water and watch the PVA supports dissolve away.
Also, even though PVA is more expensive than HIPS, HIPS only dissolves in limonene, which is an irritant and not cheap.
If you are in a rush: Check Gizmo Dorks PVA on Amazon now.
But PVA also has several drawbacks. PVA tends to have trouble sticking to PLA and ABS, and can’t handle melt temperatures above 200ºC. In general, it can be hard to find the right settings to get PVA to stick to anything. Even when it does stick it it is often not not bonded very well and detaches prematurely when only a small amount of force is applied.
Also, PVA can be super stringy, which is sometimes ok, but can often be annoying when printing more printing complicated designs. Many designs will require an ooze wall to keep the PVA in place. And finally, if by chance you do leave the filament in the hotend for too long and it undergoes pyrolysis (similar to combustion), the resulting goop will clog up your extruder and be very difficult to remove.
That being said, PVA is still the support material of choice for many printers. We’ve listed the best PVA filament brands for you here. Most of them are available on Amazon. Click here to check prices on Amazon.
Best PVA Filament
eSUN makes decent PVA that gets the job done. It is one of the more expensive eSUN filaments. But eSUN PVA is also probably the most popular brand of PVA on the market these days.
That has more to do with the widespread recognition of the eSUN brand name than the quality of the PVA itself, but the it is a good PVA nonetheless. You can also find it on MakerGeeks if for some reason it’s unavailable on Amazon. Check it out on Amazon.
Gizmo Dorks makes a good PVA filament. It is a bit stringy, like other PVA filaments. But Gizmo Dorks sticks fairly well to PLA, although it will probably take some trial and error to find the right settings.
One thing to keep in mind is that it will ooze a bit no matter what retraction setting you use. That’s just the way it is. Otherwise, there’s no reason not to give this PVA a shot.
Check out this video to see Gizmo Dorks PVA in action:
rigid.ink PVA filament is a very similar to the other PVA filaments on this list. It tends to stick a bit better to PLA and ABS than other PVA filaments.
Rigid.ink also sells smaller amounts of PVA, which is nice if you are storing it in open air since PVA absorbs moisture easily. With smaller amounts, you won’t ruin a whole 1 kg spool by leaving it out too long. Also, the smaller amounts of PVA cost a lot less than buying an entire spool that you might not use.
Check out a super thorough customer review here:
Of all the brands on this list, Ultimaker PVA is probably the most reliable and easy to work with. Like all other Ultimaker filaments, their PVA very high quality, and somehow it isn’t as yellow as other PVAs. Ultimaker includes a spool of PVA with their new dual extruder Ultimaker 3 printers. Check it out on ultimaker.com.
PVA to avoid
We wouldn’t even mention MAXX PVA in this list if it weren’t for the fact that it is one of the most popular PVA filaments on Amazon. That is unfortunate since it is possibly the most overpriced filament we have ever come across.
For the price, this PVA should be one of the best filaments on earth. It should be a miracle support material. But it is just an average quality PVA. Why it is so outrageously overpriced is anyone’s guess. Don’t waste your money on it.
SainSmart generally makes good filament, but their PVA just doesn’t cut it. It sticks to PLA only about 50% of the time, and struggles with other types of filament.
SainSmart PVA is also just trickier to work with than other PVA filaments. It requires more trial and error to find the right temperature settings, is prone to clogging, and is often unavailable to purchase.
Why does it suck so much? No idea, but hopefully they fix it soon. SainSmart’s PVA filament is definitely one of the worst filaments in their otherwise stellar line up.
While PVA is a good support material in theory, it is sometimes difficult to work with in practice. However, unlike HIPS, it is very easy to remove and works well with dual extruders. Overall, the best PVA on our list is probably the tried and true eSUN brand PVA. If that one doesn’t work for you, you can also check out the $5 rigid.ink PVA spool, which is the best deal on support material we’ve found so far.
If we missed a brand that you would like us to include in our list or if you disagree with any of our conclusions, leave comment below. Otherwise, hopefully this list of the best PVA filaments helped you find what you are looking for.