Support Material Challenges

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thinkin3D
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Support Material Challenges

Post by thinkin3D » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:18 pm

I'm a new user and finding that support material is the biggest problem I'm having - I want to limit and control it. A few questions:

1. Is there any way to turn off support material completely, or use software that allows me to do so? I'd prefer to build the support structures into my model, so I can control how it behaves.

2. Is there any way to see the way the actual model will print i.e. see how the support material will be done before printing? I'm wondering if there's a back door to finding the file being generated, so one can copy/open/translate into a readable form to view it? That way, I can at least see what will be printed.

3. How does the algorithm work for using area overhangs to compute and determine to use support material? I'm wondering is I set it to, say, 20mm2, if I break up any surface by, say, putting small slots into a surface, will the support structure algorithm look at the total supported area somehow, or will I be able to fool it? Let me use an example. Let's say I have an overhang that I don't want supported, but the software is building a support. If I take that same overhang and puts grooves into it, so that one larger area becomes a lot of smaller areas, will the support structure algorithm treat each area as it's own, or will it say, "Hmm, if I add up all these areas, they're collectively unsupported..." if you get my drift.

4. Just looking for solutions. My prints are great, but removing support material is a pain in the neck and compromises the results.

Thanks in advance.

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JuliaDee
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Re: Support Material Challenges

Post by JuliaDee » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:48 pm

1. No.

2. Many users have requested this feature (I think I was the first), but at present, no.

3. I think you'll have to experiment to determine that.

4. I don't find support removal much of a bother (especially with v1.18 of the software); you'll get used to it once you have the right tools, patience, and "the knack". Dental picks, the flat chisel that comes with the printer, a pair of needlenose, a good pair of tweezers (not the crap that comes with the printer), and the diagonal cutters that come with the printer. Don't use the cutters for cutting, use them for grabbing support and twisting it until it pops off.

ftdesigns
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Re: Support Material Challenges

Post by ftdesigns » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:21 pm

2. actually, if you run a 'print preview' of your model, the footprint of the support material (meaning, the area it will be located on the platform only) will show up in yellow on the 3d model.

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JuliaDee
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Re: Support Material Challenges

Post by JuliaDee » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:42 am

ftdesigns wrote:2. actually, if you run a 'print preview' of your model, the footprint of the support material (meaning, the area it will be located on the platform only) will show up in yellow on the 3d model.
The support "footprint" is a far cry from what I'd like to see, which is a full, 3-D rotatable, zoomable model with support, preferably with support shown in a contrasting color, and maybe some transparency in both part and support materials. I think that the data must be there already before the print starts, so I wouldn't think that simply displaying it would be a monumental task.

julia

roller
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Re: Support Material Challenges

Post by roller » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:29 am

The support "footprint" is a far cry from what I'd like to see, which is a full, 3-D rotatable, zoomable model with support, preferably with support shown in a contrasting color, and maybe some transparency in both part and support materials. I think that the data must be there already before the print starts, so I wouldn't think that simply displaying it would be a monumental task.
Totally agree.

D3rax
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Re: Support Material Challenges

Post by D3rax » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:53 pm

I would like to test a few prints with minimal support material. Does anyone know the best settings for minimal support?
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Marcus
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Re: Support Material Challenges

Post by Marcus » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:28 pm

That really depends on what you want to print;
I print my tiny things with Support-Dense:12 lines, Area>15 and 30 Degree angle, but on some parts I get away with 15Lines/20mm²/10°, but for some more dense / stable support is required, else the undersides tend to be very rough (or even worse: Prints get loose!).
A good rule of thumb is to print with reduced support settings if you want to save material and print simple, rigid shapes, or small stuff that's otherwise nearly impossible to break free. Otherwise use something arround the default settings...
But this is just my experience; You could print something like the many small test objects on thingiverse or an organic shape to narrow down what results the settings produce.

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