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Ideas wanted for creating custom support structures.

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I have a part that requires support for a large horizontal bottom surface. Rather than print full support for this area, I want to optimize the support shape something like below. My part and support are modeled in Solidworks. This part could possibly be laid on its other side, but features on the build surface need to be aligned with the features on top. It happens that the horizontal support surface is the only surface that is unimportant on this part - thus the support scenario shown here:


I don't know if what I want to do is currently possible to do with Cura or another slicer. I would like to apply different slice parameters to the support piece than the final part. Both objects are to be printed with the same nozzle and material (PLA). I would print the support piece thin wall, hollow with a thick top. With those parameters, I could insert a 'Pause at Layer' above the support top and apply some blue tape to finish the print.

Another method might be print the support piece to support parameters, be that lines, grid or maybe infill with no a top.

Is there a way to borrow from the dual nozzle slicing routines to slice the two pieces with different settings? Do I need to look at another slicer? Will the new Cura offer any help in this area?




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Anyone? anyone....

I hate to bump my own thread, but seeing as this is a prevalent topic for me at the moment if I don't I'll be stuck with traditional means even if a better solution exists.

Is there a way to print two objects in the same space with different print parameters simultaneously?

Can anyone else see the utility in it?


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I think your idea of pausing and adding a layer of tape is a good one. You can build a simple scaffold into the model with space allowing for the tape. Then disable all supports in Cura.

Pause at the top of the scaffold, add the tape, maybe also use tweak at that height to change printing speed (slow down for 1 layer maybe) and increase flow rate (maybe 105% for 1 layer).

That's what I've been doing when embedding a horizontal steel plate into a part: Pause, drop the plate onto a scaffold, push some extra filament through while it's paused to make sure it's all primed, then resume. Tweak slows everything down 50% for a layer

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I'm not sure why you want to add blue tape in top. Model you support as a hollow, then you can make the top as thick as you want. If you have a gap that's 0.15mm between the top of the support and the bottom of the surface above it, it should print just fine and separate very easily.

Being quite thick, I have failed to understand your explanation for why you can't print this on its side.

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