Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
LesHall

Internal Supports

Recommended Posts

Boink! Went my brain when I suddenly realized this concept, the Internal Support, that apparently in retrospect has been nagging at me for some time. What if we changed our slicers to add support on the inside of the part just as we often do (when necessary) on the outside of the part? Wouldn't that boost print speed dramatically?

OK, so we've been using infill since forever, and we have all watched with patience and acceptance that infill is usually necessary. We try to tweak the infill percentage and come up with all sorts of infills and infill only where necessary, which are all helpful techniques, so why use internal support?

Well Im kind of wondering about that. Why is support external and infill internal? Why don't we use external infill and internal support? It seems to me that some sort of branching structural support, placed on the inside of the part, would be more efficient than a fixed pattern.

In addition to that, we have support touching build plate versus support everywhere, how about support from lower internal surface of part to upper internal surface of part?

These are questions that I'd like to discuss. Your comments/suggestions are welcome as always.

Les

Les make it happen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay so I have made an attempt at testing this idea. What I did was kind of poor judgement. Long story short I thought the Ultimaker would fail in printing at the tippy top of this kitty cat model when printed with zero infill, one layer shell, and three layers top / bottom filament. Well the Ultimaker being as awesome as it is, managed to print the top with east, grace, speed, and agility as it always does!

I was hoping to push the printer beyond it's limits then add my internal support idea and have it work, then finally to print with infill for a comparison of apples to apples.

So that idea is shot but with a tougher print that actually does push the Ultimaker beyond it's limits, like a really long bridge, then I will be able to compare.

Les

Les make it happen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Les

You can create a cavity inside your model and get your slicer to create support inside that cavity. Btw where's yout cat?

that's a good idea, I can use meshmixer to hollow out the piece, but how can I get the slicer, in my case Cura but really any slicer to create support inside of it? Do I have to remove the bottom? Or will using support do it?

Alas, my cat Schrodinger disappeared in an ultraviolet catastrophe! So sad...

Les

Les make it happen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like it. Been thinking for a while, why can't 'external support' be used inside a model for quicker printing? This could save considerable filament and even better alot of time. An angled support structure inside a model could save even more. I don't recall what the new Cura calls the tapered support, but that is already implemented for external support. Why not make it possible inside a model?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have been thinking of it and I have been thinking of it, I bet a bunch of others have too. Sounds like an idea that's ripe for action! Any Cura programmers around?

Les

Les make it happen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have been thinking of it and I have been thinking of it, I bet a bunch of others have too.  Sounds like an idea that's ripe for action!  Any Cura programmers around?  

Les

Les make it happen!

I think cura does support inside a cavity. You just have to tell it to do support everywhere not just from build plate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think cura does support inside a cavity. You just have to tell it to do support everywhere not just from build plate.

I tried it and it worked! This will create a major speedup for me, thanks owen!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5a331d0f6d77f_kittensupported.thumb.jpg.e5ae39b16d7aad576dbeecd6aeb3326a.jpg

Yay it worked... sorta kinda, but not really. See this photo shows that the support for the head and ears goes all the way to the ground. I want to see it grow from an internal spot to the place unside the top of the part where it is needed. Then later we can add it coming from an angle from a side wall, even better!

Les

Les make it happen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone come up with a solution? Its not on Cura 2.7, and I still dont see a internal support option.

I am trying to print this here pumpkin as hollow as I can, but the top will always fail because nothing is inside. A nice centered column would be great for the top layers to stick to.

Anyone have any thoughts?5a333fb902c28_NoSupport.thumb.JPG.b35157ff399d88373dbf8e06e07e6fdc.JPG

5a333fb902c28_NoSupport.thumb.JPG.b35157ff399d88373dbf8e06e07e6fdc.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an idea on this topic from one year ago. In this case the internal support is optimized for low material use. It could be a tree of rings, etc. By now surely this is in practice, just in case it isn't here is an image to convey the concept.

5a333fc479861_Treesideview.thumb.png.24d780b2ca08452e9ff25a0815d74590.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also along the same lines is an extra recent idea: dissolvable infill for single-extruder machines. In that idea we use bridging and other techniques to make very thin, fine structures that perform the support role, yet are so delicate that a bath with solvent will erase the structure.

Along with this concept is a parallel notion in which the dissolvable structures may be external and used for printability. A case in point is printing springs or stalks.

I am sure that researchers have explored these ideas, I just wonder what keeps them from appearing in practical use (i.e. in Cura). Maybe I am just uninformed?

Les

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you try Support -> Support Placement -> Everywhere ?

That will add support inside and outside your model, basically 'Everywhere' it is needed.

Yes I tried "everywhere", the image I posted was with that setting, and nothing inside was generated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I tried "everywhere", the image I posted was with that setting, and nothing inside was generated.

That is odd, it should have generated internal supports. Maybe a bug in Cura or an issue with the stl file.

Is the stl file available somewhere to download and examine? Like thingiverse...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I tried "everywhere", the image I posted was with that setting, and nothing inside was generated.

That is odd, it should have generated internal supports. Maybe a bug in Cura or an issue with the stl file.

Is the stl file available somewhere to download and examine? Like thingiverse...?

Yes it is in fact available. Here is the link: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1042654

I scaled it up quite a bit...perhaps thats causing the issues?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, the pumpkin stl file is not hollow. You set infill to zero (?) so Cura still sees it as a solid object and won't put support inside a solid.

There are some Experimental settings in Cura that might help, as well as possibly placing a pillar stl file inside as a manual support - but I have no experience with either of those areas.

Maybe someone else who's more familiar with those particular Cura settings can help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, the pumpkin stl file is not hollow. You set infill to zero (?) so Cura still sees it as a solid object and won't put support inside a solid.

There are some Experimental settings in Cura that might help, as well as possibly placing a pillar stl file inside as a manual support - but I have no experience with either of those areas.

Maybe someone else who's more familiar with those particular Cura settings can help.

Ahhh I see. Yes I set infill to zero. Didn't even dawn on my that its solid, lol. I just seen it as a pumpkin that it hollow. I will try some of these experimental options. Do you know what they might be called?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another option is to edit it with Meshmixer and have it actually hollow out the object, then when you bring it into Cura and Support->Everywhere, it will put internal supports in the pumpkin.

Maker's Muse has a nice video on how to hollow out an object in MeshMixer:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another option is to edit it with Meshmixer and have it actually hollow out the object, then when you bring it into Cura and Support->Everywhere, it will put internal supports in the pumpkin.

Maker's Muse has a nice video on how to hollow out an object in MeshMixer:

Thats a great Idea, thanks for the video.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh I see. Yes I set infill to zero. Didn't even dawn on my that its solid, lol. I just seen it as a pumpkin that it hollow. I will try some of these experimental options. Do you know what they might be called?

There's Experimental->Hollow Out Object, Experimental->Enable Conical Supports, Special->Drop Down Support Mesh.

Not sure what exactly they all do, but they sound promissing! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can also just click on "Hollow out objects" in the experimental section. It allows for the printing of supports. But you cannot have your infill set to zero. It takes that infill number and applies it to a PVA support system inside the object.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guy. seems the hollow out object works...sort of. The supports seems to want to start in mid air, lol. No worries, I will do the meshmixer way and add some internal supports manually.

 

that would depend on your internal support structure. If you use gradual infill, it will replace that with PVA and do as you say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • Taking Advantage of DfAM
      This is a statement that’s often made about AM/3DP. I'll focus on the way DfAM can take advantage of some of the unique capabilities that AM and 3DP have to offer. I personally think that the use of AM/3DP for light-weighting is one of it’s most exciting possibilities and one that could play a key part in the sustainability of design and manufacturing in the future.
        • Like
      • 3 replies
×

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!