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Removing support structure from small, deep holes

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Hi, I’m very new to printing and I recently printed an object with multiple holes and a large overhang. Thinking about the overhang, I decided to include support structures in the print. Dealing with the support of the overhang was fine. I’m just having a lot of trouble figuring out an easy and safe way to remove those structures from the tiny holes (about 3-4mm in diameter) in my print. On top of that, the holes go in about 30mm...Any tool suggestions? Thanks.

Edited by AxelMateo

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I model the bottom of holes as if they were drilled, but with a tip angle that is less than the support structure threshold angle.  I'm not sure what the standard support angle is, but if were set to support anything lower than 40 degrees, model holes with a 90 degree or less inclusive angle.  The slicer should not apply support inside the hole.


Edit  --  Per Kmanstudios response below, my comment assumes the holes are vertical and facing the print bed.  Obviously, if horizontal,  that technique won't help

Edited by mastory

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What slicer? Since most slicers I am aware of will give you a preview of the slice and supports, this could have been checked before printing. You should also be able to choose supports from buildplate only or everywhere, or manually create or remove supports. This is why slicer info is important.


What were the holes in orientation? Parallel to the build plate (horizontal holes) or perpendicular (vertical) in your own local orientation(vertical being the direction gravity drops)? You say 90°, but 90° to what?


Also, what printer as different printers have different resolution capabilities.


Finally what was your support material?

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I used Cura. I heard there is a way to edit the support structure but I didn’t know when I printed it. I also need to look into that. The program doesn’t show the support structure after before printing but I’m sure there is a way to view it. I just need to look into that for future prints. I also didn’t think much about how I oriented my print. Most of the small, including the smallest holes, wouldn’t need support structures if they were positioned vertically. However, my holes where mostly positioned horizontally. I’m using a Monoprice Maker Select printer. The entire print is just PLA. I don’t think it is possible to use a different material for support structures because there is only one extruded nozzle.


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I agree with the need to find the optimum placement of a model.


In Cura (2.x and above) there is a layer view that will show your support structures. And, depending on the model, you should be able to use supports on just the buildplate and not everywhere. And, yeah, your holes should print fine without the supports. Depends on how well your machine bridges and such.

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