Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
grue

making my own supports

Recommended Posts

hello. so how does one go about creating your own supports within a 3d modeling software?  there's lots of different ways you could do it i suppose... little boxes, concave platform that would support a sphere...  when you model, are you supposed to have a gap between the top/bottom of the box or concave platform in the case of a sphere?  if so how much of a gap? a gap larger than 1 layer height? or somewhere in between?  do you round off or bevel the top of a box to a point, single vertex then place that x distance from the surface it is supporting?

 

any tips?

 

thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For single-nozzle printers like the UM2, the gap depends on the size of your model, and on the quality you want at the underside of the model. And on printing temperature and material. So it is to a large degree a question of trial and error. Smaller models can have a smaller gap. But for large models, the supports may become difficult to remove if the gap is too small. (I have no experience with UM3 dual nozzle printers, so I can't comment on that.)

 

I usually take 0.2 to 0.3mm gaps for my models. On top of the support, I design ribs of 0.5mm wide, with gaps inbetween of 1mm. This reduces the contact area, makes removal easier, but still gives a good surface quality. Sideways I leave gaps of ca. 1mm, to prevent the supports getting glued to the walls of the model. Also make sure the support sticks well to the glass, thus give it a wide and solid base plate of for example 0.5mm thick. Single lines don't stick well.

 

And, very important: make sure you build in ways to remove the support: provide holes to insert hooks and pliers to grab them, provide areas where you can push or pull manually, make slits so you can wiggle all parts loose, and so on. Sometimes custom support design takes as much time as designing the model itself.

 

For small models, you could also optimise supports to provide additional cooling time for the real layer, to reduce heat deformation.

 

Make a small test model where you incorporate all sorts of methods, and try what works best for your models, temperatures, and materials.

 

Sometimes I prefer tree-shaped supports, sometimes I prefer separate layers that can be peeled off easily layer by layer. It depends on the model and on how accessible the area is.

 

Practically, sometimes the easiest way to start is to copy the overhanging surface of the model, offset it 0.3mm (or whatever distance you like), and start modeling the support from there. This works well for irregular overhanging parts. Or start from a sideways view, draw the supports, and extrude this into 3D. This works well for tree-shaped supports.

 

See these pics for ideas. I use these methods in real models:

 

dummy_cutout2.thumb.jpg.750722bab5fa1c22a5e38d2a5717ab5b.jpg

 

support_ideas1.thumb.jpg.01b652b9b15851890834b65181100d91.jpg

 

support_test5b.thumb.jpg.cec41ea5bad83bd827d1a52732b93e31.jpg

 

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

    • Introducing Ultimaker Cura 3.6 | Beta
      Ultimaker Cura 3.6 | Beta is available. It comes with new features, bug fixes, and UX improvements. We would really like to have your feedback on it to make our stable release as good as it can be. As always, you can download the beta for free from our website, for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
        • Like
      • 69 replies
    • Print Core CC | Red for Ruby
      Q: For some users, abrasive materials may be a new subject matter. Can you explain what it is that makes a material abrasive when you are not sure which print core to use?
      A: Materials which are hard in a solid piece (like metals, ceramics and carbon fibers) will generally also wear down the nozzle. In general one should assume...
        • Like
      • 21 replies
    • "Back To The Future" using Generative Design & Investment Casting
      Designing for light-weight parts is becoming more important, and I’m a firm believer in the need to produce lighter weight, less over-engineered parts for the future. This is for sustainability reasons because we need to be using less raw materials and, in things like transportation, it impacts the energy usage of the product during it’s service life.
        • Like
      • 12 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!