Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
  • Sign Up

Help with Support Distances

Recommended Posts

Posted · Help with Support Distances

Hello All,


First, let me give a huge thanks out to the programmers for improving the supports in Cura 3.0. 

I am trying to print the attached part (it's from the universal construction kit, it is a Lincoln Log with a k'nex piece sticking out the side).  

I have oriented it laying on the side so the layers will go down the length of the k'nex part to make it stronger and hopefully prevent breakage along the layers. 


The problem is the support structure is sticking to the part.  In previous versions of Cura, I could pull the supports off with my fingers, in 3.0 it is taking an Exacto knife and a jackhammer. 

I'm running a 0.35 nozzle with a 0.2 layer height and I have increased the Z support distance to 0.35 and the XY to 0.7mm and its still sticking.   Today I printed this part multiple times incrementing the Z support height from 0.1 all the way to 0.35 in 0.05mm increments.   All of the supports stuck. 


I'm running Cura 3.0.4 if ti matters


Thanks for any assistance.





Cura 3.0 Circular profile.curaprofile

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Help with Support Distances

I don't have much of an answer sorry because I rarely use supports.


However for PLA you should see no difference in stregth if the knex part is sticking straight up versus sticking horizontally.  PLA does a very good job of thoroughly melting the layer below and has excellent bonding.  This *should* be true for other materials but you have to do a few tricks (like lower fan speed).


When my ABS parts break they tend to break along layer lines.  When my PLA parts break they don't.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Help with Support Distances

For PLA, printing cooler and slower usually helps for me on our UM2. Also, I use ribs on top of my supports (=0.5mm wide ribs with 1mm horizontal gaps in-between, for a 0.4mm nozzle): these make removal easier, but still give good underside quality. Most of the time I use a vertical gap of 0.2mm to 0.3mm between support and overhanging part.


And I provide all sorts of methods to make support removal easier: gaps to wiggle supports loose, holes to insert pliers or hooks to pull out the supports, protruding areas where I can push with my fingers, etc...When designing the support, I calculate all this in from the beginning.


For a few examples, see below. Some are parts of real designs, some are test pieces to try what worked best.





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited) · Help with Support Distances

Thanks for the information guys.   

Unfortunately, I'm printing these out of ABS.


Geert_2, did you model your own supports up? 


Edited by Tom-yota

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Help with Support Distances

So playing around with these values again today, I think I have a better understanding of what they are doing.   I was wondering if someone could correct my assumption I am making here. 


Does the "Support Z Distance" just affect vertical surfaces?    For the Lincoln log file, I uploaded the issue I was having was the supports was sticking to the sides of the log.   Therefore I kept increasing the "Support Z Distance" what I noticed was the bottom flat, where it transitions from support to part layer, area got worse each time I increased the Z distance.


So my new school of thought is to bring the Z distance back down to 0.25mm and increase the "Support X/Y Distance" to keep the side supports from sticking.


From https://ultimaker.com/en/resources/20422-cura-support-settings



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Help with Support Distances

For most models, I disable all automatic supports in Cura. And I design my own custom supports in the CAD-program, as part of the design. This is because of the special features of my models: often the models are quite small, or with difficult to access areas. This is for UM2, with one nozzle.


The blue support in the first pic above is ca. 10mm wide. The red/orange support in the second pic, center-left, is even smaller: it is too small to get into it with a knife. So I have to extend the supports so I can grab them with pliers.


The first times it takes trial and error, but after a while you know what works and you can design them right from the beginning.


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

    • Talking additive | The 3D printing podcast
      Why should we be the only ones asking questions? Join us and ask Jabil all your questions on September 22nd 5pm CET
        • Like
      • 2 replies
    • Ultimaker masterclass: Optimizing your Ultimaker Cura workflow
      Save your seat for either broadcast on September 23.
      What will you learn?
      · Best practices for iterative print preparation and every lesson you should learn from each print
      · The right way to use per-object settings and when they are most useful
      · Easy-to-use resources for anyone who wants to develop their own printer definitions, plugins, or print profiles
      · How to optimize print profile settings and whether to “keep” or “discard” changes
      · When is the right time to export your drawing from CAD? (Based on Ultimaker Cura’s surprising power as 3D control software)
      · And a whole lot more tips and tricks!
      How can I join?
      This free masterclass will take place twice:
      1. 11am CEST (5pm SGT, 5am EDT)
      2. 5pm CEST (11am EDT, 8am PDT, 11pm SGT)
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • Do you use 3D printing at work? Let us know
      It doesn't matter if you are using 1 Ultimaker or 10, there is inspiration in everything. We're looking for ...
      • 1 reply
  • Create New...