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Cura 3.2.1 Tree support test print


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Posted · Cura 3.2.1 Tree support test print

Hello all!

My first post, oh boy!


I've built my own custom DIY FDM 3D printer the other month and from the start I am using Cura and OctoPrint.

Electronics of the printer are nothing special, good old RAMPS1.4 sitting on Mega2560 with A4988 stepper drivers.


Originally I was using Cura 2.7 AppImage ( I am running Ubuntu 16.04 ) because that's what got working for me back in January2018.

This week I decided to try out Cura 3.2.1 when I realized it had multiple experimental features, primarily of my interest: the Tree Support.

It is my understanding that I can save on filament in the long run.


Long story short I would like to present you with some photos of a simple print with Tree Support enabled. ( BTW notice how the usual "generate supports" is ticked off )

These photos are for feedback. I understand the feature is experimental. I am leaning towards the belief that it can do better, hence the visual feedback.


A little about the print. The model was designed in SketchUp Make 2016. The original STL file is only 174.6KB.

STL was imported into Meshmixer and "autofixed" and "made solid". Resulting in whooping 47Megabytes O_o

Final STL was then opened in Cura 3.2.1 for slicing: 0.24 layer height, 4walls, 25% infill (more info in screenshots)

The GCode was exported into OctoPrint 1.3.6. The print took 1h51m.


Here's a link to the Google Photos shared Album containing all relevant photos and visual data: https://photos.app.goo.gl/q4pRr4EHMYa9uM933


It would be nice to know what I can improve, if anything, on my end.

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    Posted · Cura 3.2.1 Tree support test print

    Cool.  thanks for the posts.  Those trees look great - what don't you like about them?


    Rather than use meshmixer it would be better to use meshlab which can also decimate:



    Even better - learn the sketchup tricks such that you don't need to pass your model through an extra step:



    That way you can make tiny edits to your model and not have to pass them through meshlab or meshmixer.


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    Posted · Cura 3.2.1 Tree support test print

    Thank you for those links. I'll definitely have a look.


    About the trees.

    The tree support on the "right" arc (parallel to the Y-axis) did a fantastic job at providing multiple branches support points along the ceiling of the cavity.

    However the behavior of the support structure on the "left" arc (oriented diagonal to X- and Y-axis) did a horseshoe structure significantly lower than the ceiling of the cavity with just 1/3 of the back of the ceiling of the cavity being supported by addition branches.

    This particular model maybe did not even require supports, just curious why it made different decisions on logically identical cavities. Does it have to do with the nature of how the model is structured in the STL format?

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