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Daid

New support material method.

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I'm working on re-doing the support material in the CuraEngine. The line support material was a quick implementation to get the feature ready for release.

Now that we will get dual-extrusion, and with the future of soluble materials, I think it would be good to re-visit the support material and take a good look at it.

I've worked hard to get the line code (which was hacked together) in a shape where I could do more with it. And this is the first result:

Cura-support2.png

(cyan is support for the people that haven't seen support yet)

I'm currently printing this to test how good I can break away the support. I'm hoping it breaks away as a single piece instead of separate walls. This new code also uses less material and prints quicker.

But I'm sure quite a few of you have comments on it and ideas, so shoot!

 

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Definitely looking forward to testing this out! I generally print with 20% infill or so, but in a print I did yesterday with a higher infill % - iirc it was 25%, it looked like it swapped from doing the full grid on each layer to alternating stripes on each layer? Is that right? The bridging distance was close enough that it seemed to work pretty well, but I'm coming to like to full-grid-every-layer approach. What's the rationale for using one or the other?

 

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If the lines are closer then 4 line widths then it will start doing the alternating stripes instead of the full grid. This happens between 24% and 25%.

The new support uses the same code as the infill routines. But the % of support and normal infill will be configurable separately (for my test I used the same for both, 20%). I did a test print with 40% material in the support, but this made it hard to break apart, it was also a bit to close to the object. So I'm doing my 2nd test print now, with 0.7mm distance between the object and the support on the X/Y level and 0.2mm distance on the Z distance to the object. This should generate an gap between the print and the support material, making it easier to break off.

Also, the grid infill for support will make PVA dissolve faster, as the water can get into the support material. With the line support this didn't happen because of the surface tension of water, it didn't get in between the lines.

 

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That's really good to know - it helps to understand the logic that's happening behind the scenes. I know I'm mostly finding bugs, or requesting stuff to be done differently, but I really do appreciate what you've done with Cura, and with the new slicer, it's my go-to slicing tool again. (Apart from the vase thing. Please fix that :-) )

 

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Soooo excited for this. I think this is a much smarter way of doing support. Totally speculating here, but it might also be helpful to add intentional weak points into the outer wall of the support skin, so that it could be broken apart easily if necessary.

 

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Soooo excited for this. I think this is a much smarter way of doing support. Totally speculating here, but it might also be helpful to add intentional weak points into the outer wall of the support skin, so that it could be broken apart easily if necessary.

 

Actually, my 2nd test print, the whole support came off as 4 different pieces, because the outside wall keeps the support together while it breaks off the model as 1 piece. Less cleanup (took me less then 5 minutes to cleanup this print)

I'm making some more adjustments, like rotating the support infill 45deg so it does not align with the top/bottom solid infills and thus sticks a bit less.

(I've also fixed the raft that it accounts for support now, didn't fix the skirt yet)

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IMG_20130808_114837.small.jpg

Latest result. With some care and a screwdriver I manged to remove all the support material as 2 pieces. I left a 0.2mm gap between the bottom of the print and the top of the support material. So the flat parts on the support material don't look great. But it was really easy to remove.

 

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Awesome! Supports was really the thing that needed the most work in my opinion, I'm glad you made that a priority. Will it be possible set the distance from the object manually? I don't like when the supports are printed too close to the object

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Awesome! Supports was really the thing that needed the most work in my opinion, I'm glad you made that a priority. Will it be possible set the distance from the object manually? I don't like when the supports are printed too close to the object

 

Yes, XY and Z distance from object are 2 configurable settings (because they clearly need different values in my tests). As well as the density of the support grid.

I've uploaded a test version at http://software.ultimaker.com/Cura_closed_beta/

I'm not 100% happy about it yet, mainly because it does quite a bit of moves across the print, making strings. So it needs some combing and retraction added to it.

 

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Oh and one more thing: make sure the supports are taken into account by the brim/raft. Sometimes I have extend the brim to ridiculous amount (over 100 lines once!) so the supports are printed on it. Sometimes the supports are thin, and if they are printed directly on the bed, the get knocked off by the head after a certain height.

 

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Oh and one more thing: make sure the supports are taken into account by the brim/raft. Sometimes I have extend the brim to ridiculous amount (over 100 lines once!) so the supports are printed on it. Sometimes the supports are thin, and if they are printed directly on the bed, the get knocked off by the head after a certain height.

 

Very good addition. I also recognized loose support structures at difficult parts. For instance the bird below. No possibility to get a firm support structure for the beak because the printed support tower is too thin and the ground area is to small.

 

I understood that cura didn't connects the different support structures because of saving material, but this also makes it impossible to print the bird for me.

 

Is it possible that cura creates a pyramid (instance for the beak) instead a thin tower maybe? Imaginable that this can solve the support breaking off problem.

 

 

 

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Oh and one more thing: make sure the supports are taken into account by the brim/raft. Sometimes I have extend the brim to ridiculous amount (over 100 lines once!) so the supports are printed on it. Sometimes the supports are thin, and if they are printed directly on the bed, the get knocked off by the head after a certain height.

 

See 3 posts up:

 

(I've also fixed the raft that it accounts for support now, didn't fix the skirt yet)

 

 

Very good addition. I also recognized loose support structures at difficult parts. For instance the bird below. No possibility to get a firm support structure for the beak because the printed support tower is too thin and the ground area is to small.

 

I understood that cura didn't connects the different support structures because of saving material, but this also makes it impossible to print the bird for me.

 

Care to share the model?

 

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This support material method is a huge improvement. I just finished a new part which I printed a week ago with the old support and the difference is incredible. Default settings. The old part took 15+ minutes of carving to get all of the support off, and the surface finish under the support was terrible. The new part was cleaned in under a minute and had a much improved surface finish. Some of the support even came off perfectly when simply removing the print from the bed!

 

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I had to come back to rave further about how amazing this new support material is. Just finished another long print with substantial support and the entire support piece came off with a quick twist, leaving behind a great looking surface underneath.

This one software upgrade is a pretty transformative improvement regarding what 3D printers are capable of.

 

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Is there a mac version with the new support pattern?

 

Not yet, building a Mac version always takes extra care, as I need to test a few things to be 100% sure that it still works properly.

It's great to hear that there are people having success with the new support method. I have improvements thought out for some of the issues that other people pointed out, but haven't found the time yet to implement them.

 

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Hmm, I've been happily printing with Cura_13.07-SupportTest1, but now I can't start it anymore. It just displays the splashscreen (have to kill pythonw.exe). The only way to start Cura again is after a reinstall, but only if I uninstalled it first or use a new folder. Just installing it over the previous install doesn't work.

To reproduce:

With a fresh Cura-install I open a simple 20x20x10mm cube-model and use the default profile. As soon as I set the shell thickness the same value as the nozzle size (0.4 mm), the rotate/scale/mirror-buttons disappear. I can still move the cube around, but Cura doesn't recalculate. When I change nozzle/shell it's alright again. But when I close Cura with nozzle/shell the same value, I can't start the program anymore and I have to reinstall.

Here's the output.txt-file, it doesn't update itself when trying to start Cura btw: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7YMl_M1oJZ0LWFvejJxdXlIa2c/edit?usp=sharing

Seems to be this:

lineWidth = wallThickness / lineCount

ZeroDivisionError: float division by zero

-edit- Ah, Cura starts when I delete current_profile.ini :)

Here's the evil current_profile.ini https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7YMl_M1oJZ0UzM3SkwyeVRVRU0/edit?usp=sharing

 

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Hmm, I've been happily printing with Cura_13.07-SupportTest1, but now I can't start it anymore. It just displays the splashscreen (have to kill pythonw.exe). The only way to start Cura again is after a reinstall, but only if I uninstalled it first or use a new folder. Just installing it over the previous install doesn't work.

To reproduce:

With a fresh Cura-install I open a simple 20x20x10mm cube-model and use the default profile. As soon as I set the shell thickness the same value as the nozzle size (0.4 mm), the rotate/scale/mirror-buttons disappear. I can still move the cube around, but Cura doesn't recalculate. When I change nozzle/shell it's alright again. But when I close Cura with nozzle/shell the same value, I can't start the program anymore and I have to reinstall.

Here's the output.txt-file, it doesn't update itself when trying to start Cura btw: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7YMl_M1oJZ0LWFvejJxdXlIa2c/edit?usp=sharing

Seems to be this:

lineWidth = wallThickness / lineCount

ZeroDivisionError: float division by zero

-edit- Ah, Cura starts when I delete current_profile.ini :)

Here's the evil current_profile.ini https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7YMl_M1oJZ0UzM3SkwyeVRVRU0/edit?usp=sharing

 

Small bug that got into this test version, easy fixed.

 

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v2 seems to be working well. Support on thin contact points is more manageable for sure.

It may be trying too hard to find small overhangs and support them, though - on my latest print, it is building small support structures on the sides of what is essentially a perfect cyclinder.

STL here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fk1iw3f7p3retwl/Spring%20Crown%20Mount%20v0.5.STL

Not much of a problem, but worth noting.

 

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