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Custom Supports (3/4 normal filament, 1/4 PVA)


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Posted · Custom Supports (3/4 normal filament, 1/4 PVA)

I love when I print with PVA as a support material that I get nice smooth, flat surfaces where the support material is.  However, when I print supports with the same material as the object, it prints so that there is only a slight bit of plastic touching the main object so it can break away easily.  I understand the reasoning.


However, it would be nice is perhaps the majority of the support structure that DID NOT touch the model could be printed using the the main filament (say PLA), any ONLY a small portion of the plastic that touches the model is printed in PVA.  Then I could get the nice smooth/flat surfaces.  Plus, I could print the majority of the supports in the less expensive PLA instead of the PVA. It would also drastically speed up the print process.


This may already be possible and I just don't know how to do it.  But having Cura just "do it for me" by checking a box would be great.



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    Posted · Custom Supports (3/4 normal filament, 1/4 PVA)

    It is possible, you have to enable the Support Roof. The Support Roof option makes a more intense structure below the surface of your model and results in a nicer flatter surface, but harder to remove.


    But, you can set the Extruder which should print the Support Roof, so when you print your model with extruder 1 and support also with extruder 1, then set the extruder for the support roof to extruder 2 and you get exactly what you want.

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    Posted · Custom Supports (3/4 normal filament, 1/4 PVA)

    I tried your suggestion of setting just the support roof to extruder 2.  It did what it was supposed to do (sort of), But still did not give the nice clean separation between the filaments. I think because its still doing the zig-zag support for extruder 1, and that filament is still too close to the non-support material.


    So, I went back to my model and made some modifications so that I could print it upside down with only minimal PVA support where it was touching the bed.  Basically that gave me what I needed.  Sometimes you just have to flip things upside down.

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    Posted · Custom Supports (3/4 normal filament, 1/4 PVA)

    That's right, every possibility to avoid or minimize supports is better than fiddling with all the options. PVA is a great material and due PVA we have a lot of possibilities, but it can be a pain to print with it and it is very expensive compared to normal PLA.


    But the support roof normally works fine, but I haven't mixed it up with PVA, just PLA for everything. The roof is normally 1mm thick and it gives good support for the surface of the model above. The drawback is, that is it harder to remove.

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