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UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„


MariMakes

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Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

Are you a fan of tree support, but dislike the removal process and the amount of filament it uses? Then we would like to invite you to try this special release of UltiMaker Cura. Brought to you by our special community contributor @thomasrahm
ย 

We generated a special version of Cura 5.2 called 5.3.0 Alpha + Xmas. The only changes we introduced compared to UltiMaker Cura 5.2.1 are those which are needed for the new supports. So keep in mind, this is not a sneak peek for Cura 5.3 (there are some really cool new features coming up) but a spotlight release highlighting this new version of tree supports. ย 
ย 

New tree support implementation
These new tree supports use significantly less filament than our current version of tree supports. Where our current tree supports have a tendency to merge multiple branches into one larger branch to limit the amount of retraction, these trees have a different shape and have smaller branches that are able to reach tricky corners. With less filament extruded, youโ€™ll also see a significant decrease in printing time. ย 

171634502_Untitleddesign(3).thumb.png.442450c8382aa81a082274124c02a2aa.png

How can you start testing?
You can try out these new tree supports today.ย 

1. Download UltiMaker Cura 5.3.0-Alpha-Xmas ย 
2. Run some tests with prints that you are familiar with. Weโ€™ve enabled tree supports by default for testing purposes.ย 
3. Share any feedback or bugs via GitHub


Notes to keep in mind when you start testingย 
The following settings have been introduced:

- Tree Support Preferred Branch Angle
- Tree Support Maximum Branch Angle
- Tree Support Diameter Increase to Model
- Tree Support Minimum Height To Model
- Tree Support Initial Layer Diameter
- Support Interface Priority
- Tree Support Limit Branch Reach
- Tree Support Optimal Branch Range
- Tree Support Rest Preference


Please note
Due to the holiday season, responses from UltiMaker ย  might be slower than usual.ย 
Please remember that this UltiMaker Cura alpha is not suitable for โ€˜normalโ€™ use. It should be only used for testing. There is a higher chance that you may run into one or more bugs (some known, some unknown). These might reduce print quality. ย For example, keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that profiles get migrated over to UltiMaker Cura 5.3 stable correctly. So be sure to save them before upgrading.ย 


ย A HUGE thank you to anyone who contributes to this alpha test and donโ€™t forget to give Thomas some love for the incredible work he has done to improve UltiMaker Cura.

ezgif-5-d40567d861.gif.820dece7584865f49a2efdece56832e9.gif

ย 

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Posted (edited) · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

Really neat feature set, but at least on my model causes severe breakage of tree support. If you're going to try the alpha, please check that you don't have these issues, or else they will almost inevitably cause a failed print.

ย 

As can be seen in the below imgur link (I can seem neither to upload the gifs to this forum, nor embed their imgur links), the old algorithm adds support material in front of the part, and this support material is anchored in existing trees. Whereas, with the new algorithm some of the support material is simply floating in space, so of course provides no support.ย 

ย 

https://imgur.com/a/TFYkUfU

ย 

In case this was happening because of stale settings carried over from Cura 5.2.1, I created a new filament on a new printer and saw identical results.

ย 

I've attached a simple `.3mf` file which shows the problem.

ย 

I'm excited by these new features, and can't wait to try the next version!

ย 

New tree support algorithm bug.3mf

Edited by kubark42
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Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

Hi, I have a overhang with less than 2 mm gap, how can I provide support to it from the bed?ย  The default support values are ignoring it. Thank you for the help.ย 

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Tree Supports have some reach.ย  They can't get everywhere and sometimes it's still necessary to allow the supports to grow on the model.ย  There are a lot of support settings (73 I think) and tweaking them to get a good support structure is often necessary (and tedious).

    The XY distance comes into play as well as the "XY Overrides Z" or "Z overrides XY" setting.ย  Your "Minimum Support Area", "Minimum Support Interface Area" and maybe "Support Horizontal Expansion" can be used to move the support so it catches the overhang.ย  The Support Interface Density will come into play...there are a lot of settings.

    ย 

    I've settled on running Support and Support Interface at 90% flow and with the air gap to the support floor at 2X layer height.ย  The supports are weaker and easier to remove.ย  Printing the Support Interface slow can help as well because a cooler interface doesn't stick as well when the roof gets put on.ย  For large roofs I'll sometimes put in a Pause at Height and then replace the pause command with a G4 S180 to give a 3 minute break and allow the interface to cool further.ย  The G4 allows the print to restart without any input from me.

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    Posted (edited) · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Thank you for the clarification, much appreciated. I was worried about how difficult it would be to remove the support structure but I am very excited to see how easy it is to remove them, they just came off just by touching. Amazong feature indeed, thank you so much for developing this feature.

    Edited by svrkprabhakar
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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Is there any correlation with printer firmware and Cura version?ย  - i.e. what is the oldest firmware version that will run 5.3.0?

    ย 

    Thanks!

    John

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    The lastest versions of Cura are designed to work with any printer including some really obscure printers from China.ย  I don't think there is such a correlation.ย  I see you have a UM3 which is the most complicated as far as cura is concerned.ย  You should be able to have the original firmware installed that came with your UM3 and it should be fine with Cura 5.3.0.ย  Personally I don't update firmware unless there is a really good reason.ย  And that means some of my printers sometimes have 5 year old firmware.ย  My Um3 certainly has pretty old firmware.ย  Or am I missing something?ย  Some new feature that has a new kind of gcode that older printers won't recognize?ย  Nothing I can think of.

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Hey @JohnInOttawa,

    ย 

    I'm not aware of any issues that would be a result between an old version of UMO or UM3 firmware and a newer version of Cura. But that might be because if we need to fix an issue, we ask you to upgrade either your Cura or firmware to see the fix.ย 
    ย 
    Is there a specific issue you are encountering?ย 

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Thank you @MariMakes!ย  Much appreciated.

    ย 

    I am not encountering any issues with my current setup of Cura and firmware, but both are very old.ย  It's one of those situations where I don't want to fix something that isn't broken....ย  At the same time, there are print quality and speed improvements in newer versions of Cura that look very good, so I wanted to learn what I could before trying it out.

    ย 

    It sounds safe for me to at least run a parallel installation of the latest Cura and give it a try on my UM3.ย  We'll see how it goes.

    ย 

    All the best

    John

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„
    On 12/22/2022 at 2:47 PM, MariMakes said:

    .

    .

    called 5.3.0 Alpha + Xmas

    .

    .

    With less filament extruded

    .

    .

    significant decrease in printing time.ย ย 

    ย 

    ย 

    Less filament Yes! I think so! Decrease in printing time, sorry NO! Actually on my test part (attached)ย  I think the traditionally supports are faster but harder to remove, probably just a setting. Printed with 0,4m nozzle 0,2mm layers, material ABS,

    printer Flashforge Guider 2S ... The best thing with Cura is "invisible" Z seam compared to easier to use

    Flashprint. Makes Cura my choice for ducting and fans (RC plane parts).

    HMAL_3S.stl

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Thank you for the work, solved a problem I've been battling for a while. A vertical wall, where a portion of it is slightly off vertical (2 degrees), on that section, there is a 4mm tab, at a right angle. I want supports on the base of the model, so tree supports were the only way to go. But could NOT get them to support the overhang. A support would go up, and touch the very edge, but NOT support it. If I added an overhang that was 90 (from vertical), in addition. ALL get supported. designed in Solidworks, sliced in Cura 5.1. When searching for a solution, I happened to come across this 5.3 pre-release.

    I also like the cleaner design.

    Odd tree supports.PNG

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Hey @Ohyst60,

    ย 

    Thanks for sharing your model! Good find ๐Ÿ’ช
    There is something odd going on where there is support generated that supports nothing.

    I'll bring it up to the team to see what they can do to improve it. Fingers crossed ๐Ÿคžย 

    image.thumb.png.d30bc4cb5a3d48db1ad8ca22beacdd83.png

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    @MariMakes Most likely #14302

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Oh, Hi it's Thomas! ๐Ÿ‘‘

    263788460_giphy(4).gif.f655c1fdfab0fc67d3ed26834e1488dc.gif

    ย 

    ย 

    That issue looks definetly similar.

    ย 

    We've added a ticket to the backlog with the intent to improve this.ย 
    I'll make sure that it's included as a testcase ๐Ÿ’ช

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    Posted (edited) · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Genius! Thank you! Gained 5+ h print time and saved 20 m filament.

    ย 

    Screenshot 2023-01-26 185141.png

    Screenshot 2023-01-26 184805.png

    Edited by lcocea
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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Hey folks, just wondering if there is an alpha 2 or beta perhaps coming soon? Loving Cura but some of the supports in this alpha are having same issues as pointed out above. TIA

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    I saw a little benefit if only small areas need to be supported but in my case the new tree needs more time and more filament :-(
    and also it's much louder to print as this high amount of circles and travels is louder (and/or the noise is objectionable) than the old smooth curves all around
    to have "prefered angle" and "max angle" now is nice, wish to have that in old tree support also

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    Hey @Tschintna,

    ย 

    Sorry to hear the new tree support didn't give you the improvements you were looking for.ย 
    Do you have a screenshot or a project file so we can use it as a test case?
    A project file contains the printer and settings we need for troubleshooting.ย 

    To save a project file go to File -> Save project.

    ย 

    If the default circles are too small you can consider increasing the following settings:
    - Tree Support Branch Diameter
    - Tree support Trunk Diameter


    Unfortunately, the noise that your printer produces when printing in circles changes per printer and is related to your hardware, it's not something we can resolve in Cura. You can also scout on the internet to find the type of upgrade you need for your printer to reduce the noise.ย 

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    I'll try to make some screenshots in near future, thanks

    one single curve is always theย pleasanter noise than a lot a circles with travels
    what I mean is the difference of 'constant driving' towards 'stop and go' - my printer doesn't make bad noise, all fine ๐Ÿ™‚

    also the new support needs to do a lot more retractions - that's bad for some filaments and needs a lot of time


    on bigger prints (tree's >10-20cm high) there is a big loss in stability combare to the old tree support
    I tried different settings and 'Prefered Branch Angle' helped to reduce to number of single trees
    without a high Z-Hop I had some fallen trees in my tests (Nozzle touched the curled part of the tree 5 times - the old tree didn't care as it was high stable)

    also I'll test to change the diameters - just I can't imagine to get back the one-piece-bottom

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    OK.ย  WOW.ย  Revelation.

    ย 

    I make many smaller models (for a weekly in-person D&D game) ... and this new support regime is ... just WOW.ย  It's easier to take off ... it respects smaller details ... everything is just better.

    ย 

    Was printing some Kobolds today.ย  even smaller than usual.ย  Just WOW.

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    Posted · UltiMaker Cura Alpha ๐ŸŽ„ Tree Support Spotlight ๐ŸŽ„

    So... Doing even better today.ย  I'll link in a project file.ย  So... the Otyugh here is best printed on it's side.ย  In general, the teeth are not something you want to support (easy to break) ... but printing it in this orientation on the deck --- only a small part is initially on the build plate.ย  Now, I think there's a problem with using a raft ... so I instead I just decided to have something that is all supported.ย  It works amazingly well.

    ย 

    Watching it print, as I sometimes do, there's an obvious change from the big round shapes to the many little fingers in close proximity to the print.ย  This is done well enough that different parts of the print are held accurately enough to join.

    CFFFP_Otyugh Updated.3mf

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