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chrisw

Interested in designing effective support structures into models

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Posted · Interested in designing effective support structures into models

I'd like to design my own support structures into some models. Cura's automated supports work well usually, but I figure it'll save time & material if I draw supports into the part.

I have some ideas of how to proceed, but I figured ask around here first:

1) How to make a support wall be very easy to remove, leaving few artifacts?

2) How best to support a flat horizontal surface, yet the support removes cleanly?

3) If I'm printing the same part 50 times, is it feasible to print supports separately and reuse them repeatedly (dropping these supports in place after pausing at Z)? What material to use for such supports, so that maybe the item's material won't bond with it?

TIA,

Chris

 

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Posted · Interested in designing effective support structures into models

Maybe not direct answers to your questions, but Ryan (meshmixer author/inventor) has done some fabulous work on support structures. You could look at this presentation for ideas:

http://papervideos.s3.amazonaws.com/SupportStructuresSG14.pptx

For your question 3, I think it might work for very simpme models where the support structure is not too complex and did not interfere with head movement during build. What if you printed such a support structure and coated it with something that could be rinsed off with warm water. Not sure exactly what though...

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Posted · Interested in designing effective support structures into models

gadgetfreak - That's an informative PPT. Thanks! I'm downloading meshmixer now. Also I like your idea of applying a coating to prevent filament from sticking. I'll work with that idea when I get home in another week or two.

 

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Posted · Interested in designing effective support structures into models

MeshMixer is currently my favourite tool to create supports!

 

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Posted · Interested in designing effective support structures into models

#3 - cover the top of the support with blue tape, press it tight on to the surface. Works also very well for new build support to get a nice bottom. The hard part is to keep the support steady, tape or glue it to the build plate...

 

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