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Opinions on support material

Posted by N314 
Opinions on support material
January 29, 2013 09:21PM
1. What program generates the best support?

2. Is rectilinear or honeycomb better as a support pattern?

3. Is it possible to get good looking parts with support while printing in PLA? ABS?

Just getting some other opinions.

Re: Opinions on support material
January 30, 2013 03:12AM
  1. Skeinforge
  2. Rectilinear
  3. Yes

Bob Morrison
Wörth am Rhein, Germany
"Luke, use the source!"
BLOG - PHOTOS - Thingiverse
Re: Opinions on support material
January 30, 2013 06:37PM
How do you have skeinforge support configured? Id like to try a similar config in slic3r. I know you will say just switch to skeinforge but ive had horrible times trying.

Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 01:58AM
Try these settingsas a starting point:

The alteration parameters cause skeinforge to append extra information at the beginning and end of the g-code sequence. Since the stl file does not know what kind of machine it will be printed on, there is now way to embed initialization information into the stl. Alteration lets us tell the snap3d what we want it to do before it starts printing the part, and what to do after the printing is complete. For now, we just need to make sure that the feature is active, nd that all options are checked.

Bottom parameters control how the first layer is printed. It can alter the speed of the head, and the rate of extrusion in ways that are unique to the first layer. At this time, the snap3d does not make use of this feature, so make sure it is not activated. We will address the first layer settings in the start.gcode file used by the alteration feature.

Carve cannot be deactivated. It is always on. The default values are fine, but we will change the layer height from the default 0.4mm to 0.3mm

Chamber is so called, because this feature was initially intended to control the air temperature inside a chamber. Since most hobby 3d printers, including the snap3d, have opted for using a heated bed instead, the feature has morphed into holding the heated bed configuration parameters, but the name chamber has stuck. The one value that concerns us here is the bed temperature. If you will be printing with abs, the bed temperature should be set to 110’c. if you will be printing with pla, the bed temperature should be set to 70’c. at the time of this writing, tjiko recommends abs over pla. It is mostly a matter of preference, but in many ways, abs is easier to work with.

If you print in environments that are normally very cold, pla may give better results, as abs will have a tendency to warp if it cools too rapidly during a print.

Deactivate clip. It is not a feature we use.

When the print head needs to move across an area that has already been printed, it will normally take the shortest route to the next print position. In most cases, this will result in an overabundance of stringies, thin stretches of filament that must be removed after the print is complete. Enabling comb causes the printhead to avoid crossing areas that have already been printed, and in most cases improve the final quality.

The cool feature controls a fan placed against the print head. It function only comes into play when printing with pla. You see, pla has ahard time getting rid of its heat, and so it remains in a semi molten state after being applied by the print head. If it is not cooled adequately, the part will begin to get hotter aand hotter as the print head adds more layers. The result is that the part will begin to sag, or drag against the print head if the layers begin to expand. Your mileage may vary on this one, and we do not currently have a recommended setting for this feature. Just know that if you intend on printing with pla, that you will need this feature active.

If printing with abs, deactivate cool.

The dimension feature is very important to how well the snap3d feeds the plastic filament during a print. It should always be active. The settings should be as follows:
-absolute extrusion distance selected
Extruder retaction speed 13.3
Filament diameter 3.0 or whatever your filament average diameter is.
Filament packing density 1.0
Maximum e value before reset 91234.0
Minimum travel for retraction 1.0 (we don’t actually use this though)
Retract within island unselected (we do this in firmwareinstead)
Retraction distance 0.0
Restart extra distance 0.0
Not active

Use default values

Fill is a feature that you will want to revisit frequently. It controls how dense the interior of your printed part will be (infill), and how thick the walls should be {perimeters}. The settings will largely depend on what you are printing. Since the first part you will be printing if you follow our instructions is a calibration cube, we are providing the recommended setting for that part.

Fill should be activated
Diaphragm period (layers) 100
Diaphragm thickness (layers) 0
Extra shells on alternating layers 2
Extra shells on base 2
Extra shells on sparese layer 2

Grid circle separation over perimeter width (ratio) 0.2
Grid extra overlap 0.1
Grid junction separation band height 10
Grid junction separation over octagon radius at end 0.0
Grid junction over octagon radius at middle 0.0

Infill begin rotation 45.0
Infill begin rotation repeat 1
Infill odd layer extra rotation 90.0

Line selected
Infill perimeter overlap 0.15
Infill solidity 0.3

Sharpest angle 60.0
Solid surface thickness 3
Start from choice lower left
Surrounding angle 60.0
Thread sequence choice loops > infill>perimeter


Activated defaults






Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 09:14AM
I have had excellent experience with the support that kisslicer generates. It's a great slicer apart from I find it doesn't handle bridges as well as slic3r.
Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 03:36PM
I will second that KISSlicer generates the best support. Reduce the flow rate to 70-75% to make it weaker and easier to remove. Support works better with ABS than PLA.

Here is a supported print I did using KISSlicer, support set to "dense", spacing to .5mm and flow rate reduced to 70%:
Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 05:46PM
i have been wondering about setting up a second extruder for my support material, but i have not seen that many people do it yet.

Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 05:59PM
I have Kisslicer pro and have used support for a few parts, only PLA so far.
the interface layer is a bear to remove.
It also makes some complicated/time consuming patterns on the way up to the needed elevation.
I am going to publish some of these patterns on the Kisslicer forum soon, and ask if it is just my settings or what.

I also can't find the flow rate for support. It may be an old feature.
I will say that the road widths at the interface seem thinner, like the flow is less.

Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 06:33PM
I wrote an external python script to decrease the flow rate during support moves. The developer is in the process of releasing a new version but after that he has promised me to include a support extrusion width slider.

Thinner support is essential if you want to use support with PLA, as it tends to get really hard during the interface layer. I have had several prints develop holes and other junk during support generation, but then recover when it comes to the interface layer, so I think it's very useful to have. A few prints I am thinking of right now even have basically a 90 degree overhang at the interface layer.

By default the support paths are not thinner. Maybe it is just an optical illusion you are seeing.
Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 06:58PM
I second the suppor much easier to deal with in ABS than PLA.
PLA just bonds too well to make for easy support removal.
Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 08:47PM
I set extrusion width to 50%.

My problem is not the ease of getting it off... its the finish it leaves.

I attached the 50% width result.

open | download - Photo Jan 31, 8 40 29 PM.jpg (505.3 KB)
Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 08:48PM
how is the finish when you use pla to support abs though.?

Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 09:00PM
Use PLA to support ABS?

Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 09:01PM
Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 09:23PM
N314 Wrote:
> I set extrusion width to 50%.
> My problem is not the ease of getting it off...
> its the finish it leaves.
> I attached the 50% width result.
> -Nick

IME Slic3r support is horribly bad, and you get a better finish when removing the support from ABS.
At one point I printing almost everything in ABS with support using KISSlicer.
There are some stellar images of models printed with support on the KISSlicer forums, I've never managed to match those results, but it might be worth posting there for what they are doing.
Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 09:59PM
dissidence, are you using a dual extruder... if so id just use PVA.

Polygonhell: Im getting the vibe from everyone that KISSlicer is better. I love Slic3r, but i guess ill have to wait until it can generate better support.

Re: Opinions on support material
January 31, 2013 10:06PM
i am not using one yet, i am pretty seriously thinking about it for my Mendel when i get the space for it again. seeing how the software and firmware for it is now allot more common.

i always forget about pva, it would be allot better than pla for abs i think. but am also curious about how it affects the printed part.

Re: Opinions on support material
February 01, 2013 11:46AM
Well ive gone through all the settings in KISSlicer and im not impressed.
Im open to any help to get KISSlicer Working.

Anyone Have any idea how long until slic3r will have improved support?

open | download - Photo Feb 01, 11 37 32 AM.jpg (606.2 KB)
Re: Opinions on support material
February 01, 2013 04:39PM
Good support is not a matter of this slicer or that slicer being better, or worse. The thing about support (and everything else about this hobby) is that there is a balancing act to get things right. With support, knowing what your machine is capable of is just as important as your slicer's configuration settings. The design of the model is also important.

When we talk about support in the realm of RepRap, more often than not we are talking about using the same material that we are printing with, to build up a platform where overhanging features can rest. This is the "poor man's" support, if you like. Creating good support does not always involve using the support module of your slicer. Sometimes, you can just drop a thin cylinder onto the build plate, and scale it to just meet the bottom of an overhanging feature, and viola!

If you have the source to the model, designing a support feature right in will save you lot's of plastic, and put the support right where you need it. After the model prints, you can snip off the support.
Re: Opinions on support material
February 01, 2013 06:37PM
Kind of looks like something came off the bed there N314..

Are you using a raft with your support? I always do that.

Make sure your extrusion width to layer height ratio is at least 2 or 3 for good adhesion. Try that then think about reducing the flow rate for the support, would be my advice there.. I always use dense support. A slower speed might help too, sometimes the extrudate gets stretched too much making that support and breaks, creating a tear that propagates up.
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