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Adding supports to model while designing

Posted by mersadk 
Adding supports to model while designing
July 24, 2015 07:14AM
I would like to support only few sections of my model. If I use Slic3r or Cura, they will generate supports for everything (including holes, which i don't want).

My idea was to add supports manually in my model, but I can't find any information on how those supports should be designed (should they be connected to model, or at some distance, how large should they be..).

Did anyone try this?
Re: Adding supports to model while designing
July 24, 2015 07:25AM
you can model supports in any modeling software.. make thin walls of .4mm thickness ( if u are using a 0.4 nozzle ) and leave a gap of 0.2 mm between the bottom of the model and the support,, This way the supports comes off but not as clean as the one slicer generates... but sometimes slic3r ignores the thin walls .. ( when then are curved ) in that case try 05 amd 0.6mm thickness

best of luck
Re: Adding supports to model while designing
July 24, 2015 02:57PM
Simplify3D is supposed to have very good support generation, though the software is $150. You might be able to find someone on the forums willing to create supports for you with the software, possibly even the developer if you were thinking of eventually buying it.

Otherwise, I think MeshMixer is popular for specifically creating supports for STL models, though I am not sure what capablities it has.
Re: Adding supports to model while designing
July 24, 2015 05:33PM
@ mersadk

There are many examples of designs with supports in the original STL's (i.e. not generated by the slicer software). One classic such example is Greg's Wade's geared extruder, the main body part. The design of the support varies according to the specific geometry of the part that you need to print "in the air".

Personally I believe that manually designing a custom support is better than relying on some algorithm that is designed for a generic form of support.

To design a support you can use any of the tools used to design 3D printable parts. The idea is of course to easily remove the support after printing, so very often thin walls are used, as ekaggrat wrote above.
Re: Adding supports to model while designing
July 24, 2015 08:35PM
I have tried both ways, designing a part with support sturctures already in place and using Simplify3D for automatic and manual support.
For a simple shape that you design yourself it is no big deal to include some support where required, more complicated and curved models are much easier to handle in Simplify3D.
In some cases I already know from a previous print that not all support is required, so I can manually remve support or add some structures in aras of need.
Since I got used to it I no longer create parts with support but instead let the program do the work for me.
Best IMHO is that th support structures really just snap off.
Re: Adding supports to model while designing
July 28, 2015 03:31AM
I know that Simplify3D has support for custom supports, but it is to pricey.

I did what @ekaggrat suggested and it worked pretty well.
Re: Adding supports to model while designing
July 28, 2015 01:35PM
If you are semi proficient in a CAD package you should be making your own support. I have NEVER used supports generated by a slicer, as mentioned above, relying on an algorithm is unpredictable. Slicer generated support is aimed toward a consumer as opposed to budding engineers smiling smiley

When creating a support the loose rules i tend to follow are....
1. If supporting a circular arch, i start the support where the angle hits 50 degrees
2. Sometimes my support is a solid block, or it can be a series of thin walls (solid block makes a cleaner supported surface, whilst a series of thin walls is easier to remove)
3. The gap between support structure and the printed part should be approx 0.03 - 0.05mm less than the layer height the part will be printed with. this ensures that only one layers worth of gap exists, otherwise you may end up with two layer height gap and this can look untidy once the support is removed (id expect this might differ from one slicer to the next).
4. The width of thin walls should be 0.01-0.03 thicker than your nozzle diameter (ie using a 0.4 nozzle, i will create support walls 0.42 thick).

When you use exact same dimensions the slicer can sometimes leave them out of the resulting gcode.

The above is just my own experiences when using Cura as my main slicer tool. Differences may occur with different slicers. The above info is a guideline only smiling smiley


Re: Adding supports to model while designing
July 28, 2015 06:32PM
Meshmixer ( [www.123dapp.com] ) looks like it has some funky support options - has anyone tried it? Shame there isn't a Linux version...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2015 06:33PM by JamesK.
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