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  1. #1

    Question Support issues - HELP!

    I'm a 3D printing noob and I'm having trouble getting to grips with supports. I tried to print this Assassin's Creed bust and as you can see from the pics, I have some parts that have not printed properly at all! The straps and buckle across the chest and the sword/sheath across the back failed to print in places, and what did print fell apart. But then there's support under the chin that I've been unable to pull out! Any ideas how I could have printed this better please?
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    Last edited by AndersHTID; 01-13-2021 at 03:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Oh and I should state the settings used

    I printed on an Ender 3 Pro, using Standard settings in Cura 0.2mm Layer Height, 20% Infill, Supports everywhere. I think I used ZigZag supports at 15% if I remember rightly...

    Would "tree supports" be better?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    well the only place I can see that might need supports is the inside of the hood at the top.

    You might find that the model actually doesn't need supports at all.

    Also for complex models print it at the best resolution you can.
    So for most models you want 0.1mm.

    Retractions looks good, so speed is fine.

    Me I'd print it 0.1 mm, then see where it needs supports and add them in manually and ONLY at the places it really needs them.

    Slicers are notorious for just adding them everywhere there is a slight overhang.

    What you will find is that often you geta better result by sanding an area printed wthout supports then by the mess left behind when you remove supports.

    Okay things to buy that will help you: a set of micro files:
    Some sanding blocks:

    and a cheap battery powered engraving tool:

    They will help immensely of both removing supports and cleaning up printed items :-)

  4. #4
    This is great! I'll definitely try that and invest in the tools too. Thanks for your help What's the easiest way to manually add supports? I'm a noob to blender as well and haven't made any of my own models yet. Is this is the best tool to use, or is there something simpler for a beginner?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    well I'd switch from cura to prusaslicer - I know there's an option to manually place supports on that - plus it's just better :-)

    As far as cad goes - I pretty much only design practical things, so openscad is all I use.

    For things like artistic modelling, blender is good - albeit a total bastard to get good with - though I'm sure there are millions of how-to videos on youtube.

    If you design your own models - then incorporate the supports into the model. That way you have full control over the size and shape.
    On the very rare occasions I use an occasional support - I leave about 0.15mm gap between the top of the support and the bottom of the bit supported. Makes it easier to remove and leaves an area really easy to sand flat.

    The little battery powered ngravers have a ball shaped end with diamond dust. Good for general purpose shaping as well as enlarging slightly small holes.

    I find that the more powerful dremel type tools - just won't turn down slow enough. So they tesn to melt the plastic, rather than filing/sanding it.

    Sculptris is also worth a look. Free and pretty easy to use.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 01-14-2021 at 09:51 AM.

  6. #6
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
    Washington State, USA
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    Learning the techniques of adding supports on complex models can take trial an error, there is not one setting that is a fix all for all models.

    My self have been learning the fine aspects of the new PrusaSlicer 2.3.0 which has proven to me to be an asset in 3D Printing complex models.
    This slicer is not for the timid it will take time to learn following the many You-Tube video have proven to be my best learning models.
    It will allow you-to add supports anywhere or just one selected area with all the modifiers you can be use to manipulate the model this is the best Free Slicer.

    This slicer has a steeper learning curve that someb3D Printer users may not be suited for.
    Though this newbie cad designing senor citizen 3D Printer newbie found it quite easy to learn.
    Last edited by Roberts_Clif; 01-14-2021 at 02:43 PM.

  7. #7
    Thank you both! I'll check out PrusaSlicer right away! I'll also take a look at Scultris. I want to make miniatures for tabletop games eventually so might be a good jumping off point.

    I'm pretty sure I have a plug in type Dremel thing somewhere, only a cheap one, but now you've said they're too fast I'll get a battery powered one!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    the multi purpose rotary tools just generate too much friction for pla.
    The little battery powered engravers (I bought mine from a local hardware shop for £1.50) just doesn't have the oomph to melt stuff. If you press too hard it just slows down.
    So as long as you have a light touch, it works really well.

    Plus you could easily make different tips if you wanted too. I just use the little diamond coated ball they come with.

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