Allow More Customization of Support Structures

I understand that if the bases of internal supports are too small, they are susceptible to breaking off. But right now, these bases leave a very noticeable blemish when they are removed. It would be nice to be able to customize the internal supports more.

I would also like to be able to use smaller support contacts than is currently available. I’m sure Formlabs has done a significant amount of testing, but I still can’t help but wonder if smaller supports are possible. I have yet to have any of my prints fail due to support issues and I always use the smallest contact points. It would also be nice if the slop of the tips could be adjusted. Right now, when 2 or 3 support tips are near one another, they can affect the detail of the part and be difficult to remove.

I have some experience with Materialise Magics. The Support Generation module for Magics makes some very different types of support structures. It may be beneficial to have the option to produce these as well. Examples from the various softwares can be seen here:

I have often wondered if it would be possible to produce internal supports whose bases do not contact the part but could snake through the part from the outside to provide internal support. This idea is inspired by the Materialise Metal Sintering module.

I’m making jewelry (rings primarily). I had the same problem with the support system leaving blemishes in the print that were hard to clean up. My solution was to disregard the FormLabs support system entirely and build custom supports as part of the model. These do double duty as the sprue system for casting. I’ve been having good success lately growing/casting elaborate head systems for gemstones that are hard to grow and hard to cast. I use carefully placed, smaller supports. More than I would normally use for casting.

Good info Ron. I intend to try out some custom MeshMixer supports when I get a chance to do testing.

I am also a jeweller, I put in my own supports, see pics below, I get very good stability and the models are smooth and

good to cast

It would also be nice to change the distance or direction of a support, sometimes they end up really close to other parts of the print and I’d like to pull them away a bit, if they’re too close sometimes they can stick to the print or it can be difficult to get to them with the sprue cutters to remove them.

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