How to determine if there is insufficient support

  1. I’ve got a really complex geometry (see attached screenshot), and no matter what orientation I put it in, it seems to suffer from insufficient support. PreForm indicates this through “red” areas … from what I’ve read in docs, the more dense and darker the red, the more the print is likely to fail … however, it is somewhat challenging trying to figure out what is/will likely be a catastrophic failure on the Form1 … any way to give a percentage of failure in the software? maybe in the problematic areas, or perhaps something as simple as a text area in the UI someplace? … a more challenging feature would be to show, using a basic physics engine … what is likely to happen in PreForm during the layer by layer animation …

  2. Is it possible to build into Preform, a feature such that an operator hits a button and it cranks through a bunch of orientations and support structures until it finds something that “works”. Maybe it gives “scenarios” on which an operator might pick? Would require building some further intelligence into the Preform platform.

  3. Does Formlabs need a really good test model for internal use for testing support mechanism? The attached might be a good one to test new features with. :slight_smile:

  4. I am likely going to split up the .stl into multiple parts, print separately, and then reassemble. Seems like an avenue that might work.

Just ideas.

Hey Scott,

Manual supports may be needed for your model to print properly. If you post the stl file, I can set some up for you and you can test print it.

Or you if you prefer you can do it yourself using the b9 software.

Hi Monger. I was posting more to give Formlabs feedback on PreForm. I’m pretty capable of adding custom supports myself, but thanks for offering!

Good tip on triaging in the b9 visualizer  … I had trialed that bot before I got the Form1. It’s one the few features I liked in the version of the b9 platform. Being able to customize support mechanism … I do like the simplicity of PreForm, but it probably does need a way for users to customize. Based on some threads I’ve seen I’d wager Formlabs is thinking and/or acting upon that feature request.


Hey MD,

I also like the way how you can set the supports yourself in the B9 software.

However how do you get your supported model out of the B9 Software in STL format,

rather than the native B9 format?

yeah this is so great… I found it !

Just click on File -> Export

instead of clicking File -> Save as…

LOL, so simple. I am Gonna try that right away