More control over support structures

The advanced support structure system has some nice features and I appreciate the ease of support structure generation, however more control is still needed.  When printing a model that has some delicate features there are some areas where you simply don’t want a support to be placed.  It would be nice if we could delete individual supports, or reposition them manually.

I agree it seems that on some models no matter what setting I pick the software puts a whole bunch of supports right next to each other.  I think it would be great if we could select the x,y,z location of where we want the support tip to touch the model (peferrably picking several point from the 3D view then the software generates the support from the point on down.  Don’t know how your software currently runs, but I would think it follows a similar process where it identifies the attach points then builds the matching support.

I would settle for being able to export the build as two shells in an STL .  Then you could edit in CAD and inport back in.

This would require a “run this w/o resupporting” type feature though .


PreForm is already using a separate shell/body for the supports.

I’ve build a small program to extract the STL from the .form files (

The extracted geometry does not keep the rotation/translation and scale information, but the supports are a different body in the STL.



Thanks for that code.  Unfortunately we are currently playing with the machine but it certainly is in a commercial use sitting beside 9 other printers in our architectural model studio and SB.  As a developer myself, I don’t’ want to violate your non commercial use.  Let me know if you have a licensing model.  


Charles (or anyone interested for that matter),

let’s talk offline (damien [dot] job [at gmail]), my disclaimers are mostly there to get me out of trouble if anyone uses this code and something bad happen.


More support control is definitely needed, I would like to be able to delete or add individual supports.

In addition to removing or moving a few supports it would be awesome to be able to make a single support thicker or thinner.  That way if you notice a really long support you could beef it up a bit so that it has a better chance of survival!

I had a n idea for the support base. Don’t do a massive raft, just make small hollow discs at the end of each support. My guess is that it will be easier to remove several small pieces rather than a giant piece, but still remain stable enough to support part building.

Recently, I have been using the software for the B9 Creator to create the support structures and then export it as STL. It works really nicely. But first figure out the arrangement/angle of the model using the form1 software.

You can move/place/delete individual support structures. Spread them out as you please. Use multiple thicknesses for support structures in areas that need them. And put support structures on the part the model that needs them, without having the resort to rotating the model.

Every time I see a new release I’m hoping this will be in it. Cleaning detailed models can be a real problem with poor support placement.

Thanks, Kevin. This is definitely a feature that we’re aware of people being interested in – at the moment, we’e also working hard to improve our supports, so that they leave less-noticeable markings on a part’s surface.

I’m building cases for various electronic devices, and I’m running into issues with tall supports getting a bit wobbly in the build. I’m seeing some crooked supports which built fine earlier. This may be related to uncured goo issues or tank-bottom damage, but  did have the thought that the supports could  be tied together in order to reduce the risk of a print failure initiated at a support. Ideally, the supports could build in a way that would improve the strength and stiffness  while using less resin. I just built a 30ml part with a 50ml support structure.

Finally, when a print job failed on a long, thin section, there was no way to increase the support at the point where it was obviously needed without adding a massive number of supports to the whole model.

More control should be the priority, but ultimately, a more efficient structure would be best.

Even as a stop-gap, just a “top down” view with the ability to “click to add” a support point under a particular location would be handy.

Hello everyone,

could be usefull also to have control WHERE create supports.

Sometimes we need that a support is created in a specific area.

So a selection tool that help to paint selections of poligons or drawing specific points over the mesh, could help to have more control over our prints. Something like “select with mouse where the customized supports will be created”.

Best regards,


I second Mattia on this ! Have the ability to manually create support in a specific area would be awesome !

We’ve been discussing some options that look a lot like this, but I don’t have any timeline for you right now. We know this is something a lot of people could use!

One thing I would like is remembering or saving preferred support settings. I would prefer that internal supports be OFF by default, unless I request them. I seem to find it turned back on inexplicably. It’s just a bit annoying to find supports where I didn’t think they were necessary in the first place, much less be a bit hard to remove.

I am fighting pretty hard to get a few supports in for some small figures with arms that are out to the sides. Preform missis the arms/hands or only finds one and leaves the other floating without a support and pretty much a guaranties a print fail. That lead me to this thread and I have a few ideas one of which is already mentioned.

It seems like the most simple solutions has already been suggested, place supports in one at a time as needed using a mouse and clicking on the model’s surface or from a top view and let preform figure out how to add that support point into the auto generated supports. Also might be good to do the placement before the auto generation with a line/tube to represent the user specified supports.

A more interesting and probably robust feature would be to let the user paint on the model in preform to specify where supports should go.

  • Default Gray/Blue (unpainted) = let Preform decide

  • Red = no supports

  • Yellow = preferred support areas

  • Green Dot or Point = must have a support here if the point is facing the print platform

Or possibly mostly without colors that are already in preform:

  • Black (or darkest gray) = no supports

  • 50% gray (default color) = let preform decide

  • White or light Gray = preferred support areas

  • Green Dot = must have a support here if the point is facing the print platform

If using some kind of paint system like this was possible it would also be great to be able to save the preferences with the models or now that OBJ files are supported to bring in maps or vertex colors painted in other applications to define how the user wants the supports.

A variation on the painted support system would be to have two sets of painted colors. One to define where supports should or should not be and a second set of colors (or maps) to define the thickness and density of the supports. Maybe that ends up being 3 sets?

Any way to keep things simple no colors or maps or what ever would be the default and let preform do all the work just like it does now. If more advanced users want to control the process more they can open the advanced settings to start defining how they want supports generated starting with a single color set for where. If needed another for strength and or density and so on.

Great thoughts, Jimmy. We’ve discussed similar schemes internally and we’re exploring all options to see what might make the most sense. We want to strike a good balance, in taking advantage of some of our powerful automatic features, while giving people manual control who need it: the ‘painting’ solution is something we’re taking a hard look at.