Preform is always getting better, but opportunities remain to make it more intelligent in handling internal supports.
e.g. Here’s part of a model I recently worked on. It’s a tricky one with lots of internal overhangs. I placed some internal supports with small touchpoints near the toes.
Preform routed all the supports in this region to the same spot in my model, but passed up a terrific opportunity to combine them all into one (or maybe two) stem contacts. Instead, I have I wall of material to cut away along the bases of these internal supports.
Also, instead of coming to a pointy tip, some of the supports were generated as simple straight cylinders. I recognize Preform has to do this in some occasions when the constrained by the model geometry. However, the surrounding supports (of similar height) were able to generate normally. If Preform were clever about combining the bases of proximate internal supports, I wonder if that might also empower it to better honor the users’ intended contact size in scenarios like this.
Separately, I’ve also noticed Preform place vertical internal supports where external supports with a slight angle would do. I expect this is because it wants supports to hang straight down. It might be worth looking at whether you can implement basic “wrap around” logic where slight deviations would allow you to drastically cut down the internal supports. In my existing model, I have 3 or 4 supports routing to the inside of the sword, but there’s lots of room to go around it to either side.
I recognize these may not be straightforward ideas to implement, and that using an alternate orientation and other touchpoint locations is one way deal with this today. But that’s not always easy to do (e.g. if you’re just about finished creating all your custom supports and just need to fix up a few problem ones, starting from scratch with a new orientation is very tedious).
ps. In case you’re about to suggest it - in this case I did try upright orientations first, but they result in many more interior supports (and loads of opportunity for “wrap-arounds”).