I just started playing around with this same idea yesterday. I have a number of small 1/2" ball joints I need to print, and I figured why waste all the material in the bases and supports. Just like construction… It’s always cheaper to build up, than it is to build out. I started with my ball joint, and then tried to design a simple “tree” to support the part. Once I did that, I just multi-copied the whole thing vertically and would up with a “tree” of parts.
Once in Preform, I used 1mm supports and removed everything the software “thinks” it needs except for the major supports at the bottom holding my support frame in place.
One draw back is that if your part has a frame around it as you mulit-copy it, either your bottom frame will be lifted pretty high off the plate, or your top part will have supports around it that do not connect to anything above. So you almost have to add a “different” support tree to the top part to get rid of the extra supports.
Once the PreForm supports were in place, I just copied it 6 more times, and overlapped the vertical supports I designed, and that will make the structure pretty strong. I could see trying to print 1 single thin tower being a possible issue if there is not a wide enough base supporting a very tall set of parts.
I haven’t tried printing this yet, but plan to over the weekend. I have a few more important parts that I needed to run 1st, just in case these fail.
I’ll come back after I run a few stacks and post some more photos and give you a run-down of how things did, or didn’t work