Multi Stacking


Hey Community,

does anybody know of a way to do multi stacking on a Form2?
For us it would be a nice feature to have cause the heigth in the Form2 is available and most of the time unused.
I mean i am talking about multiple small parts. For example dental models on the platform and crowns on top of the models in a second row.
Or for the audio business. We would be able to print more parts in one run.

Best regards
Peter from 3Dimensionen


For this type of printing it doesn’t work that well, the supports need to have some place to go to and you don’t want them attaching to the objects below. And if objects are closer together you can get worse printing results because the liquid resin doesn’t flow as well (you can get better results if the liquid resin moves more)


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 :slight_smile:


I can’t wait to see the results. Very intriguing!!!



Oh yeah…

The ball joint is .74ml by itself… With my custom supports it becomes .95ml
1 ball joint with PreForms standard supports is 1.25ml
5 tall x 7 stacks with Preform supports = 1.1ml per part.

So there is a small savings in resin as well, but the big up side is “volume” vs “space”


Your approach looks promising.
This would be something for Formlabs.
Have a look at the composer software of the Asigia printers. This looks cool :slight_smile:

Peter from 3Dimensionen


I often do this type of stacking in my model creation software (Solidworks/Onshape) if I don’t care about print time but want to get as many parts as possible. So no, it doesn’t work on Preform but you can do it on your own. Just be sure to put supports in.


Your posts are too close, there’s a good chance that they will be attached to the sides of the print, or at the very least there will be some kind of mark on those sides.


@JamesSauter - Any luck printing it this weekend? If so please post pics.




Seems the supports DO work great!! BUT you must leave at least 0.5mm between the support and the part.
I ran 2 test designs at the same time. One was 0.25mm and the other was 0.5mm away from the part. The 0.25… gap wound up creating a web between the part and the support. (for these parts it’s no big deal, I can still use them) But if you are designing your own support system, make sure your parts are a minimum of 0.5mm away from the support. Overall for a 1st test, it worked pretty damn well !! Just leave enough room between the part and the vertical supports.




I’d love to see such feature implemented into PreForm ! I have been wanting to try this for a while but it was never worth the time to set the support structure up in Solidworks.

Thanks for sharing your experience :wink:


I can tell you, as simple as these supports were, they were a little overkill. I went with a hex shape so they would link together nicely. But 4 supports would have been plenty. Not even sure the center post was needed. As I play around more, I’ll add more photos and let you know what works best. I have alot of parts to produce in batches, so plenty of room for testing ideas.


@JohnHue - That is absolutely amazing!!! This should definitely work its way into preform. Love all the pics and keep them coming if you have any other parts you try this on.



The big issue there is that only works for certain shapes


That specific support design maybe… But making other custom support structures for other parts should be pretty simple.

I noticed it was pretty easy to design a support system around what PreForm would do by letting PreForm build its own supports for a single part. If you position the part as you would if you were building a tower of parts, and let PreForm show you where the supports will be needed, then you can work off that to layout your own supports in the tower.


I also would like this feature. It seems a shame to have such a high build volume and be limited to the floor space. This could easily be an “advanced” feature that requires manual support addition. I think for preform to implement this they would need to have a “floor selection” tool and after that they could generate supports in the same way they do off the build plate.


This method looks interesting as well:


Sorry I forgot to come back and post more photos. It worked perfect. FormLabs still hasn’t added the feature though.


New photo by James Sauter