Option to edit support base


I often print structure like o-rings or tubes. Diameter 8cm to 10cm but only 3mm thickness. The base is always generated as a disc with the same diameter + x as my ring / tube. I don’t think that such a masive base is needed and if I remember right, the first versions generated a base which matched the ring structure much better.

Would it be possible in one of the next Preform versions to have an option to remove / edit the base structure ? I found no way to do so in the latest version. I think that would increase the life time of my tank because large areas would no longer be processed by the laser without need…

Best regards,


I completely agree. I started printing small statues, most of which already have bases and a base structure is not needed. Instead of starting the statue base on air and causing problems it can be used as the base structure.

@Thorsten_Sonntag I have run into this previously as well - and agree that the base area with no supports attached is a waste of resin - and worse - when the base area is large enough it can cause layer separation.

Why ask for “editable” bases though - that’s a very difficult feature for FL to add - when all we really need is bases without large areas containing no supports.

Your diagram is excellent though - it’s exactly the case I’ve run into previously.

So - @Formlabs - please can you update preform so that base area is only generated where supports or lift tabs are needed. That is - not inside the large red circle highlighted above.

I have been suggesting this - many times - since January. I do so again yesterday.

Alternatively you could try to print it vertically.

There are two reson why I don’t print it vertical

  • Print takes ~5 hours instead of ~2 hours
  • If I print thin structures it sometimes happens that the structure distorts and finaly ends up with a failed print (could most likely be avoided by increasing number of supports…)

The Form1 takes a long time, relatively speaking, to step from one layer to the next. Part of the “trick” of using this printer effectively is learning how to orient models so that the print reliably, but in the fewest number of layers. For every degree the ring is rotated with respect to horizontal, additional layers need to be printed. Printing in vertically is the last thing you’d want to do I think. Flatter is not always better for any number of different reasons, but flatter is always better for minimizing print time.

As for editable bases, subtracting material from areas that have no supports is something that should be trivially easy to do in software. “Nothing above the height of the base” is a very straightforward criteria to look for in the geometry data. Alternately, if FL could add an “export to STL” function that allows the model with base+supports to be saved, it would be a simple edit in any CAD program. Export might actually be a better idea, since it would let you make other modifications to the model+supports+base if you wanted (what, I don’t know. But if the feature existed, I bet there’d be some things).

I agree, having and export option and changing the STL with a second tool would be a suitable solution for me.

My issue with the support base is I’d like to be able to set it and forget it. I run with a 1.50 thick base, not the 2.00 as the software defaults to. How about a way to save values like these so it’s easier to do many prints with the same settings.

  • Walt

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