Please bring back the old supports as an option

I miss the control and the durability of the old support system. Internal supports are great addition but the new supports don’t hold up when printing large things. Plus I feel the software by default makes them too thin. Most of them get pulled and destroyed during the print process.

I just printed this bust and the first one failed before it even got through the support area. The print is about 200ml in volume. Pics below. I decided to give up on the new software and revert back to .83 and it was an absolute success.

I have to agree.  The new supports do add benefits in some situations but I think it would be great to have the old supports as an option.  Having the ability to choose between the different support types would be optimal.  This way, we would not need to have both versions installed on a single machine.

Great job! And I totally agree your suggestion, I think the Preform should be more PROFESSIONAL than “one button and go” style since Form1 is a profession grade machine and most its users are using it for business, I know Formalabs want to to be handy and for everybody to use, but the fact is if the software lack functions and hard to control everything, it is more often to be failed. Form1 is definitely not for everybody consider its material type and the maintenance, it is not like FDM, the material is cheap, and not require too much care for the machine, the STL is very fragile if not care enough, you don’t print anything or your machine wont work anymore, the interesting thing is even FDM has more functions and control than Preform, Formlabs, please make your Preform more professional, don’t make it a TOY!

I am curious about your successful print, It cost so much resin, 200ml is about the maximum resin the tank can hold, I wonder if you add resin into the tank during the printing? Does the model complete solid?

And how long this the printing, is it at 50um or 100um? I always want to print large model but I am afraid to do it now. Thank you.

Hi Lock,

Yes as a modeler being able to tinker and change detailed settings is a must have item for me. I would much prefer an automatic system mixed with some tinkering manual control to it. I would ideally like to select individual supports and delete them and add supports to certain areas when needed. I would also like to adjust the thickness of some supports (mainly the ones near the peel side).

To answer your question. The 200 is just the estimator, since this was a hollow model I think it was less. I will do a full post about it tomorrow when I am done with the cleanup tonight. Print time was about 18 hours or so if I remember correctly. The solid version would have been a 24 print but the supports failed almost immediately so I did not waste too much. I am personally running formsoftware .83 for now because I can print at a much lower failure rate. I wish the peeling process was not so abrupt in general because sometimes it does stick pretty severely and can leave horizontal marks on your model.  That said this print turned out great and I will have it printed and set to show tomorrow. I printed at 50 (I always print at 50 pretty much unless it is something with ridiculous detail) Also, I do top up the print as it is printing. I have a general rule that if your print takes more than 8 hours on the 50 micron setting you should probably add resin. If it takes more than 10-12 hours you almost certainly have to add resin.

One of the tips I learned from the forums here is to place the part of the model that has the shortest supports facing the peel side. That seemed to help alot.

Thanks for the tip! I never know that the peel side support should be shorter now I remember, the Preform doesn’t even have a axes like most 3D programs, it looks cool that way but how can I figure out which way is the peel side after rotating the scene? It is almost impossible and I really want Formlabs to add am axes option to the scene, or not axes, anything that indicates the peel side, please!

Robert, I am curious how you add the resin when it is printing, according to the Formlabs, you should pause the printing before adding the resin, did you pause the print? And will there be a visible line on the model when you paused it? I saw someone said there was a visible line when the print was paused I wonder if this happen to your model?

So first thing when looking on the top view down, the peel side is on the right. So when you go into translate mode it should look from top vie and you can tell which side should be on the peel. As for the adding more resin, all you do is press the button on the printer, wait for the layer to complete then you are free to add more. I don’t know if it leaves any visible lines from the pause or they happen just from the peeling process.

Here is my finished print.



Wonderful work! It is pretty, I didn’t see the backside of the head, where  the supports meet the model, are those touch points look okay to you?

Thanks!! I don’t like the sculpting job I did on the hair in the back so I am not showing that part :P. I may clean it up with clay or something later. That said it was not bad to clean. The old supports were much easier to clean up than the new ones in this case. The newer ones leave rows and rows of little dots while the older ones have more precise touch points that you can target and clean.

Thanks for the suggestions, here! We’ve talked about a number of UI solutions for making the axes clear in the software – and we, of course, are always working on making more effective supports. Thanks for the feedback, Robert. We’re having ongoing internal discussions about all of this.