Soft Touch Supports

So before I bought this printer I saw a bunch of marketing about “Soft touch supports” that just twist off. I dont see any options for that in preform, are we still waiting on an update for that?

Its there but not listed separately - It is part of SUPPORTS menu option (3rd from bottom) You`ll see default touchpoint size setting is .05mm - not really easy to twist off. However the smaller you make the touchpoints the easier they are to twist off. Essentially soft touch “twist off” is inherent in the smaller size touchpoints.

0.25 mm is relatively easy. 0.15 mm s is very easy for example and even sounds like breaking a cracker in your hand.

I’ve been wondering what people are using as their touchpoint sizes. Formlabs advertised this as a big thing but the default sizes are still really large. Even with 0.2mm less than the defaults it still doesn’t feel like a huge advantage over what the F2 was giving with LT tanks.

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is .15mm more likely to fail than say .25?

Yes. Smaller supports are always more likely to fail.

The defaults for me are .6 and I’ve been routinely going down to .45 without issues. I have also routinely reduced the density to .75 and it’s been fine. I do .7 on some, but then I start getting complaints of inadequate support from PreForm.

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There is a pay-off between the size of the points and the density.

I usually use 0.4 for larger parts and 0.3 for smaller parts on my Form3.My impression is the supports do seem to easier to remove with the form3 rather than the form2.I only use clear resin and used to get a lot of chipping removing the supports from the form 2 printed parts, but the Form3 parts have much less chipping and the supports often do just twist off.

Ah interesting thanks everyone. I’ve been mostly using 0.4mm at normal (100%) density but was wondering if I could go even lower to make removing supports easier. I’ll try 0.3!

I printed several fairly complex parts using the tough resin at .15 and it actually worked fine. It did leave nubs behind, but they were surface finish level nubs. Easily rubbed off with my finger and alcohol. The supports themselves snapped off like a cracker in one piece, essentially achieving what I wanted.

Oh wow. How big were the parts? I’ve gone down to 0.3 for clear resin and it seemed fine but haven’t tried lower.

about 3x4x6". Just had a failure though, that ended up damaging my brand new tank as I changed orientation of the part to let resin drain out of the hollow parts. Looks like the peeling force overcame the support touch points as there was more of the actual surface area of the part coming in contact with the film and I ended up having to abort print and fish out some large and small chunks still stuck to the tray. Now I have like a snakebite looking blemish that wont come off with the tank plastic scraper thing. So be very careful lol

Oh should mention as well, I only print using tough resin right now so all of my findings I imagine only apply to tough

My understanding is that the Soft Touch Supports feature, when and if it ever gets added to PreForm is not the same as just selecting fewer, smaller touch points. It’s a completely different algorithm for how the support lattice is calculated. Hopefully they will get around to implementing it soon.

That’s not a particular feature that needs to be implemented. Since the Form 3 exerts less force on the print when it needs to separate the print from the bottom of the tray to go to the next layer it means that the printer can use a lower exposure since it doesn’t need the part to be cured as much to withstand the peeling force. With a lower exposure there is less indirect curing and the support points will be smaller which makes them easier to remove.

I actually find that parts off the form 3 feel more exposed than the form 2 and that the same touch point sizes in the form 3 are sometimes harder to remove than the form 2 strangely.

However I have noticed that because of the low peel forces you can get away with smaller touchpoints than the form 2.

Regardless peeling supports off parts on the form 3 definitely doesn’t feel optimized at this point and is a little dissapointing actually (especially if you stick to their default sizes…which I’ve already got into a habit of dropping substantially).

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Just to let everyone here know, I’ve been printing at 0.3mm and 1.0 density for basically all resins up till now and it’s been working great. Supports peel off quite nicely. I haven’t tried anything smaller yet but will keep everyone posted if I do.