Support density

Hi all,

What is the theory behind how many supports to include? I’ve read that the automatic function is a good starting point but it’s better to do them manually. I’d like to use as few supports as possible but how do you know what you can get away with? I realize there is an element of trial and error but I’m sure some expert users have some idea? I love this printer but find that the automatic function seems to use a lot of supports which as you know, hurts the surface quality, especially flat surfaces. Any help or ideas are appreciated.


Do the manual edit and watch for Red or Pink areas. Those need supports but not always where you’d think. Sometimes because of detail you need to move away from where Preform seems to point and to a area that’s open. That area needs to print before the area that is colored red/pink. If the red/pink disappears then you have good support. Also, some times it best to add in a few extra supports to make sure certain areas are printed properly. EX: I have a number of items that have square bases. If I follow the red/pink indicators but not watch that those corners have support they will be deformed, not flat and square but rounded up a bit which isn’t acceptable.

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Hi Walter - this is great info - thanks!! I’m sure I’ll have more questions as I get to know this printer. I do read up on things as much as I can so I don’t have to ask questions that have already been answered a bunch of times.

Hi Russena, the Form 2 can be a lot of fun and the biggest pain you’ll all at different times. [grin] I’ve had excellent results from the Form 2 but lately I’m having a support base issue that seems to point to the new Preform software so I rolled back both the Firmware and the Preform. Still having the issue but I think it’s that the build plate surfaces are damaged from digging the bad pieces off.

Orientation can be an issue and I generally do my own. On occasion I’ll have Preform do it but many times, when you choose Edit, you will see pink areas that Preform didn’t put supports in. So, it’s ALWAYS important to click on Edit and check for that red/pink on the piece which means scrolling all the way around the part to view from all angles. Look close as sometimes pink areas are very faint. I’ve had Preform say the build is good when I then find large pink areas.

Hey Walter,

Makes sense - I’ll remember to do this. I haven’t had any support base issues yet but I can see how this printer can cut both ways. Fun/Pain. So far I’ve had about a 90% success rate with black v4 but I’d really like to get better and “designing” the supports. I’ve noticed the “clunk” many times when it’s peeling and I’d like to avoid that but I’m not sure how. I believe I’m orienting the model correctly but it still makes that noise (and small stuttered motion). I’ve read about a few other people experiencing this but not really having issues either so…

thank you,

I use the automatic generation first so that it can catch all the unsupported islands and then I rearrange everything else so that I get enough initial support and then other points more spread out to stabilize the print.

That’s a good idea. Thanks!