Supports or no supports?

Good morning folks… happy football sunday :slight_smile:

I just took delivery of my form 2 and i love it, as i expected to… However I am already realizing ill be frustrated with the support :slight_smile: I understand its needed etc, but you would think every print wants supports the way the software orients it.
Is there any issue not using support?
For instance. I printer a chess piece (rook) with supports in clear and it came out so rough because of supports its terrible (and its so hard to sand the details.
THen I printed a clear rook with no support with FSL clear and it came out insanely detailed (although their clear resin yellowed a lot from overcure i imagine).

Is there often times where you guys/gals dont use support?

Hi, welcome to the group.

you can print without supports but there should not be any overhang. See formlabs design guide to see what are the restrictions.

Anyway, I recommend you not to print on the print bed directly unless you don’t mind breaking the part a little bit on the bottom to take it off. Also be aware that if you print directly on the platform the area of the base should be bigger than the biggest slice area otherwise the part may come off during peeling.

Good luck

2 very good tips… so yes in this case (chess piece) the base was the thickest part. It also had no overhands. I also noticed that it was VERY hard to get off, but ive got a workaround there. Razer blade at 10 degrees or so, with a little tap of a rubber mallet… the razer just slides a bit under and it works great.

@dunginhawk try to avoid using razors. I also use it some times just to make space to put the spatula underneath and create a wedge. But they are dangerous and there are some reports of people getting hurt with that.

See this video it 's great:

Well if you print without supports and dont have a notch, its not likely you will get a spatula under there :slight_smile: but yes, I am always aware of the safety issues… never hurts to think more tho

If you have something that does require supports it’s best to analyze the object and orient yourself, the automatic orientation and support is usually not as good as if you do it yourself. You want to orient it so that it requires the least number of supports and so that any detail parts are facing upwards if possible.

totally with you on that one… chess pieces are universal around so those are hard to judge, but yes, i would have relied to heavily on the auto generation of the orient and supports.

Keep in mind there is some over curing done to the first X number of layers (i don’t remember the number) but those layers will see some compression. This can be seen on the Marvin keychains I recently printed on my Form 2. They both were printed directly on the platform and are quite small. The ones in this pic are 12mm and 18mm tall. Notice the distinct line. Also notice the slight bowing of material close to the bottom of his feet.

Yep… that was always going to be a concern… so I guess what I can do is just orient it like i would to print without support, but let it print the raft and then attach some points to the bottom of the print. Imagine it would still turn out ok.

Can anyone give me insight on why it would take longer to print without supports?

1 Like

After pondering this I tested some things using the print time estimates from Preform. I concluded it is dependent on size in some way. A .75"x.75"x.25" tile would printer faster without supports, yet a .5"x.5"x.25" tile would printer faster with supports. Even more interesting a .5"x.5"x.125" tile would printer faster without supports.

The time it takes to peel and move a layer is always the same, but the time to draw the layer isn’t. So that potentially means rotating an object in Preform to give you more layers of smaller cross-sections will print faster or slower than the very same object rotated to have fewer layers with larger cross-sections. This has “case by case basis” written all over it.

Actually, the printer will only wipe across the area that was printed, so the positioning on the print volume along with how big the layer is will affect the peel process. If you have an object on the right side of the printer it will print faster than the same object on the left side of the printer.

Huh… when you’re right, you’re right. I thought one of the wiper functions was to keep the resin stirred, in which case full-length sweeps make the most sense. But nope. Still, this adds even another variable to the formula!

its stirs it a little, but the main advantage is clearing the area in case there’s some bits of cured resin and then exposing the PDMS to oxygen to make it work better and last longer.