Supports vs. Not Enough Supports

Coming from FFF printing, I always wondered about why Form-type printers needed supports. Printing upside down works with gravity, not against it. What’s to support? Well, I have my answer. These are identical prints in orientation and resolution, but I minimized the supports on the left one to save resin. And then I watched it get nudged side to side every layer by the peel mechanism to result in the strikingly skewed output you see here. I went back and beefed up the supports, and was rewarded by the flawless print shown at right. It’s a given that resin is precious, but the few extra ml invested in proper supports are far less than the ml wasted in a failed print due to lack thereof.


Thanks for sharing your print results.
Yes, supports is the key to getting great prints.

That is good info thanks for sharing.

It’s a balancing act. Supports mar the print and require post-processing to clean up. A lot of supports means a lot of intricate sanding and filing. The trick is to print with just as many supports as necessary for your model. There are a number of factors that come into play, including the shape and size of the model, its orientation on the build plate, layer thickness, and the resin you’re using.

You come from a FFF background (I did, too), so you’re probably inclined to orient the model on the longest axis for the best print, like you did with the object above. That object would probably print with fewer supports (and the supports would be much shorter, and shorter supports work better) if you oriented it more horizontally (not completely horizontally, though). And the Form2 is not the speediest printer. A more horizontal orientation will reduce the overall height of the object, resulting in a significant reduction in the layer count, and a proportionally reduced print time.

Is the object hollow?

Most excellent observation and illustration…thanks.

Good example on where to put supports.
Thank You.

This picture taught me a lot.


Really instructive! Thanks

The item in the photo is not hollow, although I am learning how to print larger items as two halves with the insides hollowed out. As a 20-year professional prop and costume maker, a little sanding and gluing doesn’t scare me (you should see my jeweler’s file collection!) :slight_smile: In fact, these resin prints are a dream to sand compared to filament. Very like auto body filler. Since I am still new to resin printing, I still trust Preform’s “One-Click-Print” to do most of the job, usually just reducing the support point size to minimize bumps. The few times I orient a part manually are for two main reasons: moving as many supports to less-detailed or less-visible surfaces as possible, and/or to minimize the “footprint” on the PDMS in the tray to minimize its unavoidable clouding. Slower vertical printing doesn’t bother me; the Form2 seems almost exactly as fast/slow as my filament printer so it’s a pace and schedule I’m already used to. Indeed, I went into this knowing that upgrading my 3D printing meant either speed or quality, as both together are still just out of my reach. I went for the latter and I think I made the better choice! But I welcome all advice on my path to developing best practices for the Form2 as I do for all my tools sooner or later.

Seriously? That won me an award for “First Emoji”? This forum software’s gonna enable a lot of Special Snowflakes! :slight_smile:


Sadly there is no cash prize to go with that award. :cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

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Because physics.

Come on. Science and facts are so 20th century.

3D printer forum trolls. Filling a much-needed void since 2012.