Support generation (basic)
Once in supporting mode the support generation tabs and tools in the toolbar activate. This allows you to run the support algorithms on the selected object.
GENERATE SUPPORTS BUTTON
This button runs the supporting algorithm on your mesh. Depending on the size of the mesh this takes from 1 second to several seconds. You can decrease the time by first reducing your mesh.
EDIT POINTS BUTTON
Once you generated your support points you can click ‘edit points’ to edit the generated points. Click on an existing point will remove it. Clicking again on the model will add a point at that precise location. Click ‘apply’ to generate the supports or press Escto cancel.
The density percentage is a multiplier for how many support points will be generated. Together with the tip diameter it results in a density (mm) that is absolute to your model. Critical creases/surfaces will be sampled with this density.
TIP DIAMETER (MM)
The diameter in millimeter of the tip of connecting to your object. This influences the absolute density at which points are generated. Depending on your printer you can go as low as 0.1mm. The smaller the easier supports are removed.
CRITICAL BUILD ANGLE (DEGREES)
The critical build angle determines which surfaces/creases are critical. Critical parts receive support points. This setting typically depends on your printer but a start would be 30 degrees. If you choose this value to low your prints might fail.
The way the software adds support points can also be chosen. For certain models it might not be useful to support surface but only to look at creases and vice versa.
- Creases & surfaces (places points at critical creases and critical surfaces)
- Creases only (best for geometrical shapes only like cubes, certain but not all machine parts etc.)
- Surface only (best for natural objects or highly detailed meshes)
This determines the method that is used for generating support points on a surface. A random placement is very fast. For placing the supports on a grid a slower calculation runs so this might take some more time. For some printers a regular interval between supports can produce better prints.
The strategy shows which options you have for automatically adding supports. It can be one of the following:
- Split style lattice supports (recommended)
- Single supports
- Lattice supports
DENSITY MAIN COLUMNS (MM)
The density of the main columns is a variable that is used in splitting/combining algorithms. It determines what the maximum distance between 2 resulting columns can be. I.e. how far the combining/splitting algorithm will continue. Setting this value to large might result in to view support columns leading to instability. A low value will lead to more columns and more material usage
POLE DIAMETER (MM)
In the splitting/combining algorithms this is the starting diameter for a column
POLE WIDENING FACTOR
This factor multiplies the diameter of columns at the bottom of the build table. Hence increasing your column strength. Please note the full multiplication is only reached at the highest column. The others are scaled down proportionally to their length. This keeps all columns proportionally the same.
PLACE ABOVE BASE (MM)
If this option is checked the support generation places your object at an exact height above the base.
INTERNAL SUPPORTS ENABLED
This option allows you to turn off any internal supports. This might be handy when you have an infill generated already for hollow parts.
HEIGHT OF THE FOOT
This option adapts the height of the feet of the generated supports.
Check this option if you would like to add a base plate support right after generation. This can be added later on as well.
Support generation (advanced)
The advanced support generation tab gives you a more options to fine tune your supports.
IGNORE SMALL ITEMS
The support generation algorithm works by detecting amongst others creases and surfaces that are under a critical angle and need support. With these to options you can select at which size it should ignore these features. This might be handy if you have a large model with some small features at the bottom like a text imprint.
Segmentation allows you to create your supports in multiple parts. The main reason for this is to make support removal more easy.
INTERNAL SUPPORT SETTINGS
The internal support settings allow for more fine grained control over the automatically generated internal supports. Internal supports are categorized in 2 types based on their length; small or large. For both types you can set how many feet the algoritm should try to add. With more feet you create more stability for your supports but the downside is more post processing time.
EDIT CRITICAL CREASES AND SURFACES
With this feature you gain fine grained control over which parts are auto-supported. Click ‘edit critical parts’ to select creases and surfaces and resample them with new support points. You will notice creases will show up as ‘dashed’ green lines. Critical surfaces as green surfaces. When you select them they turn blue and below the ‘edit’ button it shows you what you have selected. You can also delete features. Press Esc to cancel or ‘apply’ to recalculate supports.