An Example on When and Why You Need Support Material

8 Oct


We have already discussed what is the support material and what are rafts in 3D printing and why you need to use them and when, but it will be more clear for a lot of people to understand if we just show you. Here you can see a print of a low polygon 3D model of a tiger printed with support material under the body. The two most important and problematic zones if you do not use support material will be the head and the tail as they do not have anything under them as a part of the model and a 3D printer extruding thermoplastic material cannot simply print in thin air. That is why you need to print support material and not only for the head and tail, but for the body as well and when the 3D model is ready you can just remove the extra support material that you do not need.

The often observed problem with the use of support material however is that it may not always stick well to the print bed, so you may need to add Raft to fix this. Sometimes the support material could also be hard to remove from the 3D printed model, especially if your print bed is not properly leveled as normally you should be able to very easily remove the extra support material. One of the drawbacks that many of the 3D printing software solutions that come bundled with 3D printers is that they are designed to automatically generate support where they think it is required. So the user does not have control of where and how much support material to be used, but the good news is that there are alternative software packages that do provide extra functions such the ability for the user to add support material only where it is needed.

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