Drawing support for 3D printing

During 3D printing process parts are built from 25 micron layers, that are placed one on top of another, also in our process liquid photopolymer is used. Because of this some parts need to have support structures built to support part during printing process.


We generate supports in Materialise Magics and in some cases manually in 3D editing software. You can support your parts yourself to reduce price and get specific supports, so here are few tips on how to do it. 


It is best practice to keep in mind few rules while modelling the part for easier supporting and overall better printed part quality:

  • minimal wall thickness should be not less than 0.1mm
  • parts with large volume print better when they are hollow


Basic guidelines for supporting parts:

  • vertical overhangs more than 1.2-1.5mm need to be supported
  • overhangs that are tilted less than 35-45 degrees from positive Z axis don't need to be supported
  • part needs to be elevated for 4mm and attached to the "ground" with supports


Support removal

As supports are made from same material as part itself, support need to be removed carefully with scalpel or any other sharp instrument, after that cleaned surface can be sanded with sandpaper. If there are any liquid polymer residues, they can be removed with isopropyl alcohol or other common solvent. If you are going to mould these parts, than make sure that part is clean, as liquid polymer can reduce mould quality.