When first starting to add supports, you will want to raise your model above the base of the build platform so the model will not be in contact with the build plate. Our technicians recommend at least 2 mm of space between the model and the build plate. Using your slice tool or function, you will want to isolate the first appearance of the model. The first part of the model that you can see is called an island. These newly emerging pieces of geometry are what require supports the most. We want to place our first support in the center most location, and radiate them outwards.
As we move up in height with the model, we will notice newly emerging islands from the prongs of the ring. These must also be supported, but without disturbing the model itself so that it retains its proper form.For placing multiple supports at one time, we use a mirror tool which will place multiple supports at one time. This can save us time but we must check and make sure they are not interfering with other supports or with the model itself.
As we move up to the top of the model, we want to make sure the top of the ring will have support, so we will actually make supports to go inside the center of the ring. More supports is almost always better. The only issue is that depending on what type of printer you are using and what materials, you may have to remove them all by hand. On the machine we are currently using, we will have to remove them by hand so we don’t want to use too many supports.
Here is an example of a finished properly supported model, ready for printing. Notice how the supports are placed evenly and widely distributed so that they can withstand the weight of the model, without using too many supports. This will reduce the amount of time removing the supports after it has been printed.