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Here's the thing I want to print.

enter image description here

The red ring is 3.5 mm above the bottom of the orange cylinder. The red ring is 1cm thick. I'd prefer not to use supports because I tend to break as much as I clean up.

I know this could be done in two pieces but then I'd have to make sure the pieces fit and then glue it in at that's too much. It'd be ideal to print this as one piece. How can I do this with as few supports as possible?

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It seems like technically this should be possible by making short chord-like bridges along the circle, to provide support for the next layer. But I'm not aware of any slicer that would support a strategy like that. You could edit the g-code manually (just the first layer where the ring begins), but that is quite laborious. $\endgroup$ – jpa Jul 24 at 16:43
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Three ideas

  1. If either side of the red ring can have a chamfer to meet the cylinder, add the chamfer and print with the chamfer side down.
  2. If both sides of the red ring must be perpendicular to the axis of the cylinder, can you print the cylinder lying on its side? You might get good enough print quality, especially if printing with thinner layers toward the top.
  3. If that is unsatisfactory, try explicitly adding an inner support ring as part of the model. Don't depend on the slicer to do what you want, do it yourself. You would then be bridging to make the red disk, but that can work surprisingly well with a good cooling fan and printer.

In all three cases, consider the slot holes you have in the red ring. For case 3 you may need to add a support around those holes as well. In case 2, they would want to be pointed vertically. In case 1, the chamfer would be modified to have holes of cavities matching the slot holes.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not OP, but can you elaborate on idea 3? Do you mean add a ring under the 2nd orientation and leaving a small gap to the actual model? Wouldn't this just be support that's difficult to pry off? Or do you mean a cylinder at the same height/position as the ring so the entire hole is covered? How would you remove that afterwards? $\endgroup$ – csiz Jul 24 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ I meant a cylinder that came up to the hole in the red ring. It would support the end and the ring would bridge onto the cylinder. Yes, it is support y hff at would need to be removed, but you would control where it was placed. The inner hole diameter could be reduced and the support cut away with a rotary file. Your choice, but it would be your choice based on what was easy for you to remove. $\endgroup$ – cmm Jul 24 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, that makes sense. I kept thinking you'd have to make the support ring as wide as the red ring, but making it so it only touches the inner diameter is clever! $\endgroup$ – csiz Jul 24 at 14:40
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You can print the support as a separate piece, then when the time is right pause the print, insert the support part into the ring and the resume printing. I guess you might have to use PVA glue on the support to ensure that it comes off easily when the time is right, but I'll leave that experimentation up to you. Note: This is going to be very much trial and error on your part.

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Most slicers have extensive settings to control the layout of the support structures, the distance to the overhanging part, line thickness, etc.

If that doesn't work out for you, you can always change the design to add custom support structures yourself to not having to fiddle with the support settings.

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I'd go for extra supports, raising the entire model half a centimeter above the plane and constructing it completely on top of supports.

That way, the supports will be easy to break off.

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Assuming that the red flange needs to be flat on both sides, your best approach for printing in two parts may be a 45 degree conical cut through the flange. This will allow both parts to be printed flat on the bed, and (assuming a low layer height) should give a tolerable overhang result.

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