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I'm having difficulty with pitting/cratering on some of my prints when I remove supports.

I've tried several different removal methods, including removing supports prior to curing, soaking my prints in hot water before removing them, and using clippers or an extremely sharp craft knife, but while this has helped a little I'm still not getting an optimal finish.

The next thing that I'm going to try is to reduce the contact depth of my supports.

Aside from trial and error, is there any mechanism that I can use to help me determine the optimal contact depth?

I'm using Chitubox, which does show stress areas in red, but it either shows an area as high stress of low stress, with nothing in between, and doesn't provide any real help when it comes to selecting the right depth to use.

I'm mostly printing models of my own design, so there isn't an "expert" available to give me the benefits of their experience with these models.

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    $\begingroup$ @BobOrtiz - It's really great that you are helping out on the site. However, please try to make edits substantial (and, if at all possible, fix other typos that may be present). As an example, please see the edit to this post. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Greenonline
    Nov 24, 2023 at 18:34

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The contact depth of your supports is mostly unrelated to the pitting you experience. When the model is sliced, the contact point becomes homogeneous with the rest of the model at that layer. Changing the depth will also change the contact area, based on the taper length of the support end.

Consider that the layer orientation may play a factor in the "damage" done to the surface of the model.

If you have an arbitrary shape with the bottom surface parallel to the vat/resin and add a support, the support will taper from the support stalk diameter to the contact point diameter and then transition to the bottom surface area.

Such a taper creates a convenient stress point for removing the support. This happens at a layer slice, allowing the support to break free and leave the least amount of damage on the surface.

Any other angle between the support and the model surface creates a less-than-linear break. Possibly the most damage will result from a horizontal support attaching to a small feature that also tapers toward the attach point. Will it break at the support point or will it destroy the tip of the model?

Regarding the reduction of support diameters: I've done so with the result the model snapping free during print. Insufficient strength with the smaller tips means a complete model failure. Larger tips allow the model to print properly, but post-processing is increased, of course.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you suggesting that the support should meet the surface at a 90 degree angle, or that it should not do so? $\endgroup$ Oct 31, 2021 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ I believe that one gets the cleanest break from the surface when the support is vertical into the model surface. Vertical reference is normal to the vat/bed/build plate. The reality is that one must compromise. $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Oct 31, 2021 at 19:39

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