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Printing support structures often are really a mess to remove especially with higher densities. The default support density in Cura is 15% that is extremely hard to remove without damaging something, in various test using very low density around 5% and interface option I have got better results with PLA.

I'm wondering what is the absolute minimum value that could be used without invalidating the whole support purpose?

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  • $\begingroup$ you can make manual support next to your model instead of letting cura guess what you want. This allows you to, eg. connect the support to the model with an hourglass shape that easily detaches. Pyramids work well too. $\endgroup$
    – dandavis
    Jan 22, 2022 at 3:58
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    $\begingroup$ Have you considered sacrificial layers? $\endgroup$
    – agarza
    Jan 22, 2022 at 4:40

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In theory zero, if you use support walls (Support Wall Line Count > 0) and top surface (Support Interface). Whether this works will depend on your part's geometry. If the support interface surface covers the whole support area, and has enough layers, it should work fine. However, if it's supporting steep inclines where the interface is only part of the support area in a particular layer, the interface may get printed partly or fully "in thin air" inside the support region. Fixing this requires bringing back some support density.

However you might want to explore why they're so hard to remove and why your part is coming out easily damaged. Unless it's something inherently delicate (like tabletop minis or similar) breaking when removing supports suggests you have a part strength (layer bonding) problem. One thing that will both improve this and make supports easier to remove is turning off Limit Support Retractions, so that supports don't have stringing all over the place and don't cause underextrusion in the next line of the main part printed right after them.

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