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I'm having a lot of difficulty removing support material without damaging the print.

Support material Support marterial

Are there any tips/tricks to doing this or is it just a case of sanding, cutting, chopping and then cleaning it up as best I can?

Settings

  • Printer: Monoprice Ultimate
  • Filament Temp: 200 °C
  • Plate Temp: 60 °C
  • Material: PLA
  • Slicer: Ultimaker Cura
    • Placement: Everywhere
    • Angle: 20°
    • Pattern: Concentric
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  • $\begingroup$ The question lacks some basic information and settings like: "What material, printer, temperature, support settings, slicer, etc." Please add some more vital information by edit of the question. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Jan 16 '19 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ The right side of the cube looks strange, was that the top or the bottom of the print? $\endgroup$ – 0scar Jan 16 '19 at 14:07
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    $\begingroup$ I had the same problem some time ago: 3dprinting.stackexchange.com/questions/5226/… $\endgroup$ – Horitsu Jan 18 '19 at 5:42
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Problems with support interface since cura 3.1 $\endgroup$ – Horitsu Jan 18 '19 at 5:43
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, and double check this setting after EVERY Cura update. They mess this up every time. $\endgroup$ – Horitsu Jan 18 '19 at 5:46
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Print/material specific settings

If you are printing too hot with too less distance, the support just fuses to the print object. Extra cooling, lower print temperature and support distance should be in balance to create easy to remove support structures with respect to an acceptable print object surface. If temperature and cooling cannot be balanced to prevent fused support structures (e.g. for high temperature filament materials that cannot take too much cooling as that would result in less structural solid prints), there is an option in Cura to override the fan speed for the first layer above the support (Fan Speed Override). If this fails to produce easy removable supports, you can resort to changing the support distance between the support and the print object.

Support settings

Most of the used slicers have an option to determine how much distance (in terms of layers) you want between your support and your product, you could add an extra layer as space to try out if that works better for you. E.g. the default Cura setting for Support Bottom Distance (which is a sub-setting of Support Z Distance) is the layer thickness specified in Layer Height. If you have a layer height of 0.2 mm, the Support Bottom Distance is also 0.2 mm. For the top, option Support Top Distance this is two layer heights, so 0.4 mm in this example. These options are visible in the expert mode, you can search for them in the search box, see image below.


Why should you want air in between your part and the support?

You'll soon find out when you want to remove supports, if no gap is used, the support will fuse to the print part. This is only interesting (no gap between print part and support structure) when you use a different filament for support like PVA or break-away filament; e.g. PVA dissolves in water in a dual nozzle printer setup (not that you can make the biggest part of the support except the top and bottom layer from the print object material, e.g. PLA for the main part of the support and PVA for the bottom and top layer: settings First Layer Support Extruder, Support Interface Extruder, Support Roof Extruder and Support Floor Extruder).

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Would extra cooling be me buying a more powerful fan? $\endgroup$ – BanksySan Jan 16 '19 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ Or a better fan duct, e.g. the stock duct of the Anet A8 is quite bad. I don't own a CR-10 to evaluate the duct of the machine. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Jan 16 '19 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ I've got a Monoprice Ultimate. I suppose I could print a better duct and add a more powerful fan. $\endgroup$ – BanksySan Jan 16 '19 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ @BanksySan Or lower the temperature and increase the distance between the support and the print, much easier and faster to test. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Jan 16 '19 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ @0scar Wouldn't an increased gap defeat the objective of the support? $\endgroup$ – BanksySan Jan 16 '19 at 22:15
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Test out a couple different types and z distances. I've found that the 'lines' type on Cura turns out very well - they are generally easy to remove and leave few artifacts on the part. Some types of support I've found to be much more difficult to remove than others, I would recommend 'lines' or 'zig zag'. See the link at the bottom for all possible values.

Z distance

Beyond switching over to 'lines' instead of 'concentric' this is the one that I've found has the most impact on the how easy it is to remove supports. You want this to be as large as possible while still providing sufficient support. Do a couple test print, increasing this value until the detail start to get bad, then lower it just a bit.

Current link for Cura setting explanations

https://ultimaker.com/en/resources/20422-cura-support-settings

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to 3dPrinting.SE! If the settings which are posted on the ultimaker site are important to your answer, please just copy them over here and leave the link in place. While this has a little more information in it than a "link only answer", it's not much beyond that. Please bring the information over as the link can become stale. $\endgroup$ – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 17 '19 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ That's actually a really useful list. I can see that it would be too much to copy over. $\endgroup$ – BanksySan Jan 17 '19 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 - I've only just seen this, and you are obviously correct, and the link has now died... rendering (that part of) the answer almost useless. That's a shame. There is this link Ultimaker - Support... I'm not sure if this was the same sort of information. Anthony, can you either find a new version of your link or confirm that this new link contains the same information, please? Or this 3rd party site CURA SUPPORT SETTINGS What Are Support Structures? $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Oct 25 '19 at 6:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that contains an updated version of the information. In fact, that version is much better than the original. $\endgroup$ – Anthony Herrera Oct 26 '19 at 15:17
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Changing slicer settings will ultimately help with future prints, but there is a tool that has been an absolute god send to me for cleaning up hard to clean up prints.

Deburring tool

Please, go pick one up. You won't regret it. They make life so much easier to clean up prints from hard to clean up materials.

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    $\begingroup$ deburring tools remove elephant foot and bad corners, but not sticking support material. $\endgroup$ – Trish Jan 18 '19 at 6:26
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    $\begingroup$ Why so many downvotes? Seems like a reasonable alternative to try. I've undeleted this, and upvoted.. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Oct 23 '19 at 12:57
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It’s possible to use a heat gun to smooth it off after removing the majority of the supports. It creates a glossy effect as well.

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    $\begingroup$ Dont use external heat if you want to preserve your prints, just change separation from the part 1mm, and Z to 90% of your layer or 70% of population, this last parameter will make weak supports, of course dont make it too weaks. $\endgroup$ – Fernando Baltazar Oct 31 '19 at 5:06

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