Support Material

  • Does anyone have settings for the support material that work well? I have tested out different values, but still don't get good results. Separating the support from the part is not fun at all.

    By the way, this is my only issue with MatterControl, love everything else!

  • What kind of material are you printing, and what machine do you have? What kind of things are you printing? Support settings are tricky and require some experimentation. They depend a lot on the scenario.

  • PLA, prusa mendel I2. At the moment, printing a trebuchet. Just finished a crossbow that needed support. Had to use a hammer and chisel to get it off.

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  • What settings are you using right now? With PLA you generally want a large air gap (0.4 to 0.6 mm). The pattern spacing should be the largest you could possibly get away with. No less than 2.5 mm. 4 mm is a good starting point.

    Have you updated to MatterControl 1.5? A lot of work was done on support material in the new version.

  • I updated to Matter Control version 1.5 and the Z gap setting option for supports seems to have disappeared or been replaced with air gap. However, air gap is for rafts and changing this setting has no effect on supports. I am unable to get any kind of gap on the z axis between the support and the object being printed with Matter Control 1.5.

  • You are correct. Z Gap was replaced by Air Gap in version 1.5. There are actually two separate air gap settings, one for support material and one for the raft.

    Here's an animation which will hopefully demonstrate a little better how the air gap works. As you can see, the first layer of the part is lifted up for the air gap, but then for the second layer it moves back down to where it would have been otherwise. In other words, the air gap does not shift the entire object up, only the first layer. This ensures that the first layer is loosely connected to the support, but subsequent layers are printed normally.

    This may be why you thought it wasn't doing anything. If you set an exaggerated air gap (a few mm), you will see the printer move up and then back down again for that layer.

  • I did not try printing. I only checked the layer view after slicing and no matter what I set the air gap to I could not get any blank layers between the last interface layer and first layer of the object being printed. I have to assume that if it shows material in the layer view then that is what the printer is going to print. Is there nothing in the layer view that identifies the air gap layers now?

    I'm sorry but your explanation and animation don't make much sense to me. It sounds like you trying to say that the printer is going to print layers under what has already been printed and I find that hard to believe.

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