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  • From DrVax FreeCad tutorial to print, question about slicing and supports

    This is perhaps a really stupid question. I am completely new to 3D design and 3D printing.
    I followed the 3 introduction video's on Freecad that DrVax made and that went very well. These video's are great to get you started.
    Regarding the deskclamp/cable holder design in part 3, when I export the STL and open it in Prusa Slicer (I have a Prusa i3 mk3s+ waiting to be built) I wonder if when you place the clamp vertically if you need supports to get the 'fins' to print properly or if these overhangs are possible to print without supports. Since the video is about the design and not especially about printing DrVax didn't go in to that part.

    This is the video:
    https://youtu.be/A817EnC3wnk

    This is the object as designed and imported in Prusa Slicer:

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2

    There are always multiple things to consider, when placing a part on the build plate:

    a) which requires the least amount support.
    b) which side will be on the build plate (texture, reflective glas) as it will look different.
    c) print with overhangs and where will they be
    d) which sides should look the best

    Your approach of printing the part in that orientation may work, but it won´t look good. Overhangs with a 90° radius are tricky and only work with a perfect tuned printer. Remember you will look onto the "fins" side all the time and want it to look the best. The only way to achieve that, is to print the fins on their side or vertically up.

    You for sure will require support for the "table clamp" area, but you will never see it. It will be hidden. So print with supports only there and you get a pleasing result. You won´t save any plastic when printing in other orientations, as prints will likely fail or look bad. Better save than sorry.

    I would go for the fins facing up option and reduce the support density to a minimum, as the inner part is not required to look good.

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    • #3
      Good tip, thanks. That makes sense now I look at it that way. Placing supports where it the least visible after removing. There will obviously be trial and error involved when starting this hobby (a lot of error I assume).

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      • #4
        The most common mistake is to start at the "save plastic by avoiding supports or brims" line.

        This will exactly result in the opposite, in wasting a lot of plastic. A brim does not take much filament, but prevents a part from getting loose mid print. There for this is an option you should always enable, when possible. Yes, you have to clean the bottom surroundings of your print, but the bottom is flat and you may require to "adjust" using a knife the elephant foot anyway. I always use a brim, when possible.

        A raft is an option you should forget. It is a waste of plastic, takes a ton of time to print and in general is some outdated feature no one needs. If you need to prevent warping, then move the model a few millimetres into the air and let the slicer add support underneath. Same effect, but small, fast and just so much better.

        Failures will happen for sure, when you enter the hobby, but if you think first, most of them can be prevented and save more plastic than any slicer option. Better use a brim and be save, than have a 5+ hours print fail. The plastic wasted there would be enough for 50 brims.

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        • #5
          remco, you have absolutely the right attitude. There will likely be many failures. It doesn't take long in this hobby to understand why so many people set up some method of monitoring print jobs from afar, as with a camera, on an OctoPi or other (I'm using an older smartphone with DroidCamX).

          BTW, I am currently working my way through https://teachingtechyt.github.io/calibration.html. So far it has helped me dial in my printer the best it's been.

          #teachingtech #calibration #website

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          • #6
            Very good information here. 3D printing is a learning experience, always good to learn from mistakes others have over come. I use OctoPod on my iPhone & iPad which allows me to check on the print while printing. With OctoPod I can actually cancel or pause the print without having to go to the printer. I have an old cheap web cam connected to Octoprint. Personally I don't print if I am not going to be home to monitor it, even though it can be monitored from a far with Octoprint.

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