New method of printing perfect supports
 

New method of printing perfect supports  

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Tumblebeer
(@tumblebeer)
New Member

I've found a new method of printing supports, that in my mind is pretty revolutionary.

The idea is similar to soluble supports, but you don't need multiple extruders or an MMU. What you do is print 100% infill interface layers, with 0 separation distance from main part. After the interface is printed, you paint the top layer with a release agent, in my case permanent marker. This causes the first layer to stick just enough to get perfect results, but it still takes almost no force to snap the supports off.

The results can be seen in the video, but basically you get supports that often snap off easy enough that the supports stay on the bed when I remove the part. The underside finish is as good as the bottom layer on the bed, and the tolerances are perfect. It only adds a new seconds to the print time as well.

Video:

What I've done is I've added a fine tipped permanent marker to an actuator. The actuator is 6 small bearings on triangular ways, driven by a kind of solenoid. The solenoid is a rotating diametrically magnetized disk magnet inside a coil. This pushes on another magnet on the pen, so that unpowered the pen is pulled up from the print, and when active it provides a magnet spring that allows some vertical movement of the pen. I've added a small bias-magnet to prevent sticking of the rotating magnet.

I'm driving the coil from an output on the Pi running octoprint, so there is some loss of synchronicity that can be seen in the video. This could be prevented by changing one of the inputs on the Einsy to an output to drive the low-side FET instead.

The gcode is mostly hand-modified so far, but I'm in the process of writing a script to add it to any gcode. It should be pretty easy to add to a slicer, you basically only need to print a 0-thickness interface layer on top of the last layer with the pen as a secondary extruder.

If anyone wants to add this to Slic3r or help me with the script, please let me know here.

This topic was modified 2 months ago by Tumblebeer
Posted : 23/05/2020 7:43 pm
Tumblebeer
(@tumblebeer)
New Member

My printer is a MK3s, with 0.9° steppers, and quite a few other mods.

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by Tumblebeer
Posted : 23/05/2020 7:51 pm
witold.kaptur
(@witold-kaptur)
New Member

WoW, this looks awesome 😀 I need to try this, i would only change the placement of the marker, i would dock it to the side of the x axis so it doesn't add weight to extruder assembly during regular printing. This will solve my last issue with single nozzle FDM. 

Posted : 24/05/2020 1:24 pm
Tumblebeer
(@tumblebeer)
New Member

That docking idea is really clever, only need to design something that could easily pick and leave the pen without adding significant weight on the print head.

I've been looking in to slicer support, and I think that the support interface ironing feature in Supermarills fork of Slic3r could quite easily be adapted to work with this. With a quick look, I think that if I could adapt his ironing feature to work with a "second extruder" and get flow to 0, that should be enough to work with this. Unfortunately, it seems like the settings that can be applied to ironing in that fork only applies to infill ironing now...

Posted : 24/05/2020 1:58 pm
witold.kaptur
(@witold-kaptur)
New Member

I hope to receive my MK3S in a few days, then I'll try to tinker with it. Maybe a post processor for a Gcode, that will repeat the gcode for a support interface layer offset by distance form nozzle to the tip of a marker, given that  width of a marker tip is comparable or larger than the extrusion width.

Posted : 24/05/2020 2:25 pm
Durahl
(@durahl)
Eminent Member

So just any kind of marker works ( Edding? ) or is there a special ingredient we should look out for?

I wouldn't even mind manually painting support layers by coding in a stop command ( like when I add inserts ) if I had to :°

Posted : 30/05/2020 7:40 am
chocki
(@chocki)
Prominent Member

Do you think glue stick would work?.

I like the idea.

Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet....
Posted : 30/05/2020 10:20 am
HeneryH
(@heneryh)
Trusted Member

I wouldn't mind manual painting either with a stop/pause code.

Posted : 01/06/2020 2:42 am
chocki
(@chocki)
Prominent Member

Maybe something we can use a paint brush with, dries quickly and allows printing to continue, a sort of release agent.

Lets think?, silicone has good non stick properties and is high temperature tolerant, so is graphite, hmmm...  micronized graphite powder mixed with IPA stored in a small sealed bottle. Shake well before use then using a paint brush, paint the surface during a pause printing step.

May just work, but could leave graphite bonded into the layer printed into it, so probably not good with white filaments.

Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet....
Posted : 01/06/2020 9:36 am
Durahl
(@durahl)
Eminent Member

@chocki

Mhh... At that point, and assuming that Graphite would do the trick, why not just use a very soft Graphite Pencil?

Can't test it right now as my Form³ is currently occupying the UPS and the i3MK3S would overload the system when active but once he's finished I'll be giving it a shot.

Posted : 01/06/2020 6:01 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Reputable Member

Impressive, I must admit.

It does require quite a bit of hardware hacking with the driver in the external Pi, as well as gcode hacking as well, but it looks like it's effective.  I don't know if I'm ready to try it, however.

Posted : 01/06/2020 6:12 pm
chocki
(@chocki)
Prominent Member
Posted by: @durahl

@chocki

Mhh... At that point, and assuming that Graphite would do the trick, why not just use a very soft Graphite Pencil?

Can't test it right now as my Form³ is currently occupying the UPS and the i3MK3S would overload the system when active but once he's finished I'll be giving it a shot.

Doh!, why didnt I think of that 😉 .  Good idea Durahl.

Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet....
Posted : 01/06/2020 6:26 pm
chocki
(@chocki)
Prominent Member

Something like this maybe?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Faber-Castell-Pitt-Graphite-Pure-Pencil/dp/B000VZ8YN4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=graphite+stick+12b&qid=1591032732&s=officeproduct&sr=1-1

Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet....
Posted : 01/06/2020 6:32 pm
Durahl
(@durahl)
Eminent Member

@chocki

I'd assume so. Another 30min or so and I can give it a test myself.

Posted : 01/06/2020 6:57 pm
chocki
(@chocki)
Prominent Member

If this works, then it would be better than a marker since there is nothing to dry out.

Off on a tangent now, does this mean when separating the print, it will be left with a single layer of graphene aka carbon nano tubes!.

I'm at work so no go to do any printing for me.  😥 

This post was modified 2 months ago by chocki
Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet....
Posted : 01/06/2020 7:13 pm
Durahl
(@durahl)
Eminent Member

Here you go:

Test Model prior to applying the Graphite - Contact making area will be 20x20mm with Zero Z-Support Material Clearance ( Soluble )


Test Model after applying the Graphite ( out of focus... *sigh* )


Finished Test Model Print


Support Material removed from Test Model - Had to use Pliers.


A little bit of IPA cleaning...

Looking good, I'd say =)

Posted : 01/06/2020 8:16 pm
HeneryH
(@heneryh)
Trusted Member

If you wanted walls on the outside of the under-hang, you would need to be a lot more careful with the graphite which is where the auto-deposition would be really helpful.  You would want graphite on the interior covering the supports but NOT the walls. 

Am I thinking of this correctly?

And, still waiting now six weeks for my printer so sorry...  is that the normal amount of support structure?  Looks like a LOT of support.

Posted : 01/06/2020 8:21 pm
chocki
(@chocki)
Prominent Member

So would you say that graphite (soft pencil 8B or higher) works?, is it easy to apply or did you have to rub it loads? and is it easy to remove afterwards?.

Thanks

Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet....
Posted : 01/06/2020 8:37 pm
Durahl
(@durahl)
Eminent Member

@chocki

I'd definitely say that the Graphite Pencil performs well as an ultra low tech / low cost solution.

Applying it was a little meh due to the stiff nature of the pencil on the rough surface and it just recently having been sharpened to a very pointy tip - I guess having two at hand, a rounded over one for larger surfaces and a pointy one for details would help.

Alternatively I could also see the use of Silicone Forming Brush in combination with ground Graphite powder ( from the Pencil ) being an option - It's what I use on my Tank Scale Models to give them a metallic sheen around the edges but didn't think of when trying this out.

Posted : 01/06/2020 9:02 pm
chocki
(@chocki)
Prominent Member

I'm going to see if I have time tomorrow morning to try something similar with PETG

Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet....
Posted : 01/06/2020 9:45 pm
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