Something very important to keep in mind when submitting a file for 3D print is the possible need for support material.
What is Support Material?
Support material is excess, removable material that is printed to support sections of your print that may otherwise not print successfully.
When is it needed?
FDM technology consists of extruding molten filament that is placed down layer by layer to build a part. If a section of your model is floating, it will need support material to work as scaffolding and hold the layers of filament as they solidify.
Support material is necessary when:
- The object includes overhangs with angles of less than 45 - 30 degrees:
- The object contains bridges with a distance of more than 20 mm (for a better print, keep bridges below 15 mm)
- The object contains a pronounced arch
- The object is hollow
Removing Support Material
Support material is manually removed during post-production. The area in which support material is built can affect the final look of that surface and, depending on accessibility, support material may have to be left unremoved:
If your design includes small parts within an area covered with support material, these parts may get confused for supports and may end up being removed as well.
Although we do not recommend it, customers can request that supports not be removed so that they can clean the parts themselves. This would have to be specified in the order notes (which you can do during checkout):
If you request that we do not remove support material, you are agreeing to be responsible if the print becomes damaged in the process of cleaning it up at home.
You may remove support material with the help of small pliers.
Of course, you can always contact us if you have a special case or if you need further clarification regarding your model's support material.