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3D-print Support

In many models there is an overhang. This is a portion of what your model is not supported by the model itself. Take the chin of a head as an example. The 3D printer begins printing at the neck, but at the moment it has arrived at the chin starts to print the print head in the air. This obviously gives a poor printing results. For this, you can click a 3D printing support in your Slicer software making 3D printer automatic few supported notify print so that each overhang is supported. The figure below shows how a 3D print with 3D printing support is printed.


Overhang without 3D-printed supports

An overhang can occur at any given angle. An overhang with an angle of less than 45 degrees does not need support material to be printed properly. A not supported overhang can, however, give bad results. Read more about how to handle 3D-prints with overhang.

Maximale hoek

The counter point where your 3D-Printed overhang requires support material lies often at around 45 degrees. This angle is, however, different per 3D-Printer. With this test 3D-Print you can check which angle your 3D-Printer can print properly without support material. If you decide on not using support material, then it is recommended to read this article for more information.


Overhang using 3D-printing support material

When 3D-Printing an angle greater than 45 degrees (or the angle determined by the test print), support material will be needed to properly create a good looking overhang. The support material can be divided into three different variants 


Supports by PVA filament

PVA filament is a 3D-Printer filament that is soluble in water. This is an excellent property to be used for material that only serves the purpose of temporarily supporting your overhang. Your 3D-Printer does need a dual extrusion system to properly use this feature. PVA filament also requires a different set of 3D-Printer settings to be properly printed. These settings and more information about how to handle PVA filament can be found on the PVA filament 3D-printer settings page.


Pro’s and Con’s:

+ Soluble in water

+ Remains can easily be removed

-Dual extruder system required

-Relatively expensive solution


Supports by HIPS filament

HIPS filament is comparable to ABS filament and is, in contrast to PVA filament, also usable as a normal 3D-Print filament. HIPS filament can also be used to support your overhangs but sadly does not dissolve in water. HIPS is soluble in limonene, a common chemical sometimes found in shower gels as an odor additive. Limonene is easily bought online without having to worry about hazardous chemicals.

Pro’s and Con’s:

+ Can be used as a normal 3D-Printer filament

+ HIPS does not degrade as quickly as PVA

+ Remains can easily be removed

-Dual extruder required

-Relatively expensive solution

-Separate solvent liquid required


Supports by main material

This is the easiest method of 3D-Printing support structures. It only requires a single extruder head and the filament is already loaded up. This method uses the same material to build your 3D-print and its supports as well. It is the fastest and easiest way. Until you have to take off the support material.


Pro’s and Con’s:

+ Only one material required

+ Easily applied to all 3D-Printers

-Difficult to remove

-Leaves remains

-Leaves a rough finish underneath