Advanced Support and Voxel Transformations

In this tutorial we will see how we can apply two features of Voxelizer, tree support and voxel transformations, to a model that would be in most cases very complicated to print.

 

The model is the following, a prototype of a parametric architecture piece:

As you can see it has many overhangs, plus many thin parts. If we had to print it using traditional support we would have to use a lot of material and to spend a lot of time, plus the chances of failure during removal would be high.

That’s when the new tree support comes in handy. When we voxelize our model, it is better to choose the detailed voxel precision preset, this will ensure that the detection of the support points is more precise.

Before applying the support, let’s have a closer look at our model. We will notice that the bottom part, where the four branches are merging, is not touching the ground and that it is not flat: this will end up in a very weak base for our model, even by using support, so we need to fix this problem.

Of course we could go back to our modeling software and address the issue at the start, but we can also operate directly in Voxelizer, thanks to the Voxel transformations panel.

Let’s select the model, go to the voxel transformations tab and move object in Z of -20 voxels. In the way the problematic part will be under the level of the printing table and will not be printed.

Now we can apply the support. Let’s go to the Printing settings tab and apply a tree support preset, with a cutoff angle of 45 degrees.

Now that the support is generated, you can treat it as another voxel object. You could for example print it with the right extruder (maybe with a soluble material), or apply specific filament durability presets to it. We can also remove part of it if we want. In our case, for example, these branches on the exterior surface are not really needed, so we can get rid of them, thanks to voxel selection.

We can select the voxels by pressing the SHIFT key and by dragging with the mouse. CTRL + mouse will remove voxels from the selection.We can find further options of manipulation in the Selection Manipulation tab, inside Voxel transformations. After selecting the desired voxels we can right click on the object and, under the selection options, we can click on Delete on this.

Now we can generate the gcode. Please note that, in order to have all the branches of the tree support printing successfully, path width and layer height should not exceed around 0.35 mm and 0.18 mm respectively . Please check your g-code before printing and make sure that there are no holes in the model, like in the image below. If this is the case, increase the precision of your path width and layer height. Alternatively, you could apply a thickening filter to you tree support.

Now you are ready to print!

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