3D printing

Hi all,

I want to print this low poly wire frame sock stand. I know it’s a little messy but it doesn’t have to be perfect, especially at the bottom.

The question is, how can I print this with as little support material as possible?

I know I can do one thing and that is to cut the foot into three parts, the long cylindric part and the two halves of the foot. But then I wouldn’t know how to join these part together, except glue them?

Any tips or advice?

First thing I habitually look for are egregious overhangs… stuff that extend straight outward, like the bill of a baseball cap, would absolutely need supports.

In the posted picture, I’m not detecting any massive areas that reach that threshold (at least not on rudimentary visual inspection).

If printed on resin (SLA) machines, I’d estimate a 90% chance it’d print as-is… so long as the toe area was well-anchored to the build-platform. The first several layers in a SLA print are often over-cured to anchor more resin… this would result in losing the filigree detail, but with a better “toehold” anchor, I’d be less concerned about having to even support the sole-arch and heel area. Based on SLA prints I’ve observed these past 5 years, I’d expect that unsupported region to grow intact and the rest of it to go uneventfully.

At worst, 3-4 support shafts in strategic regions of the sole would be prescribed if failure is detected early.

Both my SLA machines are configured for jewelry-sized prints. If your intent is life-sized there should be StereoLithography machines capable of such a build envelope.

I wouldn’t figure filament-type FDM machines to print the unsupported example with anywhere close to the same success rate.

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Nope. Your other best bet (besides SLA) would be a powder-type machine like an SLS or a Z-Corp - systems that don’t need supports, the unused material supports the rest. The Z-Corp model would be extremely fragile though.


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Upload it to https://www.shapeways.com and have a look at the different material analysis after upload.

It really depends on scale and bounding box too… I’d go for the strong and flexible option which is power based - you can also rotate the model and choose which direction the grain runs.


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FDM with water soluble supports would be an option. But in that case you would be printing more support than actual finished material.

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Check out MeshMixer from Autodesk.
they have a ‘tree’ support structure for FDM, looks like something for SLA.
I was really impressed by how well it worked.

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