3D print supports is an essential part of 3D printing. Automatic support is a handy setting but with some models, it can place supports all over the print. This is an issue that many people experience and adding Custom Supports is a preferable solution.
I decided to write an article detailing how to add Custom Supports in Cura.
How to Add Custom Supports in Cura
To add Custom Supports in Cura, you need to install a special Custom Support plugin.
The Custom Support allows you to manually add support where you need them on your model. The automatically generated supports usually place supports throughout the model.
This can lead to increased printing time, more filament usage, and even blemishes on the model. It will also require more effort for the support removal and cleaning of the printed models.
Here’s how to add Custom Supports in Cura:
- Install the Custom Support Plugin
- Import Model Files into Cura
- Slice the Model and Locate the Islands
- Add the Supports
- Slice the Model
1. Install the Custom Support Plugin
- Click on the “Marketplace” in Cura’s top-right corner.
- Search “Custom Supports” under the “Plugins” tab.
- Install the “Cylindrical Custom Support” plugin and accept the License Agreement.
- Quit Ultimaker Cura and Restart it.
2. Import Model Files into Cura
- Press Ctrl + O or go to the toolbar and click File > Open File.
- Select the 3D Print file on your device and click Open to import it into Cura, or drag the STL file from the File Explorer into Cura.
3. Slice the Model and Locate the Islands
- Disable the “Generate Support” settings.
- Rotate the model and look under it. The parts that need support are shaded red, in “Prepare” mode.
- You can slice the model and go to “Preview” mode
- Check for unsupported parts (islands or overhangs) of the 3D print.
4. Add the Supports
- The toolbar on the left side of the Cura will have a “Cylindrical Custom Support” icon at the bottom.
- Click on it and choose the shape of the support. You have multiple options such as Cylinder, Tube, Cube, Abutment, Free Shape, and Custom. You can also adjust its size, and angle to cover big islands and increase support strength.
- Click the unsupported area and a support block will be formed.
- Go to the “Preview” section and ensure that support is entirely covering the islands.
The “Custom” support setting in the “Cylindric Custom Support” plugin is preferred by many users as it allows you to add support by clicking on the starting point and then the ending point. This will create a support structure in-between covering the desired area.
5. Slice the Model
The final step is to slice the model and see if it is covering all the islands and overhangs. Before slicing the model, make sure that the “Generate Support” setting is disabled so it doesn’t place support automatically.
Check out the video below by CHEP to see a visual representation of how to do this.