Custom supports in Cura sometimes go through issues that you’ll want to get fixed. I decided to write an article detailing how to fix some issues with custom supports not working, as well as when they don’t touch the model.
How to Fix Custom Supports not Working in Cura
Here’s how to fix Custom Support not working in Cura:
- Increase Support Thickness
- Change Support Placement to Everywhere
- Update Ultimaker Cura Software
Increase Support Thickness
One method that works for fixing Custom Support not working in Cura is to make sure they are not too thin or smaller than the “Minimum Support Area” because Cura can skip them.
You can either make the support bigger or go to support settings to decrease the “Minimum Support Area” or make them a little bit thicker by increasing the “Support Size”.
One user suggested making them a bit thicker or enabling the option to print thin walls, though he doesn’t consider the latter as a good solution. Also, make sure that supports are solid and don’t have any errors like non-manifold edges because Cura can skip such parts.
Another user said that he gets good results by setting the Minimum Support Area to 0.
Change Support Placement to Everywhere
Another fix for Cura Custom Support not working is to switch the support placement from “Touching Buildplate” to “Everywhere” under the “Support” settings. This will add support (even if the “Generate Support” setting is unchecked) for every tiny bit of the model that needs support to print successfully.
When models have an extended base and support placement is at “Touching Buildplate”, Cura will skip placing support unless they are touching the buildplate.
For example, if you print an Iron Man Shooting Model with “Touching Buildplate” placement and it has a base, Cura will only slice support to its shooting hand, skipping the rest of the model.
Update Ultimaker Cura Software
You can also fix the Custom Support plugin not working by updating Cura. One user said that his Custom Supports were not showing up in the preview section of Cura 4.1. The plugin started working once he updated the software to 4.4.1.
Another user suggested using at least Cura 4.3 for resolving issues with Custom Support.
Another user said that Cura 5 uses a different UI framework so the authors had to upgrade their plugins accordingly. Some did upgrade their respective plugins while others just removed them from the Cura.
How to Fix Custom Supports Not Touching Model
Here’s how to fix Custom Supports not touching the model:
- Decrease Support Z Distance & Support X/Y Distance
- Increase Support Size
- Use Support Interface
- Increase Support Density
- Switch the Support Distance Priority
Decrease Support Z Distance & Support X/Y Distance
One method that works for fixing Custom Supports not touching the model is to decrease the Support Z and X/Y distance under the “Support” settings. The default distance values are set at 0.2mm for Z and 0.8mm for X/Y distance.
Setting it to 0 will reduce the gap between the model and support material. This makes it easy for support to form a good connection with the model.
Know that setting it to 0 can also make support stick too strongly to the model, making support difficult to remove from the 3D print. So, test different values to see what works better for your model.
Increase Support Size
Another good method to fix Cura Custom Supports not touching the model is increasing its diameter so that it can cover the whole island. You can do this manually or increase the value in “Support Size” in the plugin’s toolbar.
Use Support Interface
You can also fix Cura Custom Support not touching the model by using the “Support Interface” settings. Enabling this setting will print an additional skin at the top and bottom of the support structure. This ensures a better connection between the model and the buildplate.
Increase Support Density
Some users have fixed this issue by increasing the “Support Density”.
If supports are not very dense and have gaps, the initial points of the model over the support may not print well and 1-2 layers of the filament may get mixed in the support gaps.
Switch the Support Distance Priority
Another method suggested by Cura users is to change the “Support Distance Priority” from “X/Y overrides Z” to “Z overrides X/Y ”. This will print support at exactly equal to the set Z support distance without pushing them away from the model.