Musings and Experiments on the Art and Science of 3D Printing


Building Bridges - well, in your 3D prints anyway!

By Michael Hackney Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Disclaimer: I'll be candid with you up front, I'm not a big proponent of letting the slicer deal with bridges and other model features that would best benefit from support. And, to take it one step further, I greatly prefer to design support into a model (or add it to an existing model) rather than let the slicer take guesses on how best to support a printed feature. That said, let's look at a bridge example that I printed earlier today!

Here's the setup: I needed to print a case for a 5" PanelDue to test fit. It has one "window" but otherwise is a standard, very printable, part. Being stressed for time producing YouTube KISSlicer tutorials I decided to forego dropping into CAD and designing a support. So I thought "let's see how it goes".

Here is a screenshot of the annotated window opening. It's a 13.5mm bridge, challenging for any printer and slicer.

I used my "tusk" part cooling setup on an UlitBots D300VS delta printer. This device directs focused beams of cooling air exactly where they are needed immediately around the nozzle opening (E3D V6 hot end with a sock). Printed with black PETG (Hatchbox) filament. Here are the results:
This is an as-is photo with no touch-ups, taken right off the printer. The stringing is from a mounting post inside the part and will not be visible once the PanelDue is installed. I hadn't spent much time tuning to correct that stringing as I was focused on a quick print.

If you enlarge the photo (click on it) you will see that there is no noticeable sagging on the overhanging top part of the opening - none! While you are looking at the enlargement, notice the remarkable layer registration and surface quality of the vertical walls. This printer has the new beta Ball Cup Arms upgrade.

4 comments to ''Building Bridges - well, in your 3D prints anyway!"

  1. Can you tell me more about the "new beta Ball Cup Arms upgrade". Is that an Ultibots product or Trick Laser? -Guy

    1. It's both! See

      The arms are made by Trick Laser.

    2. Thansk. Wow! The new D300VS+ kit is a sweet combination of parts. I need to go find $1500. BRB

    3. Yes it is. It is (arguably) the most perfect delta kit there is - Duet controller, 24VDC power supply. .9°steppers, E3D Titan Aero extruder/hot end, LED lighting, FSR probing, ball cup arm ends with Trick Laser CF rod arms, SLS effector and carriages, 5" PanelDue color touchscreen display, all aluminum frame and an awesome build guide (;) )