3D Printing Tip of the Week: Helper Disks

Here’s a little follow up to last week’s post about thoughts on how to improve 3d printing controls through software.

Bre Pettis from Makerbot tweeted a link earlier today- about using a helper disk object to help anchor object to the build plate or manually generate selective suports in their Makerware software. I was previously unaware of the helper disk object and though it was a little time consuming to disproportionately resize and place supports manually for a print, it was quite doable. Once you have one sized support, it was fairly quick to copy and paste, move it and adjust the height. Read the full post on helper disks here. Here’s my application of them on a print which is otherwise a nightmare to clean support off of:

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 12.05.52 AM

Also, as a result of last week’s post, I’ve been approached by someone working on a new software package: Simplify 3D. Their software promises to address a lot of the issues that I spoke about last week. In a single streamlined program, they seem to be offering a full 3D print workflow including the ability to clean up models and place them on a build plate, have fine control over slicing and offer multiple densities of infill within a single print, offer selective support options, preview print paths, slice the model and control the printer. Its a paid software model, and looks quite capable. I’m due to receive a build to check out so I will post a review. In the meantime, here’s their video:

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