Supporting a Model

Know when to use supports

Desktop SLA printers like MoonRay and SprintRay Pro print models upside down in order to achieve their small footprint. Because of this, models must adhere to the build platform, from which the model will hang while it is slowly built up into a fully-formed 3D print. 

Supports can also increase the accuracy of your final prints by lifting the first few layers of your model off of the build platform. Since the first few layers can experience compression, this can lead to a more accurate final print.

If we consider the physics of hanging a model upside down for up to an hour, it becomes clear that unless a model has a perfectly flat base that has no overhangs, scaffolding will be needed in order to hold the cured layers together against the forces of gravity. Unsupported or improperly supported prints will often finish malformed or will fall into the resin tank.

RayWare comes with a printability detector that will alert you to add supports when they are necessary. Note that they are almost always necessary.


How to generate supports

To add supports to your model, select the model in RayWare. Once the model is selected, press the bottom button on the center-left stack, which is the 'Supports' tab. You can choose the density and desired strength of your supports, which you may want to change depending on the quantity and heft of your model's overhangs. Once you've selected the strength and density, simply press the 'Generate Supports' button at the top of the tab.

Editing Supports

Sometimes, the algorithm that determines where supports should and shouldn't go will add supports where they are obviously not necessary or will leave a small overhang unsupported. To remedy this, click the 'Edit Supports' button at the bottom of the Supports tab. 

To remove an existing support: hover over it with your mouse. An existing support will turn red when you're hovering over it, indicating that it will be deleted if you press the left mouse button.

To add a support: click on the model where you'd like the support to be. RayWare will automatically connect the support to a stable surface, usually the model's base.

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