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Support structure for FFF printing of tall thin parts

Message 1 of 3
659 Views, 2 Replies

Support structure for FFF printing of tall thin parts



This is my very first post. 


I am attempting to print a tall thin structure, an aerofoil measuring about 150 mm tall x 35 mm chord x 4.5 mm thick on end.  Printing it flat or on an edge is not an option.  The part gets dragged/pushed around by the extruder nozzle when it is built up away from the printbed due to flexing of the part and has lots of layer shifts and wobbles as a result.  My simple minded analysis is that this is a fine example of why rigidity in tooling is so important for any kind of dimensional accuracy or proper surface finish.


It would be nice to brace it by doing one of two things:

1.  Make some cylindrical "gantry" columns that can be joined to the part with some easy to remove geometry, see attached photo.

2.  Make a 2 - 3 layer thick "X" or "Y" shaped set of planes that intersect the aerofoil surface in a way that braces it from getting shoved around.  It would be great to have the aerofoil surface perimeter extrusions and the surface of the brace or buttress not intersect but be in contact.  I think that an extruder path that lays down the aerofoil and buttress surfaces in separate loops of filament deposition would accomplish this.


Printing the aerofoil and braces all surrounded by the same brim will add to adhesion and rigidity. 


Can I get there from here?


Many thanks,


Mike B

Message 2 of 3
in reply to: Anonymous

Sorry for the late re:


(If I understood your second approach) think both can be done in MM. But you need to do it manually:

The first one was done converting a slim cone to a solid part which was dropped on the wing several times. After that I used a dropped cylinder to extrude it as a pillar. Finally all the added elements were joined using MakeSolid.

for the second I used extruded planes. I did a MakeSolid version of the wing to subtract this from the intersecting planes using BooleanDifference.


Gunter Weber
Triangle Artisan

Message 3 of 3
in reply to: MagWeb

Something ate my second image:


Gunter Weber
Triangle Artisan

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