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Support

The Support tab looks like the following:

Support Material Generation

Generate Support Material
What is this?
Disables or enables support material generation. If supports are created in the main workspace and this is disabled in the process settings, Simplify3D will generate a prompt to enable this when slicing. 

How do I use it?
Disable or enable as required. 

Support Extruder
What is this?
Determines which toolhead is used for printing support material. 

How do I use it?
Select the desired toolhead. In general, we recommend the model material in T0, and support material in T1. 

Support Infill Percentage
What is this?
Determines the grid density of the support structures generated. The generated support material structure is rectilinear. 

How do I use it?
The denser the grid (ie. the higher the value), the better the support structure performs its purpose. However, this increases both the print time and material usage. Utilizing the Dense Support feature provides a more efficient method of minimizing print time and material usage while providing the necessary support. A good value to start with is 15-25% for the Support Infill Percentage. Taller support structures will require a higher percentage to resist toppling during the printing process. 

Extra Inflation Distance
What is this?
By default (when this value is set to 0), the support structure will only be generated to the very edge of the model. With Extra Inflation Distance set to a non-zero value, the slicer will extend the boundary of the support structure beyond the edge of the model by the specified distance. This ensures that the model material won't "fall off" the edge of the support structure during a print. If the model geometry is such that the generated supports are very narrow, this feature can also be used to artificially thicken the supports, reinforcing it and preventing it from toppling. 


Support structures end at the very edge of the part with no inflation distance


Support structures extend past the edge of the model with inflation activated


How do I use it?
This should generally be set to a value >3mm. In the case of support structures in internal cavities, Simplify3D will not generate support structures that intrude into the model. 

Dense Support Layers
What is this?
Dense Support allows a denser grid fill to be generated only at the support/model interface. This value determines how many layers thick that interface will be. 



How do I use it?
At least 4 layers is recommended, higher if your Support Infill Percentage is on the low end to ensure that the Dense Support Layers are able to bridge the gap between the grid structure effectively and create a solid surface. Set to 0 to disable this feature altogether. 

Dense Infill Percentage
What is this?
Determines the grid density of the Dense Support Layers.

How do I use it?
Anywhere from 50-80% for this value is recommended. Using breakaway supports, you will want to set this value on the lower end of the range to ease removal, while with soluble supports you can go higher for better support. 80% creates a nearly solid surface and there is no need to go higher. 

Print Support Every X Layers
What is this?
Similar to the Print Sparse Infill feature, this will only print the support structure every X number of layers to decrease print times. 

How do I use it?
When printing with a low layer height (eg. 0.10mm), activating this feature will decrease print times without negatively affecting the quality of the print. Thick layer heights (eg. 0.25mm) with this feature activated (eg. 3 layers) will cause the slicer to attempt printing 0.75mm layer heights for the support which will often fail to print. 

Separation From Part
These next three settings are useful only with self-supporting prints - ie. The same material is used for both support and model - by creating a separation distance to decrease bonding and ease support removal. When using a compatible duo of model and support materials, deactivate these settings by setting them all to 0. 

Different materials and geometries call for different ideal values here. For example, a material like nylon has excellent inter-layer bonding which requires greater separation to avoid permanently bonded supports while Carbon Fibre ABS is brittle with less inter-layer bonding allowing for less separation distance for successful support removal and better supporting performance. 

Horizontal Offset from Part
What is this?
Determines the distance between the model and support in the horizontal plane. This feature is relevant for sloped overhang geometries. 


With no horizontal offset, the support contacts the model.


With horizontal offset, there is a gap between the support and model.


How do I use it?
Too small of a value and the support will bond too well to the model, too large of a value and the support will be rendered useless by not contacting the model as well. A good starting point is 2 times your layer height. Go slightly lower the steeper the overhang angle is and vice versa. 

Upper Vertical Separation Layers
What is this?
(TBF)

How do I use it?
Generally, set to 1 or 2 at most. 

Lower Vertical Separation Layers
What is this?
(TBF)

How do I use it?
Generally, set to 1 when required. Note that activating this setting will also create a separation between the bed and the first support layer which may result in a weak bond to the bed and toppled supports. 

Automatic Placement

Automatic Placement
What is this?
This setting is essentially a copy of the Support Generation tool in the main Simplify3D interface. If supports are not generated in the main workspace, these settings will be used instead to automatically generate supports. 

How do I use it?
Whenever supports are being used, the recommended workflow is to use the Support Generation tool instead, so this setting can be safely ignored. 

Support Infill Angles

Support Infill Angles
What is this?
(TBF)

How do I use it?
(TBF)

We're always looking to improve our knowledge base. If you'd like to add your experience or would like clarification on a topic, please let us know at help@aon3d.com!

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