Post-processing of 3D prints

How to select support materials in 3D printing?

1. How to select a support material for a 3D model

FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) technology works by depositing thermoplastic material layer by layer on
a work platform. 

2. Selecting the right support material

Choosing the right type of support material depends mainly on the geometry of the model. Breakout and soluble
supports have different properties.

Break support in 3D printing

Gives the possibility to print the model and supports with only one material, eliminating the need to
use two different types of materials which translates into shorter printing time and lower material
costs. The disadvantage, however, is the time-consuming process of cleaning the model and the
risk of damaging the print geometry. This type of support can be printed from the same material as
the target model or from a different material with less adhesion to the model, making it significantly
easier to remove them.

Example of printed models with breakaway support.
abs postprocessing
3d printing post processing(

Solouble support in 3D printing

This type of structures made of dedicated support material can be dissolved by immersing the print in a
properly prepared solution. They are used in dual-head printers, especially when printing models with
complex geometry, where it is impossible or difficult to remove the supports mechanically. The dissolvable
support makes it possible to make models with very complicated geometries, such as partially closed
chambers or channels inside the model, thin-walled and openwork geometries. This method enforces the
need for of an additional device (support dissolving station) and increases the time for cleaning the model
from the supports.

An example of a printed model with soluble ESM-10 support material.
3d printing post processing peek esm

Advantages and disadvanteges of breakaway and soluble support

3d printing post processing(
3d printing post processing peak, abs ultem

In 3DGence printers, support structures can be printed using the same print head as
the target model or from an additional dedicated print head.
Before starting the printing process, it is necessary to select the appropriate support material, matching the geometry of the model. This will allow the used support
structures to be easily separated from the model after the printing process. 

Support structures in 3D models

Depending on the complexity of the model geometry, we choose breakable or soluble support structures. Below
are examples of models with different support materials. 

Types of geometry:
3d printing post processing( end parts
Post- processing of prints
post-processing of 3d prints
Material management system
Learn more about Material Management System

3DGence MMS automates material storage, preparation, and post-print annealing – making  successful printing of Ultra-Polymers like PEEK, ULTEM™, and Composites accurate and simplified.  

Material management system