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Support Free characters


Does anyone have tips or know of some tutorials on making printable characters as support free as possible?


@MonstersBarcelona - Amadeu would you be able to weigh in on this? You have some great creature busts on your profile.


@joealarson you also have some experience in reducing supports on prints - any thoughts?


I should add I am looking for tips on printing full body characters with as little supports as possible. Tips on posing, slicing, etc is appreciated. I’ve checked out the “ticketeer” blog post on the pinshape blog. That gave me some ideas, but that model still required a lot of supports to have it properly printed.

I’m asking as I have a few full body human characters I am almost finished with and would like to print. Since I have little experience printing full body human based characters, I figured I ask on tips and methods people have used to reduce the support material.


Absolutely. Reducing supports on a print is what I do.

The mnemonic that I keep in mind when designing is YHT. I’m kind of in a hurry this morning or I’d write more about it. Fortunately, I’ve recorded my thoughts on the subject:


Very useful. Thanks!


I have very many items in my portfolio that are characters modeled to print without supports. The Zombie in particular suffered, but it actually turned out okay. Yes, zombies normally have arms extended as they reach for braiiiins but in this case tucking the arms in didn’t make it look too bad.


I don’t have the talent at this that people like dutchMogul do, but I have picked up some tricks…

I think there’s a few different aspects to this.

Limit overhangs where possible:
The obvious one is avoiding dangling bits or overhangs more than 45deg where you can, on humanoids elbows in hands raised hair not dangling down. Of course following this all the time can limit creativity too much.

There’s using tools like netfab basic to slice the model into chunks to get rid of the overhangs you can’t avoid. There’s lots of great solvents to joint bits back together after, there are also all sorts of connects in MeshMixer you can embed in your parts to socket them back together.

Using tools like MeshMixer’s auto support generation to generate minimalist tree like supports where they can’t be avoided.

Then there’s inverting the model and making a mold, you can cast crazy characters that would be pain to make without man supports.

Just my two cents, hope it helps.