Welcome to the Jungle...of the STLs part 2
By: Minna A, Pikkujuttuja3D
We've got fun and games...and a bunch of annoying models.
As a starry-eyed, printing noob over a year ago, I thought pre-supported models are always better option for a professional printer. Oh my poor naive self!
One thing we've noticed in our line of work is that not all STLs are equal in terms of quality and ease of printing.
A resin model can be unbelievably detailed and gorgeous (as resin models usually are), but hard to print. Many modelers don't really "get" supports, probably because they only design, not print themselves.
Proper supporting is not just about making the model stick to a print plate, it's also about making them as easy as possible to detach from the plate. The thinner the model's parts, more crucial this becomes.
Once we ran into a cool model which had automatic supports, apparently made with Lychee-slicer. The problem here was that Lychee really wants to make an excessive amount of supports by default. Unless you check them yourself and / or fix the settings, we get models that are a royal pain to detach from the plate. They will be forced off it of course, just not necessarily in one piece. This means extra work for us, having to build supports ourselves anyways and re-slicing the whole thing.
We can check pre-supported models before slicing, but again, that is extra work for us. If a customer provides us with a pre-supported model, we assume the model is good to go. Why else would the designer dare to ask the customer for payment?
Sometimes we run into models that are an absolute joy to print. They are detailed, gorgeous and everything about them tells us the designer has thought about the printing process. The whole model is built around the process. I wish all designers would understand that.
These days our default is that we make the supports ourselves. If the premade supports are good, excellent. More time for other orders.
Protip: If designing supports is just tedious work for you, and you'd rather just sculpt gorgeous models, you can always ask a 3D-printing service like us for aid and an offer ;)