Recently, I was asked if there was a magic button in Insight to convert Support to Model material without creating Custom Groups. There are certainly times were models have a lot of support and it becomes complicated to make Custom Groups.  While it may not be magic, this is a short cut I’d like to share to help save time and materials.

For this example, I went into the Insight training folder, selected the L-bracket, and deliberately oriented it upside down to get the most Support. The model was set to Sparse fill and Support style was set to SMART (Saves material and reduces time).

In the picture above, the Model is red and the Support is grey. The Estimate Build Time in Insight revealed the following numbers for this job:

Model =  .334 in3
Support = .375 in3
Time = 2 hours and 24 minutes

Next, I clicked Support -> Setup… from the main menu:

Within Setup, I deleted the Supports  I then went into Access Advanced Support Settings,  to view my Support Parameters. In Support Parameters I selected “Use model material where possible.”

I processed my model again with this check box turned on.

Notice the Support is now Blue-grey, instead of grey. This means we are no longer using Support, but sacrificial model material. Going back to “Estimate Build Time” the following is noted.

Model = .661 in3
Support = .054 in3
Time = 1:03 minutes

We can see the benefit of time and material reductions. The orientation for this example was not correct for this type of part and the build quality is poor, but it verifies that we can use this approach to save time and materials.

Using Insight’s Control Center, I clicked the Services tab for System History to verify the actual machine time compared to the estimated time.

Model = .630 in3
Support = .072 in3
Time = 1:03 minutes

This confirmed that the Estimated Build Data was fairly accurate after converting to using the “Use Model Material where possible” option.

I will continue to do more experiments with this feature and post the results in a future blog. For now, it seems to work well for support intense models. It is important to note that I am not suggesting to give up Custom Groups any time soon.! Using to Custom Groups and selection filters still allow you to quickly process files. However, when it is a complicated or time consuming print job, give “Use model material where possible” a try.


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