May 8, 2017

The “Bridge”: an important trick for 3D printing

Hello curiositiers! As Research Associate on the great curiosity project, I will be talking in this blog now and then about our project.

Today I would like to share an amazing trick in 3D printing! It’s so simple to apply, but can bring so much flexibility to your 3D print design.

In the previous post Dr. Katie Twomey offered some very useful information for newcomers to 3D printing, and mentioned the difficulties of designs involving overhangs: when you have a overhang on your object, the 3D printer will leave untidy edges below it. 

However, we are don’t always want to design something with perfectly smooth surfaces, so there mush be a way to deal with it.

Again our genius technician Barrie found the solution! It’s just a simple tick box in MakerBot: by doing this your 3D printer knows that you need a Support Bridge for your object.


Simply tick the “Support” box in Print Settings. You can see the bridge in your Print Review now.

Now the objects will come out with not only the base but also some supporting bridges. Using a small knife or other tools, you can easily snap the bridges off.

Now they all look beautiful and smooth.

It’s only a simple step in the settings, but as a beginner at 3D printing I feel like we have discovered a key skill. Knowing about this bridge functionality means there is so much more we can think about in 3D design now. For example, some 3D print geeks have developed advanced uses for bridges ↓. Caution: it might make you laugh.

Hope it’s helpful for all the beginners like me.

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