Jewelers and casters work with care and precision. Most stereolithography 3D prints require support structures for successful printing, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Because jewelry parts are often small and detailed, we’ve observed that many jewelers place supports manually in CAD software for ease of removal and preservation of fine detail, rather than using the automatic support tools in our own print preparation software, PreForm.
In PreForm 3.4.6, the latest version of our software, we’re excited to announce new light-touch supports for Castable Wax Resin for the Form 3, designed specifically for jewelry. With tailored supports for your specific jewelry workflow, post-processing and setup are easier than ever.
Simplified Support Removal for Fine FiligreeDifferent types of 3D prints require different types of support structures. For larger models, support trusses help stabilize the part horizontally during the print process, and can facilitate easier removal of the supports in one piece after printing.
For lightweight, small jewelry parts, however, increased trussing can lead to entangled prints or excessively strong nests of supports that complicate removal.
On our latest desktop 3D printer, the Form 3, advanced Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) technology significantly reduces the forces exerted on parts during printing. With this in mind, we’ve reduced trussing to a minimum for small Castable Wax parts on the Form 3. This makes it easier to remove supports from filigree parts, as well as from any design thinner than the support structure itself.
After snipping or breaking touch tips, you can now pull straight up to free the part, or remove each pillar individually for especially fragile filigree.
Preserve Important Surfaces With Redesigned Tip GeometrySupport touchpoints play a role in the quality of your 3D printed parts. That’s especially true for casting resins, where a pit from support removal can ruin the surface of an intricate jewelry pattern or a cast dental crown.
With Castable Wax light-touch supports, we’ve reduced the likelihood of supports leaving a dimple in the part after removal. The new peg-shaped support tips are designed to break slightly away from the print. Usually, this leaves a small positive nub rather than a dimple — making it possible to clean up the mark by lightly sanding either the printed pattern or the metal casting.
These support tips also help to support small features such as prongs and lettering that are susceptible to damage by large conventional supports.
Try It Now
You’ve come to expect a high level of ease of use in Formlabs software. If you’ve become accustomed to creating custom supports in CAD, or if you’ve had trouble post-processing fine-featured jewelry parts, we hope these updates will make your workflow more convenient.
To get started, download PreForm 3.4.6, choose Castable Wax Resin as your material, select the Form 3 Virtual Printer, and build support structures. Easily slice the model to see exactly where supports are needed and spend less time on support removal.
We’re committed to continuing to expand the capabilities of the Form 3 through continuous software updates, so keep an eye out for future improvements and jewelry-specific features in the coming months.