New Support Examples

on Sat, Dec 08, 2007 in development

I’ve got most of the new geometry support code working and it’s much better than before. First, the way that each position is selected is much more robust; you should no longer have any trouble placing them where you need them. You can also see that they have a new shape in the pictures below, they’re now elliptical. Each point on the ellipse is intersected with the model to ensure an accurate fit. This means that you should not have any gaps at the edges of the support if it meets a curved surface and, if you’ve got a thin walled part, you should never have the support break through to the interior. The elliptical shape keeps the perimeter of the support closer to its center which should reduce the likelihood of part of the support missing the geometry. The new code can handle a miss but it will always be better to avoid the problem in the first place. Purists may not like the new shape because it’s got a smaller cross section and, as a result, will be less strong. The new code I mentioned a few days ago about only machining one tool diameter away from the geometry in the future, as opposed to clearing the whole area as it does now, will keep the effective length of the supports shorter. I think this will more than offset the reduced cross section.

I just need to fix the dialogs to let you have better control over the Z placement and the new geometry support system can probably be called done. Unfortunately it isn’t something I want to release without the new code to only machine the minimum area around the model. I got the core algorithm for that working today so I just need to integrate it with the toolpath code for that to be ready as well.

supports supports2

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