Updated: Aug 6, 2020
You want to try to avoid holes from forming or leaving behind protrusions on the surface of your resin 3D print when you remove supports. The photo below shows the surface of a resin 3D print after the supports have been removed - in this case, both holes and protrusions are visible.
Resin 3D print surface (sanded once)
Holes have to be filled with resin, cured and then sanded to achieve a consistent, smooth finish on the surface.
Protrusions are left behind when supports are not removed as close as possible to the 3D printed part's surface. These have to be sanded off - the taller the protrusion, the more sanding it requires to get rid of it to achieve a smooth surface finish. There are a number of tools you can use to remove supports. The photo belows shows (in order from left to right) a hobby knife, a side cutter and an ultrasonic cutter next to a print with supports. Which is your favorite tool for removing supports? Let me know in the comments section below.
Tools for removing supports from resin 3D prints I've noticed the sawing motion required when using a regular hobby knife can sometimes rip supports off and leave holes behind on the surface. Up until before I discovered ultrasonic cutters, my favourite tool for removing supports was the flush type hobby side cutter which I still recommend if you can't afford an ultrasonic cutter.
LIFE BEFORE I DISCOVERED AN ULTRASONIC KNIFE
I was okay with just doing my best to remove supports as efficiently as possible and to do damage control as needed until I discovered the incredible advantages of cutting supports off with an Ultrasonic Cutter! Now I'd hate to go back to the way I used to remove support structures from my resin 3D prints.
If you're wondering, WHAT IS AN ULTRASONIC CUTTER, or HOW AN ULTRASONIC CUTTER WORKS -
An Ultrasonic Cutter being used
It's an electronic device with a blade, much like that of a hobby knife. Ultrasonic waves cause the blade to vibrate at a frequency that is unseen to the eye. These microscopic vibrations eliminate the need for sawing. Instead, the blade cuts through supports as a hot knife does through butter.
THE BENEFITS OF AN ULTRASONIC CUTTING MACHINE
It's the most satisfying feeling to see and feel how these supports fall off with a simple glide of the blade through it. It's allowed me to remove supports close to the surface they are attached to, which means I spend less time having to sand down the protrusions left behind as they are now often smaller or less visible. Plus, the Ultrasonic Cutter removes supports so gently that much fewer holes are left behind where the supports are attached to the surface. Fewer protrusions to sand down and fewer holes to patch up means more free time! It's unbelievable how much less time and effort it takes to remove supports with an ultrasonic cutter instead of a regular hobby knife.
ULTRASONIC CUTTER PRICE
There is a range of Ultrasonic Cutters available to suit different budgets, but like anything, I find you get what you pay for when it comes to these two. Between the cheap and unreliable versions and the ultimate but not affordable Ultrasonic Cutters, I've found the perfect Ultrasonic Cutter priced at AUD 550:
CUTRA WONDERCUTTER - THE BEST ULTRASONIC CUTTER FOR REMOVING SUPPORTS FROM RESIN 3D PRINTS
CUTRA WONDERCUTTER S
As I regularly print for customers and need to adhere to deadlines, the speed and quality I achieve with this tool are worth every penny. I can't imagine what more one can expect from the ultra-expensive Ultrasonic Cutters in the market.
I just had to remove supports off of 240 prints in one day for a print job, and I kept thinking Thank Goodness we got this Ultrasonic Cutter before this job came through! HOW TO USE ULTRASONIC CUTTER WHEN CUTTING SUPPORTS
Plug it in if it needs charging
Hold the large grey button in until the lights come on
Then press the button on the knife part as you slice through supports, releasing the button every few seconds (as you don't want the tool to overheat)
It's that easy to use! Pretty much plug and play.
OTHER FUN FACTS AND BENEFITS OF THE CUTRA WONDERCUTTER ULTRASONIC CUTTING MACHINE
It's suitable for various applications - you can also cut plastic (max 5mm thick), rubber, felt, leather, paperboard and PVC foam board
It's portable, weighing only 750g
It runs on rechargeable batteries so you can move it around the workshop - it doesn't always have to be plugged in
At 30W of power, it's low on energy consumption
With vibrations of 40, 000 times/sec, it's fast!
Comes with 40 spare blades and safety gloves
ORDER YOUR CUTRA WONDERCUTTER ULTRASONIC CUTTER WITH YOUR GIZMO 3D PRINTER
As we are always looking to provide added value to Gizmo 3D Printers customers, you can now order one of these CUTRA WonderCutter Ultrasonic Cutters when you order a printer. We can ship your Gizmo 3D Printer and Ultrasonic Cutter together, no matter where you are in the world. A LOCAL RESELLER OF CUTRA WONDERCUTTER ULTRASONIC CUTTER AUSTRALIA Gizmo 3D Printers Pty Ltd is an Australian-based reseller of the CUTRA WonderCutter. If you reside in Australia, you can order a stand-alone CUTRA WonderCutter for cheaper than it's priced on Amazon, by clicking here. Anyone outside of Australia that is interested in purchasing the ultrasonic cutter by itself, is advised to buy it from a local reseller.
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