Notes on the Prusa Slicer

Version 2.6.0

Supports Speed and Material usage

I have part that takes 30 meters of filament.  It is a boiler for a train so it is like printing  a cave.   I tested with grid and organic supports and this is what I found.

I have been using PS, Prusa Slicer 2.6.0 in beta and now the production.   I have primarily been interested in Organic supports.  

Some notes on organic supports.

  1. Organic supports are easier to remove.   This is very helpful with PETG supports in my experience.  I have found PETG supports much harder to remove than PLA supports overall.
  2. Uses less material.   In my  part 31 meters of the parts 61 meters of filament was for traditional grid supports.  This drops to 21 meters for organic support 1/3 reduction of the support material. 
  3. Time wise organic supports may not be faster.  Time estimates show this.   For an MK4 My part is 8.5 hours for the part. 15.5 hours with grid supports,  17.4  hours with organic supports.  In this case it increased support time 28%.   Why?  Very simple terms it is Acc/Dec, Acceleration/Deceleration.   A long straight line is faster than a lot of short lines making the circle.  Even though the circles are less material/distance.   A lot of small circle moves for 100mm are not as fast as a 100mm single straight move.  The main difference between grid and organic.    An MK3s+ is slower than the MK4.  9.2 hours for the part with 17.5 hours for grid supports and 20.3 hours for organic supports.
Can arc speed problems be overcome using G2/3 codes instead of point to point for circles?  No.  The processing for G2/3 at the machine is too slow for fast, accurate arcs.  Point to point is better for arcs and fast speeds.  Modern High Speed NC machines use point to point for high speed arcs.  Less processing at the machine with no processing delays means faster overall performance.

Post processing time of this train boiler with Grid supports was almost 2 hours and gloves are needed. Very easy to get cut.   There is a lot of supports to remove and they don't remove easily even in PLA.  The longer to remove the supports, the more chance of damaging the part.  Based on my experience with other parts with organic supports, I estimate the support removal will be down to about 10 minutes or less with organic supports.

With post processing included, overall time may still be equal or faster with organic supports.  Less problems removing the supports also decreases damage caused by post processing.

I haven't run  the train boiler on the MK4,  I have made the part on an MK3S+ with grid supports.   Once the Input Shaper for the MK4 is in production, I plan on running the part and see how fast it is. 

PS fixes, wants and bugs in 2.6.0

Fix: Merge a negative volume so we can export a resulting .stl  Prusa Slicer 2.6.0 should have it! June 2023

Want: Slicer, 1 master and copy routine.  Be able to choose number of copies at print time.

Bug with rafting and organic supports:  If 4 or more raft layers, the organic support generation hangs and never finishes.  It has been reported and confirmed.   Hopefully a fix in Prusa Slicer 2.6.1 is available.

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Last Update Jan 26 2023