If you’ve done even a small amount of 3D printing, you probably ran into the challenge of printing a small hole on top of a larger hole. The conventional solution is just to add support, but in the video after the break, [Angus] of Maker’s Muse demonstrates an alternative solution you can implement in CAD, without having to do manual post-processing.
This is a common problem when you have a countersink feature for a bolt head or captured nut on the bottom of the part. [Angus] first demonstrates some other techniques, including printing the bore over empty space, adding a sacrificial bridge, and making the overhang 45°. Each of these work but have some trade-offs. The proposed solution is what [Angus] calls sequential overhangs. It involves bridging the sides of the open space in steps to create supporting edges onto which the bore perimeter can print. It starts with 2 or 3 bridging layers to create a rectangle the same width as the bore, and then a second set of bridges at 90° to turn the opening into a square. For smaller holes this should create enough of a support to start the bore perimeter, but for larger holes three sets of bridges at 60° offsets might be needed.
[Angus] does not claim to have invented the technique but states he borrowed the idea from parts printed by Prusa Research for their popular line of 3D printers. One of the comments on the [Maker’s Muse] video referenced a 2014 blog post by [nophead] showing the same approach. Regardless of the idea’s lineage, it’s a great addition to anyone’s 3D printing design toolbox.