3D Print In The Air With A Little Software Support

We all love 3D printing, but printing anything that has an overhang requires support, right? Maybe not. [Create Inc] has a video showing some 3D prints that seem to hang impossibly in the air — not bridges, but loops just floating in the air. You can see the effect in the video below.

The first part of the post covers gcode basics. Around the 5:30 mark, [Create] talks about his inspiration: FullControl Gcode Designer. You can do a lot with this tool and it inspired [Create’s] similar web-based version.

The point of these tools is to make it easier to create gcode directly instead of using a slicer. You can think of it as assembly language for 3D printing — you can do almost everything in the high-level language — 3D models — but if you want ultimate control you use assembly language, or, in this case, gcode.

The original tool uses Excel which didn’t visualize the output directly and could not provide proper error checking. The new tool solves those problems and is much easier to use.

If you know gcode, you can do a lot of interesting things. You can even put a spring in your step.

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Supportless Overhangs: Just Reorient Gravity By 90 Degrees

The 3D print by [critsrandom] in the image above may not look like much at first glance, until one realizes that the 90 degree overhang has no supports whatsoever. Never mind the messy bottom surface, and never mind that the part shown might avoid the problem entirely with some simple supports or a different print orientation; the fact that it printed at all is incredible.

[critsrandom] shared the method in a post on Reddit, and it consists simply of laying the 3D printer on its side. When the print head reaches the overhang, the fact that it is printing sideways is what allows that spot to make the leap from “impossible” to merely “messy”. Necessary? Probably not, but a neat trick nevertheless.

Tilted 3D printers is something that we’ve seen in the past, but for different reasons. When combined with a belt-driven build platform, a tilted printer has a theoretically infinite build volume (in one axis, anyway.)