Better 3D Printing Overhangs? Dive! Dive!

If you want better 3D-printed overhangs, you need better cooling, right? What would be better for cooling than printing submerged in water? It turns out [CPSdrone] tried it, and, at least for overhangs, it seems to work pretty well. Check it out in the video below.

Of course, there are some downsides. First, the parts of the 3D printer don’t want to work in water. The guys used deionized water to minimize water conductivity and also sealed open connections. Some components were replaced with equivalents that were less likely to corrode. However, the bearings in the stepper are still going to corrode at some point.

There’s no free lunch, though. Cooling is good for some parts of 3D printing. But for the hot parts, it could cool down too much. They encased the hot end in a large silicon block to help prevent this. They also potted the controller board, which works but makes future maintenance and upgrades painful. Initial tests looked promising.

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Arc Overhangs In PrusaSlicer Are A Simple Script Away

Interested in the new hotness of printing previously-impossible overhangs? You can now integrate Arc Overhangs into PrusaSlicer and give it a shot for yourself. Arc overhangs is a method of laying filament into a pattern of blossoming concentric rings instead of stringing filament bridges over empty space (or over supports).

These arcs are remarkably stable, and result in the ability to print overhangs that need to be seen to be believed. We covered this clever technique in the past and there are now two ways for the curious hacker to try it out with a minimum of hassle: either run the Python script on a G-code file via the command line, or integrate the functionality into PrusaSlicer directly by adding it as an automatic post-processing script. The project’s GitHub repository has directions for both methods.

Here’s how it works: the script looks for layers with a “bridge infill” tag (which PrusaSlicer helpfully creates) and replaces that G-code with that for arc overhangs. It is still a work in progress, so keep a few things in mind for best results. Arc overhangs generally work best when the extruded plastic cools as fast as possible. So it is recommended to extrude at the lowest reliable temperature, slowly, and with maximum cooling. It’s not fast, but it’s said to be faster than wrestling with supports and their removal.

A few things could use improvement. Currently the biggest issue is warping of the arc overhangs when new layers get printed on top of them. Do you have a solution or suggestion? Don’t keep it to yourself; discuss in the comments, or consider getting involved in the project.