So I bought the wife a 3D printer for her birthday. She's recently gotten into "crafty" type activities and was taken by surprise at the cost of some of the items she was utilizing. I told her she could 3D print all this stuff for pennies! Me wanting a 3D printer for years definitely had nothing to do with it! 😋
The 3D printer I chose was the Flashforge Creator Pro. I chose this for 3 reasons:
- It printers in the range of materials we need (PLA, TPU95A, ABS, PETG) most.
- It has 2 extruders, so can print in dual color or dual material types.
- Completely enclosed, so venting is super simple, easy and safest.
So I have a model I want to print. The main model itself I will be printing in White PLA. Because very little of the model touches the bed, it needs supporting.
Having printed test objects with supports in the same material as the main object, I wanted to try printing the supports in PLA (water soluble filament). When the print is done, drop it in water, the supports vanish!
And here's the problem, the software that I use to send print jobs to the printer is Flashprint V5.5.2. A recent update to this software saw the extruder selector drop-down box removed from the auto-support dialog.
I have spent days trying to figure this out and came across a YouTube video from "Jesus Barron". He explains this OK, but could be more clear! 😁
How to set the extruder for supports
- Load your model into Flashprint. Position and scale it the way you want.
- On the right-side options menu, click the "Supports" icon (4th from the bottom)
- In the "Support Options" dialog, set the options as you like.
- Click the "Auto Supports" button.
- DO NOT close the dialog!
- Press and hold the CONTROL key...then...
- With your mouse, left-click and drag a box that encompasses your entire model (this will select all supports)
- Release the CONTROL key, release the mouse button.
- With the mouse, move the cursor over the top of one of your supports.
- In the dialog that appears, select the extruder you need. (once selected, the dialog will close)
- In the "Support Options" dialog click "Back"
You can now slice your model for printing.
If you selected the wrong extruder, at Step 3, add in "click the Clear Supports button" action and proceed with the steps as described.
I hope this helps someone else searching for this basic feature.
I've sent a "WTF are ya doing!" message to the programmers. Poor design people! 🤦♂️