Supportless printing in the metal additive manufacturing industry refers to a production method in which a support structure is not used during manufacturing. However, the support structure is always needed during metal 3d printing. For example, support is added to the cantilever structure and fine structure to strengthen the strength of the component structure, so as to ensure successful printing.


The size and structure of the support usually rely on the size and shape of the part being printed. These supports will be "placed" by technicians carefully to prevent deformation due to thermal stress and protect printed parts from being damaged by the scraper. Support also provides extra stiffness to keep it steady. However, removing support will be complex and time-consuming, which will reduce the precision of the printed part.


Under this circumstance, supportless printing is put forward. By eliminating the support structure during metal printing, it allows parts to be printed independently and the printing accuracy can be improved. However, is it really feasible to metal 3d print without support?


Advantages of supportless printing:

l Shorten printing time

l Save post-processing time and energy

l Reduce material use and environmental impact


In reality, 100% supportless metal 3d printing can not be applied to all shapes, but this may be changed in the future. Without support, a certain angle of overhang can not be achieved with metal 3d printing, as without support, the overhang may be warped due to the residual stress caused by printing, which will limit the application in metal additive manufacturing systems. However, the 45° angle has witnessed doubt and challenges. Currently, some innovative software and parameter packets can enable users to print overhangs with more extensive angles while not affecting part quality.


As a leading manufacturer of metal 3D printers and technology with 30 years of experience, Eplus3D is working on developing new technologies and techniques continuously for your long-term success. Welcome to contact us for more AM solutions!