„How is the support material removed on Markforged 3D printers?“
This is a good question that we are often asked. Today we give some helpful information about it.
Basically, Markforged 3D printers always use the same material for the support structure as for the part itself. For the plastic printers this means Onyx, Onyx FR or Nylon White and for the Metal X the respective metal (tool steel, stainless steel, Inconel or copper).
And how is this removed after printing?
For plastic parts, the cloud-based slicing software EIGER builds the support structure in zig-zag lines under the areas whose angle is less than 45°. This structure is narrow enough to support the area above, but wide enough to break out like an accordion after printing. What remains is a slightly rougher surface on the component, which can be finished if necessary. We also have a small video in Youtube with the Onyx material:
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How to easily remove support material in metal 3D printing?
With Metal X, a thin separating layer of ceramic is printed between the support material and the component. In the subsequent process of washing and sintering, the layer of printed release material remains in powder form. This allows the structure to be anchored to the raft (i.e. the printed base plate on the component) to better control shrinkage and accuracy throughout the process, but also to allow easy and tool-less release after sintering. Since the components can be post processed after the sintering process as required for the final application, the slightly rougher surface on the component where the support material has been, can also be ground off.