ZSphere Supports in ZBrush for Formlabs PreForm

This first video shows making three types of supports.  I'm working two other videos:

  • Creating Sprues with ZSpheres
  • Putting it All Together—Adding Supports to Your Model


Creating Reusable Supports in ZBrush for 3D Printing


Video 2: Adding the Supports to the Model


The video below is the rough original video that I'm replacing:


The Basic Strategy

  • Merge all Subtools of your model into one.
  • APPEND a ZSphere to your project, then create a support. Symmetry comes in handy. You can also make branched supports and sprues for casting.
  • Once the ZSphere is the right shape, press A to turn it into a mesh-like support.
  • Choose Make PolyMesh3D.
  • Delete the ZSphere support from your SubTool list. 
  • APPEND the new PolyMesh support (it will be the last item on the list since it's the most recent). You can use the Option-drag method to duplicate the last support, so you have multiples in one Subtool.
  • Save supports if desired in .ZTL files you can reuse them.
  • Make supports longer than you expect, and use ClipRect or ClipCurve to cut them all off the same length. 
  • Merge Down your model with the supports.
  • Append a cube primitive, and make sure it's the active Subtool. Resize to make it a little larger than the model, but 2mm thick.  
  • Use the Move tool to place the base in the correct place with the supports intersecting the base.
  • Change the DynaMesh Resolution to 32, then click the DynaMesh button.  You can shape the base at this point in any way you want...use a mask and Extract function to make an abstract shape; use taper to give the sides an angle.
  • If you use a rectangle base, use ClipCurve to angle the sides of the base/raft. Rotate and repeat.
  • Merge Down your model/supports with the base.
  • Export the .OBJ file and import into PreForm.
  • Double-check the layers of your model and make sure that there are no "floaters" or "islands" that are not attached to supports.

Also, here is the decimated .OBJ file you can play along with if you want to try it: Floral Earring File

There is one part of the video where I was using the Clip Curve tool, and I was tired, so I said "shift" instead of "spacebar." I tried to notate the video. I also added a quick video of watching out for the little islands/floaters that cause problems.

ZBrush Full Version Print Base