Create Struts

Create struts using a point-to-point selection. Struts can be created outside of stacking if applied to the same part. The following keyboard shortcuts will be useful when creating struts:

ctrl+click Prevents selection of existing strut points. Also creates a strut on an existing strut.
spacebar Apply strut (set button)
delete/backspace Delete selected strut
C Clear struts selection
A Select all (useful for modifying parameters on all struts)
ctrl+Z/Ctrl+Y undo/redo

The following graphic shows a breakdown of the Struts dialog window:

struts-dialog.jpg

A Width - The width of the main body of the strut. Refrain from making the width too small and smaller than the Tip Width (see below). thin-strut.jpg
B Cross Section
Type - There are four types of cross-sections to choose from: Circle, Hexagon, Square and Cross. The default is Circle.
Aspect Ratio - Controls the ratio between the x and y of the cross section. Values range from 0 to 1. The smaller the ratio, the smaller the x dimension becomes relative to the y-dimension or the width.
Thickness - Only can be applied to Cross-type cross sections. Controls the thickness of the x and y members of the cross.

types-of-struts.jpg

ratio-and-thickness.jpg

C

Tip

Width - Width of the tip
Length - How long the tip is from the start of the transition to the strut width and to the start of the rounded-tip end.
Offset - Offset is the distance from the start of the rounded-tip end. When the offset is 0, the start of the rounded-tip end intersects the surface, resulting in a cylinder. If the offset is greater than 0, the rounded tip appears, allowing for break-off/crack initiation. If the offset is greater than the half the Tip Width, the tip of the strut will not touch the part.
Taper Angle - Angle at which the strut tapers from the tip width to the strut width.
Adjust Normal - On and off setting to allow for struts to generate normal to the surface where the points are selected.

tip-of-struts.jpg
offset-tip-width.jpg

D

Taper

Origin - This setting controls where the taper originates from on the strut, from the tip width to the strut width. In the image on the right, the the first point was generated on the bottom surface, while the second point was generated on the top surface. So, with a taper origin at the start, it starts out as normally at the first point; and once it reaches the strut width, it tapers off to the tip width.

taper-origin.jpg
  1. Use default settings for optimal strength and minimal support scarring. The editable parameters allow for optimization in a production setting to minimize support scarring.
    • Strut parameters may need to be adjusted for certain materials
    • Can reduce strut width to use less material
    • Make struts thicker in width and tip width for softer materials
  2. Click Create Struts button at the top of the screen. Check View Neighbors Only box for less clutter and more visibility to create struts/select points. This will show the front, side and top parts next to the original.

Roll over to zoom.show-neighbors.jpg

  1. Click Create Stack button at the top of the screen. When a stack is created, it is built by an array of cells; and when supports are added to one cell, it is replicated to other cells. If struts are created between the second and first row of parts, struts will be automatically generated between the first row of parts and the base.
Roll over to zoom.
create-struts-1.jpg
  1. When creating struts, it is helpful to create trusses with the struts to add rigidity to a structure for cleaning and handling during post-processing. Triangles are very helpful; and it is good to check that the angle of the struts are self-supporting - 40-90° from the horizontal should be fairly self-supporting. Check down face under Shading in the View tab.
    • You cannot create struts between two bases.
    • You cannot create struts between the first row of part and a base that is not directly below a column/part.
create-trusses-with-struts.jpg