Get Rid of 3D Printed Supports with These Simple Steps

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Removing supports from a 3D printed object can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but it is an essential step in achieving a smooth and polished final product. Supports are structures that are printed alongside the main object to provide stability and prevent it from collapsing during the printing process. However, once the printing is complete, these supports need to be removed carefully to avoid damaging the object.

There are several methods for removing supports from a 3D printed object, and the best approach will depend on the material used, the complexity of the object, and the type of supports used. Some common methods include using pliers or tweezers to manually remove the supports, using a knife or sandpaper to cut or sand them away, or using a chemical solution to dissolve them. It is important to choose a method that is appropriate for the specific object and supports, as well as taking proper safety precautions when using sharp tools or chemicals.

Why Remove Supports?

Supports Can Be Hard to Remove

When 3D printing objects with overhangs or complex geometries, supports are often necessary to ensure the model prints correctly. However, removing these supports can be a challenge.

Firstly, supports can be difficult to access and remove, particularly if they are located in tight spaces or inside the model itself. Additionally, supports can leave behind rough or jagged edges on the model, which can detract from its appearance and even affect its functionality.

Furthermore, supports can be time-consuming to remove, particularly if the model has a lot of them or if they are particularly stubborn. This can be frustrating for those who want to quickly use or display their printed object.

Overall, while supports are necessary for successful 3D printing, removing them can be a hassle. In the next section, we will explore some tips and tricks for making the process easier and more efficient.

Tips for Removing Supports

  • Start by identifying which supports need to be removed and where they are located on the model. Use a pair of tweezers or pliers to carefully remove them, being sure to avoid damaging the model itself.
  • For particularly stubborn supports, try using a heat gun or hair dryer to soften the material and make it easier to remove.
  • Sanding or filing down any rough edges left behind by the supports can help improve the appearance and functionality of the model.
  • Finally, consider experimenting with different support materials or settings to find the best combination for your specific printing needs.

By following these tips, removing supports can become a more manageable and even enjoyable part of the 3D printing process.

How to Remove Supports

When 3D printing, supports are necessary to ensure your print comes out correctly. However, removing them can be a challenge. Here are some steps to help you remove supports easily and efficiently.

Step 1: Identify the Supports

The first step in removing supports is to identify where they are on your print. Look for areas where the print has overhangs or where supports were added during the printing process. Once you have identified the supports, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Use the Right Tools

To remove supports, you will need the right tools. A pair of pliers, a scraper, and a pair of snips are all useful for removing supports. Use the pliers to grip the support and twist it gently until it snaps off. Use the scraper to remove any remaining bits of support. Use the snips to cut any supports that are too difficult to remove with the pliers.

Step 3: Be Patient

Removing supports can be a time-consuming process. It’s important to be patient and take your time. Rushing can lead to mistakes and damage to your print. Take breaks if you need to and come back to the print when you’re feeling refreshed.

Step 4: Clean Up the Print

Once you have removed all the supports, it’s important to clean up the print. Use a soft brush to remove any remaining bits of support or debris. If necessary, use sandpaper or a file to smooth out any rough edges.

Overall, removing supports can be a tedious process, but with the right tools and a little patience, it can be done easily and efficiently.

Tips and Tricks

Use Support Material That’s Easy to Remove

One of the best ways to make support removal easier is to use support material that’s easy to remove. Some 3D printing materials are more difficult to remove than others, so it’s important to choose the right material for your project. For example, PLA is a popular 3D printing material that is easy to remove, while ABS can be more difficult. You can also try using water-soluble support materials like PVA, which dissolve in water and make support removal a breeze.

Experiment with Different Support Settings

Another way to make support removal easier is to experiment with different support settings. Most 3D printing software allows you to adjust the support settings, such as the density and pattern of the support material. By experimenting with these settings, you can find the optimal settings for your specific project. For example, reducing the density of the support material can make it easier to remove, while changing the support pattern can reduce the amount of support material needed.

Consider Using Support Removal Aids

There are also several support removal aids that can make the process easier. One popular aid is a pair of pliers or tweezers, which can be used to grip and pull off the support material. Another aid is a support removal tool, which is a small scraper or knife that is designed to remove support material without damaging the print. You can also try using a heat gun or a hair dryer to soften the support material, making it easier to remove.

In conclusion, removing 3D printed supports can be a challenging task, but there are several tips and tricks that can make the process easier. By using easy-to-remove support material, experimenting with different support settings, and considering support removal aids, you can achieve a smooth and successful support removal process.


In conclusion, removing 3D printed supports is an essential step in the printing process. It is crucial to remove them correctly to ensure that your final product is of high quality and looks professional.

There are several methods you can use to remove supports, including using pliers, a knife, or a specialized support removal tool. Depending on the type of support material used, some methods may work better than others.

When removing supports, it is important to take your time and be careful not to damage the printed object. If the supports are difficult to remove, you can try using a heat gun or hot water to soften them.

Finally, it is important to clean your printed object thoroughly after removing the supports. This will ensure that any remaining support material is removed and that your final product looks clean and polished.

Overall, removing supports is a necessary step in 3D printing, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done quickly and easily.