Ear Raft - Makerware Print Aid

by whpthomas, published

Ear Raft - Makerware Print Aid by whpthomas Dec 18, 2012
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Tired of small parts breaking loose during printing or large parts warping, and corners lifting off the build plate? Use this snap off ear raft print aid to increase the surface area of parts on your build platform.


Layout the items you want to print in Makerware, then rotate the view so you are looking at your models from underneath. Add the ear raft and copy and paste it as many times as needed. Overlap it with the edges of your model to increase its surface area on the build platform - see the attached images for examples. I tend to space them 10 to 20 mm apart and only overlapping 0.5 to 1 mm seems to work best.

If you want to slice and print with ReplicatorG you can use Makerware to layout your objects, attach the ear rafts and then export the STL file back to ReplicatorG. Sometimes ReplicatorG/skeinforge will complain but it will print.

This model was derived from an ACIS solid so Makerware, ReplicatorG and Skeinforge have no trouble with it.

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yooo this is awesome! Brilliant idea!

The best solution to curling up that I have found. Simple & elegant. Thanks!

Hi Thomas,

I was using your earrafts very often and it solved most of the annoying curling/lifting troubles I had.

But since the makerware-update 2.2 (and up) it doesent include the earraft into the object as it did with older versions of makerware. So the round earraft is not attached to the object anymore and the provided effect has gone!
Did anyone had similar expiriences with that?

I have this problem too. Haven't figured out how to fix it yet. Any help would be appreciated.

Looks like i missed the comment about self intersecting a few lines down.

Solved my problem. Works great.

amazing idea. This needs to be FEATURED!

Hi, I've only had my printer about a week now and I've already had more prints fail as a result of parts sliding out of place than a normal person would have total number of prints during this period of time. These are an absolute life saver, thanks so much for coming up with this elegantly simple solution. I put them on the corners of almost every print I run now and I haven't had a single piece slide out of place since I started using them.

Hi Dr. Thomas, thanks for another simply useful thing.

Recently as I've been adding these tabs I've noticed that the intersecting area between the part and the tab isn't extruded. What's left is a single layer of negative space. Any idea what might be the issue?

Its to do with the self intersection in polygon outlines. Just keep the overlap to a minimum - i.e. the perimeter. That is why I made the one with small tabs, you just to limit the overlap to that amount.

I came up with the same idea the other day. These things really work. I made it part of the model but this is a better idea.

This is good thinking. Check out the brim feature of slic3r for a similar but different approach :)

Amazing, I need this so bad! Great work

Thank you SO much for this idea, this piece is a true life saver for curling/lifting prints!