Overhang is a type of constraint used in additive layer manufacturing. It is used to eliminate overhang and create a more self-supporting structure, which helps minimize the need to add support structures when printing your part.

Overhang constraints cannot be used with lattice optimization.

Apply an Overhang Shape Control

Select the Overhang tool and click on a design space to apply an overhang shape control.

  1. On the Structures ribbon, select the Draw Direction tool on the Shape Controls icon.

  2. Click the Overhang tool on the secondary ribbon.

  3. Select a design space. A bounding box appears around the part.
  4. Select a face on the bounding box to choose a plane closest to the print base. The blue cones indicate the print direction.
  5. If needed, use the Move tool on the microdialog to position the normal of the blue plane to coincide with the normal of the print base.
  6. Enter an Overhang Angle in the microdialog. This is the angle at which the part changes from self-supporting to requiring supports when being printed. This angle is generally determined by your printer.
  7. Right-click and mouse through the check mark to exit, or double-right-click.
  • The Method property in the Property Editor provides two optimization methods for overhang constraints. The Strict method attempts to perfectly match the supplied print angle. It can fail if not enough material is initially given. Lenient is equivalent to the Penalty method in OptiStruct, and allows some of the model to fail to match the overhang angle while still converging to a solution.

Overhang Examples

Overhang: 45 Degrees X Direction

Figure 1. Design space with 45-degree overhang in the x direction.
Figure 2. Optimized shape with 45-degree overhang in the x direction.

Overhang: 45 Degrees Y Direction

Figure 3. Design space with 45-degree overhang in the y direction.

Figure 4. Optimized shape with 45-degree overhang in the y direction.