Removing Rafts and Supports

Rafts and supports are added to 3D models in the MakerBot Desktop software during the process of creating a .makerbot file. They are used to provide additional stability and structure for the model while it is being printed. You should remove the raft and supports after you have picked up your print.

Most rafts and supports can be removed by hand, however some might require additional tools. 3D printing finishing tools, like in the picture below, are available at the University Park Pattee/Paterno Libraries Commons Services desk. You can borrow these tools for a short time in order to finish your print.

Finishing Tools

The raft is the flat base the printer created in order to ensure a flat surface to begin the print. The supports fill in the negative space between the raft and your actual model.

Print on Raft

The raft is easy to peel off using your fingers. Some of the supports may come off during this process.

Remove by Hand

You may be able to break off some supports with your hands, but some may require a tool. It’s also a good idea to use a finishing tool if there are any delicate parts of the 3D print. It’s easy to accidentally break off a piece of the print while removing supports. This can be fixed with glue, if need be.

It should go without saying, but as a word of warning, please be careful to not accidentally cut yourself with the finishing tools as you are removing supports.

Finishing Project

Please deposit any unwanted rafts or supports in the appropriate recycling bin.

If you have questions about using the finishing tools to remove rafts and supports, please contact the Maker Commons at We are unfortunately not able to remove rafts and supports for everyone.