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Mar 27, 2019, 12:34 PM
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rhardcastle's Avatar
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Discussion

Refining your thin-wall print settings


Hi Folks,

I had a number questions about what folks here are doing in terms of their print settings to get high quality prints on those ever-so-tricky thin walls (especially wings).

I am new to 3d printing and havn't had this level of difficulty with simple or complex prints that I would say are of more of a general nature. My efforts so far, while increasingly improving, still have a number of blemishes in wing skins. Aside from the obvious (Clean nozzle, printer is mechanically square, and bed is level), anyone care to share what they are using for settings?

I'll share mine first to get things started:
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Mar 27, 2019, 01:08 PM
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Extreme Sports's Avatar
Probably will be helpful if posters give some details on their set-ups especially the slicer and materials used - any discussions on settings are likely to be meaningless without this.
Mar 27, 2019, 01:53 PM
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rhardcastle's Avatar
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Really great point. It might also be good if folks shared some of their results.

Do you think we should decide on a specific format, or just throw something out there and tweak as we go?
Mar 27, 2019, 02:36 PM
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Lynxman's Avatar
It's complicated to take a screenshot of the settings in Simplify as there are several pages of relevant settings. The .fff export is formatted to be read by software so is a mess to read. Settings also don't seem to translate that well between different slicer software.

Most of the values are printer specific. I have two printers with the same hot end and same extruder, and they use different retraction settings to print successfully. Retraction settings, speeds, pre-load, wipe and temperature and so on are unique to each printer. Cooling is something I change depending on what I print, and might turn on anf off at specific areas. Usually I run it at 20% fan speed. This is also unique to each printer as some printers have more powerful and effective cooling than others. The only settings that are general for all my printers are things like extrusion width and layer height.

With 0,4 mm nozzles:
For 0,25 mm extrusion width I use 0,08 mm to 0,12 mm layer height. Increasing layer height significantly beyond that gives very low weight, but also very weak prints and increases the chance of gaps at overhangs.
For 0,4 mm wall thickness I use 0,2 mm layer height. I don't print thicker than 0,4 mm for planes.

I have nozzles from 0,2 mm to 0,8 mm but I'm happy with using 0,4 for everything since it works so well woth 0,25 to 0,5 mm extrusion width, and can even do 0,2 mm extrusion width quite well.

Generally a lower layer heigh gives stronger prints, but takes proportionally longer. Printing thinner walls and lower height can cause new problems like heat soak. The extrusion can end up being so slow that the plastic gets hot higher and higher up in the hot end. I like to increase speed if that happens. I don't like to lower the temperature instead because that seems to directly affect what comes out of the nozzle more.

I now design things with ~0,6 mm between the inner structure and walls. That ends up being printable with 0,25 to 0,4 mm extrusion width. I used to use 0,7-0,8 mm between the structure, but that only worked with 0,4+ mm.
Last edited by Lynxman; Mar 27, 2019 at 02:42 PM.
Mar 27, 2019, 03:40 PM
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rpstar's Avatar
I was having trouble making cura work on parts from 3dlabprint and finally found it was just my retraction setting had to be cranked way down as it was too big. Never have an issue on more tranditional prints but on thin-walled prints it was causing holes in certain parts of the model. Also had to up the flow rate a bit but that's probably more to do with temp and speed of the default 3dlabprint profile than anything else.
Mar 27, 2019, 04:08 PM
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Extreme Sports's Avatar
RPstar, I had a similar experience printing wing parts with PETG - the TE where the layer change retractions happened was full of multi-layered holes (I'll post some pictures when I get a chance). Had to reduce the retraction distance way below the high values recommended for PETG and which I'd used for multi-perimeter prints. Think I'm down to 1 or 2mm now, and it has only very mild stringing. I'm using Slic3r on a Tevo Tarantula (with lots of modifications).

One thing that worked really well for the Nucking Futs fuselage was to print 2 perimeters of ABS (3 for the fuselage04 part). Layers were 0.12mm thick and each perimeter ranged from 0.25mm - 0.3mm wide (changed for each section). Took forever, but gave a print that feels a long stronger than PLA and has a really good surface finish at comparable mass. Tried it on the wing, but the larger part meant that layer separation became an issue. Probably need to actively heat up the enclosure to deal with that.

EDIT: Pictures uploaded.
Last edited by Extreme Sports; Mar 28, 2019 at 09:05 AM.
Mar 28, 2019, 09:59 PM
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rhardcastle's Avatar
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Sorry guys coming back to this, work was nuts the last 2, only had time to work in the workshop setting up my print server and camera last night.

Great point about setting relevancy in terms of the differences between set ups, lynxxman.
The info you shared is really helpful though. There even seems to be a difference in how differnt models respond to given settings.

It seems like slot car racing to me, where you could have 2 identical set ups that behave completely differently. But knowing what the settings do when changed help you go in the right direction.

Environment plays a huge part too. My basement is cold in philadelphia where I am, and it was effecting my prints. Luckily my wife let me move it back upstairs while I printed the enclosure parts haha. Right now my printer is back in the workshop (in the basement) with a blanket over the enclosure while I finish cutting the acrylic panels for the windows and doors. 8 months out of the year the workshop is perfect temperature so looking forward to spring fully taking hold.

-Rob H
Mar 28, 2019, 10:05 PM
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rhardcastle's Avatar
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hey another question. I don't see a setting for extrusion width for the tools I am using right now. I'm sure that is a byproduct of using astroprint which has a light version of cura. the plus is that I can use their cloud stuff to run a print server that I can control and monitor from anywhere.

can you explain what extrusion width is? I am wondering if there is a setting I do have access to that I can use similarly.

-Rob
Mar 29, 2019, 02:27 AM
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Extreme Sports's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhardcastle
Environment plays a huge part too. My basement is cold in philadelphia where I am, and it was effecting my prints. Luckily my wife let me move it back upstairs while I printed the enclosure parts haha. Right now my printer is back in the workshop (in the basement) with a blanket over the enclosure while I finish cutting the acrylic panels for the windows and doors.
I came up with a very simple enclosure that I've not seen posted anywhere yet - bought two of those silver bubble insulation screens used for vehicle windscreens, cut and re-sewed them. Makes a big difference for ABS prints. What makes it unique is I can fold it up and pack in a cupboard when I don't need it; however in practice it make such a good dust cover that so far it has remained on! My printer is mounted on a solid wood base - hence the over-sized cover.

Still to test adding a heat source - so far the heat from the bed seems to be sufficient for smaller ABS parts.
Mar 29, 2019, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhardcastle
hey another question. I don't see a setting for extrusion width for the tools I am using right now. I'm sure that is a byproduct of using astroprint which has a light version of cura. the plus is that I can use their cloud stuff to run a print server that I can control and monitor from anywhere.

can you explain what extrusion width is? I am wondering if there is a setting I do have access to that I can use similarly.

-Rob
In Cura 4.0 that setting is called Line Width. Mine is set at .47mm

If you can’t see that setting, Click the “Settings” dropdown, then click “ Configure Settings Visibility”. Put a check in any boxes that you want to use.
Mar 29, 2019, 11:43 AM
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rhardcastle's Avatar
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Extreme Sports, that is a great idea with the car window shades for an enclosure, I have seen people doing that but with a small fold up picture booth. That may be something I look at putting inside of the acrylic on my enclosure when it is really cold. I think in the summer I may have the other problem where I either need to figure out a way to keep the booth from getting too hot or move my printer's electronics outside of the booth and mount them underneath.

Hopefully my basement won't be as cold in the future winters and we can keep a more even temperature all year. This is a new construction, they said that type of concrete let's a lot of moisture and temperature through the first 2ish years. I may seal it as well and see what else I can do to moderate the temperature.

-Rob
Mar 29, 2019, 11:45 AM
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rhardcastle's Avatar
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Archer, I'll take a look and see if I can access that setting in astroprint's version of Cura. They also just added support for new version of cura, so that may expand the settings I can access, but it is an unstable version so I havn't tried it yet.

I am using a chromebook for my personal stuff, I have 2 nice macs for work but I have to keep those separate. I know they have a linux version of Cura that I might be able to run on this thing, but the linux app support on the chromebook requires a ton of fidgeting to get better apps to work.

- Rob
Mar 29, 2019, 10:17 PM
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rpstar's Avatar
What about cad? I made a wing section in fusion 360. At first I had it as a shell at .4mm but then in cura it showed up as having no walls. Went back and thickened it to .6mm and told Cura to use wall thickness of .4mm but get .6mm walls just like it showed in fusion. Maybe use .45 or something? Basically, what are you setting the skin of your wings to in terms of thickness in the cad tool?

Also, is there a trick to the mesh? I got all this stringiness inside when printed (it's plenty strong probably thanks to the thicker walls) but not sure how this would be avoided other than maybe have the mesh at more of an incline maybe? It was printed on edge of course.
Mar 30, 2019, 08:39 AM
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Lynxman's Avatar
Don't model the inside face of the walls, unless you really need to like in a battery bay. If you do then the slicer will extrude two perimeters to create external and external walls.
Mar 30, 2019, 04:51 PM
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rpstar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynxman
Don't model the inside face of the walls, unless you really need to like in a battery bay. If you do then the slicer will extrude two perimeters to create external and external walls.
Not sure what you mean. I just have the one wall per se and set it to .6mm in the cad tool. I looked to see if there was an 'interior" wall setting in Cura but don't see one. Just a simple wall thickness setting even under advanced settings. I should maybe try reducing it to .45mm thickness in Fusion and then go to Cura and see what it does.


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