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best settings for balancing speed with quality

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Hi kerberg,

Quality and speed is a trade-off. THIS guide gives a lot of tips on different print settings and values, and how to adjust for different issues which can affect the final quality of a model. I think nozzle temperatures are also covered briefly under the section on stringing.

It can be trial and error to find the best settings for you, but this is what I normally use for "high quality":

Nozzle temp: 205-210 C

Print speed: 50mm/s

Layer height: 0.06mm [60 microns]

I would suggest to start with those settings and work from there. Basically, the faster you print, the hotter the nozzle temp must be, and vice versa. You can actually print PLA very cool, around 190 C, but you would need to print very slow in order for this to work. Printing cooler can help with the quality of overhangs and reduces stringing, but you are not able to extrude as much material through the nozzle the cooler you go, so it is a trade-off.

Also, as far as layer height goes, anything between 60-100 microns looks "high quality" to me. Printing >60 microns usually will take much, much longer and can be difficult as very thin layers will cool down more quickly, so could actually warp (even with PLA). Unless it's very important to your purposes for some reason, printing >60 micron layer heights is not worth it in my opinion. But of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. :)

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I have been using my UMO+ for about 2 weeks already, and from what I experienced so far, different filaments might require different settings, even from the same brand (I have used silver and black ultimaker pla).

I usually get my better result with temp between temp 190 - 200 and speed of 30mm/s @ .1mm thickness. But printing @ .15 and .2mm is also ok.

The black pla gives me more stringing than the silver even at the same setting.

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@remy gives some good advices :)

What i can add: don't try printing with high speeds, unless you don't want a quality finish.

Basically i only go over 50mm/s if i want a fast prototype that won't be very nice.

If i want something with good quality, i'll go for 0.1mm layers with 40 - 50mm/s depending on the geometry. For PLA i print usually at 210°c

If i want something with very good quality, i'll go for 0.06mm layers and speed of 30mm/s max. I'll also reduce the temp to 200°c or less (depending on the filament).

Going under 0.06mm is possible but you won't notice a big gain in quality (but in print time yes).

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There is no chart for this sort of thing for many reasons.

If everyone only printed cubes with the same brand and color filament then this would be possible.

Models with lots of overhangs will need to be printed slower, cooler and a layer height that's not to low. 0.1 or higher seems to be good.

but you could get a print with the same finish that can be printed a lot faster if its a simple shape with no overhangs.

Different brands and colors of filaments can also differ in print settings to get the same appearance.

Also Different printers can be slightly different and how its maintained can have an effect on quality.

Tiny models need lower layer heights in general then what you would use on large models.

The best way is to start recording your settings and what filament you used.

soon you will build up some good CURA profiles that have selected settings depending on the type of model you are printing.

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I agree with @Labern, I just got some Leaf green Colorfabb filament, and its much meltier than the red i had, and also the black. Its the same brand, but i have to print much cooler than normal or else it jams or i get poor quality. And also 50mm/s is too fast to preserve small details without patterning on the sides as I call it. The faster you print the more mechanical lines you see on the outside like stepper motor patterns and vibration patterns. for what i call high quality you cant really go much above 30-35mms in my personal experience, i have always printed at 35 at 0.06 and 208, but noticed improvement at 30 205. Again there are so many factors involved, it boils down to trial and error. I used to always ask this question, but again not everyones printer is the same and temperature sensors vary. Also overhangs are best printed with manual support designs unless they are simple and flat underneath or else they'll look lame.

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I agree with @Labern too. I've found that many are drawn to the speed of printing and want the object done faster. However the real strength of the Ulitmaker printers are the resolution.

Like @cloakfiend points out, every filament, even if the same brand/blend, make require some tweaking. I keep slowing my prints down and the added detail really looks good.

These printers are no where near plug-and-play yet...so you'll wind up experimenting a little bit!

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