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tvel4

3D printer - gaps in top layer

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Hello!

I'm fairly new to 3D printing and I'm having a bit of trouble. My 3D prints have irregular gaps in between the filament on the top layers-- the rest of the print looks great but that top layer ends up looking pretty spotty with the gaps. Please see attached picture and cura settings. Any suggestions on how I can make my top layer smoother?

Thank you for your help! Excellent community, happy to be on board.

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First, take out a caliper and measure your filament in a bunch of places, calculate the average diameter and enter that into the Diameter box. Then increase your bottom/top thickness to 1.2mm (6 times your layer thickness), and raise your temperature by 5-10 degrees and try that print again.

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So I went ahead and replaced my nozzle with a Micro Swiss one and I purchased a caliper and checked on my filament-- once or twice it dipped into 1.74 but I checked about 9-10 places and it seemed to be 1.75 down most of it.  I ran another print last and ended up with about the same result as the first time I ran it.  That top layer still seems to have slight separation between lines of filament.  Are there any settings in Cura that I could experiment with or any other thoughts as to what I might be doing wrong?  Thanks again for any help!

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Have you calibrated your extruder to ensure you get 100mm when you ask for 100mm?

You could try a quick print at 110% Flow to see if that closes the gaps.

How about the hot-end temperature? Does it fluctuate a lot when printing? Have you done a PID tune on it?

What filament are you using? Do you have other types/colors to try?

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Thanks so much to Meduza, DaHai8 and Rowiac-- I've been trying different solutions you all have mentioned-- including trying a higher extrusion % (110 then 115), trying other filament types and checking my temperatures (and experimenting with other temperatures.) I've adjusted my settings a few times -- I've attached what I am at right now. As it stands, I am getting much better prints with these settings-- the gaps are not nearly as bad but they are still present. My top layer has a smooth feel to it but you can tell there are strands lined up and in a few places there are still some gaps. See the enclosed pictures. Would you guys recommend making any alterations to my current settings to improve my current prints? Thank you again for all the help. These are good lessons and I'm learning a lot as I experiment. (by the way, I am using 3Dprima.com filament)

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tvel4,

This troubleshooting guide is for Simplify3D rather than Cura, but the solutions should be pretty much the same:

Holes and gaps in the top layers

and

Not extruding enough plastic

All of this echoes much of what Meduza and DaHai8 have said.

 

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Couple of things I see:

While this doesn't apply to your top layer problems, but I think your Initial Layer Thickness and Line Width are too high. I almost always print with .3 and 100%, respectively for a .4mm nozzle. But if you are not having any issues there, then don't change it.

For the top layers, your top/bottom speeds may be too slow. Depending on your printers extruder type and motor, this may be too slow and it is having issues extruding the filament. This could cause intermittent clogs and produce the random thinness seen in your top layers. Your extruder motor may not be able to finely push the filament at that slow of a rate.

Try increasing the top/bottom speeds to 20, 25, 30 and see if it improves.

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Hi Tvel4,

I would like to know if you have resolved your issue with the top/bottom layer gaps between lines. I have both the same printer and same issue as you.

It is very odd because my brim lines seem to sit side with no gaps as well as my 100% infill has no gaps. Only the initial bottom (top/bottom) layers.

it is very confusing.

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