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Does increasing infill improve print quality?

That depends on the object that you are printing. For print quality, if what you mean by that is the best surface representation of the model, the infill percent only has to be high enough so that all features are supported sufficiently and top layers will close and not sag.

Simple designs that taper slowly to a point don't require infill at all. For most everything else, an infill of 20% is usually ample if you are using the usual number of top layers. With Cura 2.3 and higher, you can even save material by setting infill to 20%, then setting Gradual Infill Steps to a 1 or 2 so that the 20% is phased in from 5% or 10% as the printing approaches your top layers.

 

Does increasing infill improve print durability (i.e. mechanical part)?

Once again, it depends. You have to look at what kind of stresses your part will be subjected to. Is it tension, compression, shearing, or some combination? Greater infill can be useful if it is compression, but increasing your wall thickness is generally more useful otherwise.

Edited by Guest

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Is wall thickness the same as shell thickness?

Yes, is the same as shell thickness. It's called wall thickness in Cura.

How do you adjust Gradual Infill Steps? Is that done through Cura or the firmware?

If you are using the new version of Cura, use the advanced settings Gradual Infill Steps and Gradual Infill Step Height along with your setting for Infill Density. You can add these to your UI by clicking the gear icon next to the Infill Category and checking the boxes on the resultant dialog.

With this at your disposal, you can set, for example, Infill Density to 20%, Gradual Infill Steps to 2, and Gradual Infill Step Height to 2mm. The result will be an object filled at 5%, until 4mm before the top of the infill area, whereupon the infill will switch to 10%, then at 2mm before the top of the infill area the infill will switch to 20%.

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