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itsjames

Optimal Manual Settings

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Enjoying my new Ultimaker that I received just 3 days ago. I've already printed so many different objects so far but I noticed the quality just isn't what I expected it to be. What are your settings for finer quality prints? I'm on CURA and using the standard default settings printing basic objects like toys, gadgets, and little tools. But now I want to print out some sculptures that require some more detail. Basically, I'm trying to go for much finer prints, I don't mind the time as much. I can leave the machine running overnight.

 

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In what ways is the quality disappointing you? I have no way to know what your expectations were, but if your printer is working ok, and your expectations were even half-way reasonable, the I'd expect you to be pretty blown away with you new printer. I know I certainly was. So I think there's a reasonably good chance that there are some problems that need fixing, and I think it would be a good idea to work on that a bit before trying to get more adventurous.

There's no one simple answer to the question of what settings to use. Different objects need different settings based on the type of object, and the challenges that each has. There are not really any simple answers as to what settings work best. It all depends on the object, and how well calibrated your printer is. Generally speaking, slower prints will work better than faster ones, and thinner layers will look better than thicker ones. But both of these things can be taken too far... its rare for me to print much thinner than a 0.1mm layer height, or slower than about 50mm/s. But, there again, sometimes there are good reasons to. The ultimate challenge is to find the settings that give you a print whose quality meets your needs without it taking any longer to print than it really needs to.

In general, the difference that settings makes should be in making a reasonably ok print, into a really good print. That's the intuition that you need to develop as you get more experienced. Rather than randomly trying different settings, what might be a better approach for you would be to post some examples of things that you've tried to print, and the results that you got. That way we can help you calibrate your expectations first, and then your machine :-) Chances are that the folks here can help to identify a) any technical problems that might be spoiling your results, and/or b) suggestions as to how to tweak your settings or tune your printer to get better results. And then you will need to begin a process of careful experimentation as you begin to learn how the different parameters - mostly speed, temperature and layer height - affect the outcome of each print. I highly recommend taking lots of pictures, and keeping a note book of the different things that you are trying. It's a great way to begin to identify a middle ground of 'not bad quality, and not unbearably slow' that you can then begin to refine from.

 

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What Illuminarti said. That's what I wanted to say.

That space under your print bed - it's purpose is to keep a notebook with notes on every print you ever do so you can go back and say to yourself "what did I do different on this print that it came out so well?". Or "so poorly".

 

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In what ways is the quality disappointing you? I have no way to know what your expectations were, but if your printer is working ok, and your expectations were even half-way reasonable, the I'd expect you to be pretty blown away with you new printer. I know I certainly was. So I think there's a reasonably good chance that there are some problems that need fixing, and I think it would be a good idea to work on that a bit before trying to get more adventurous.

There's no one simple answer to the question of what settings to use. Different objects need different settings based on the type of object, and the challenges that each has. There are not really any simple answers as to what settings work best. It all depends on the object, and how well calibrated your printer is. Generally speaking, slower prints will work better than faster ones, and thinner layers will look better than thicker ones. But both of these things can be taken too far... its rare for me to print much thinner than a 0.1mm layer height, or slower than about 50mm/s. But, there again, sometimes there are good reasons to. The ultimate challenge is to find the settings that give you a print whose quality meets your needs without it taking any longer to print than it really needs to.

In general, the difference that settings makes should be in making a reasonably ok print, into a really good print. That's the intuition that you need to develop as you get more experienced. Rather than randomly trying different settings, what might be a better approach for you would be to post some examples of things that you've tried to print, and the results that you got. That way we can help you calibrate your expectations first, and then your machine :smile: Chances are that the folks here can help to identify a) any technical problems that might be spoiling your results, and/or B) suggestions as to how to tweak your settings or tune your printer to get better results. And then you will need to begin a process of careful experimentation as you begin to learn how the different parameters - mostly speed, temperature and layer height - affect the outcome of each print. I highly recommend taking lots of pictures, and keeping a note book of the different things that you are trying. It's a great way to begin to identify a middle ground of 'not bad quality, and not unbearably slow' that you can then begin to refine from.

 

 

What Illuminarti said. That's what I wanted to say.

That space under your print bed - it's purpose is to keep a notebook with notes on every print you ever do so you can go back and say to yourself "what did I do different on this print that it came out so well?". Or "so poorly".

 

I believe you two have taken it the wrong way. Never, was I disappointed in the machine. Nor were my prints resulting to poor results. If I've somehow offended either of you with my topic, I didn't mean to. As a matter of fact, I love this machine and I think it's the sickest thing ever. It's my first 3D printer to own and some of the other machines I've seen like Printrbot, the Afinias and the POS Cube don't even come CLOSE when it comes to the quality and speed factors (although I do plan to purchase a Rep 2 in the near future). But this wasn't a review of the machine. My question was regarding what your Cura print settings are for the finest quality of printing. I'm currently printing at default settings with the exception of 0.1mm layer height and 0.3mm B/T thickness settings. 0.2mm height and 0.6mm B/T thickness wasn't cutting it, and some of the prints resulted to cracking up.

 

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Hi James

The quickest way to see some finer results is print a bit slower. Other than that you could try a layer size of 0.06. You can look through the forum to see what settings other people have used on there prints. After that though it's really experimenting. Different models benefit from different settings.

 

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Hi James

The quickest way to see some finer results is print a bit slower. Other than that you could try a layer size of 0.06. You can look through the forum to see what settings other people have used on there prints. After that though it's really experimenting. Different models benefit from different settings.

 

Appreciate the input. I didn't know I could go less than 0.1mm on the layer. Would slowing down the print speed along with thinning the layer be necessary? Or can I stay at the default speed?

 

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No, I wasn't offended... but I think maybe you're missing our point.

I don't know what you're trying to print... or what you expect, but there's no particular reason that 0.2mm layers with a 0.6mm bottom/top thickness 'wouldn't cut it' or should result in 'cracking'. A thinner layer height is going to reduce the visibility of the layers, and it means that you are extruding less plastic per second, all things being equal, and that can help avoid certain types of problems. But in general, other than making the layers less visible, and helping preserve slightly finer detail in the Z direction, thinner layers aren't going to make the outcomes radically different, or solve problems.

Which is why George and I said what we did - if you think there are problems with your prints at the default settings, then lets take a look at the prints that you got, so we can help fix them. If you are having problems with 0.2mm prints, then most likely the solution is to tweak things about the hardware of your printer, rather than to start changing print settings.

 

I believe you two have taken it the wrong way. Never, was I disappointed in the machine. Nor were my prints resulting to poor results. If I've somehow offended either of you with my topic, I didn't mean to. As a matter of fact, I love this machine and I think it's the sickest thing ever. It's my first 3D printer to own and some of the other machines I've seen like Printrbot, the Afinias and the POS Cube don't even come CLOSE when it comes to the quality and speed factors (although I do plan to purchase a Rep 2 in the near future). But this wasn't a review of the machine. My question was regarding what your Cura print settings are for the finest quality of printing. I'm currently printing at default settings with the exception of 0.1mm layer height and 0.3mm B/T thickness settings. 0.2mm height and 0.6mm B/T thickness wasn't cutting it, and some of the prints resulted to cracking up.

 

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Illuminarti, I do understand your point, and yes I know there is no simple answer to what I asked, but a simple answer wasn't what I was looking for. It's already obvious to me there is no one God setting that prints all fine things in life at Mach 1 speed. What I was asking was what are YOUR optimal settings for fine print quality. One example setting would have sufficed, instead you turn this topic into something else and I have to respond. Take a look at the quality and see what I'm talking about. All the bad ones, I chucked in an office can, these are the only ones I found out of at least 30 small prints. All of these were printed at 0.2mm layer height.

"Business Card" (Printed on Preset NORMAL QUALITY/SPEED Print):

http://oi47.tinypic.com/110dw6u.jpg

Key (Printed on Preset HIGH QUALITY/SLOW SPEED Print):

http://oi50.tinypic.com/34yem47.jpg

Fan Cone (Printed on Preset LOW QUALITY/FAST SPEED Print):

http://oi50.tinypic.com/9zou9y.jpg

Screw-on Capped Bottle (Printed on Preset NORMAL QUALITY/SPEED Print):

http://oi50.tinypic.com/p82np.jpg

http://oi46.tinypic.com/wquiqw.jpg

YES, my bed is properly calibrated. YES, my unit is on stable grounds. YES, unit is most likely assembled properly (purchased assembled by Ultimaker). Quality check?

I've printed several more at 0.1mm, which came out really nicely, although I still want finer quality. I've switched up a couple settings as I just learned I could do from Owen, at the moment I'm printing at 0.6mm height and B/T0.18mm of a sample file. I'll see how that turns out and update on those later...

 

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There is no one right setting for a high quality print. Therefore no one can answer that question meaningfully. It depends what you are trying to print. Different things need totally different settings.

There are clearly things wrong with your prints that are nothing to do with layer height or top thickness. Changing settings like that won't fix these problems. You're under-extruding, getting really bad stringing due to not using retraction, and I'm not sure there aren't x-y accuracy issues as well. And that's just from a few seconds glance at the pictures.

My apologies for 'forcing' you to go off on what you evidently consider a wild goose chase. I was under the mistaken impression that you were wanting the community to help you to get the best out of your printer. I understand better now what you want.

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BUSINESS CARD

Oh - those prints are good. I love the key! It looks great. And an interesting concept (print a key).

The business card looks like it has bad stringing - or maybe the stringing is on purpose?

So to remove stringing you have to do 2 key things. In cura, you need to enable retraction. I have my retraction distance set to 4.5. I don't mess with retraction speed because I have a version of marlin that has a bug with the extruder retraction speed. 4.5 was recommended by I think Daid and it works fine for me. The smaller the value, the faster the print. But if you use too small a value it will still cause stringing. The mimium travel I CHANGE ON EVERY PRINT. I look at the print and set it to the smallest value I care about so for your business card I would probably set it to about 2mm.

The second important thing is to have a lower temperature (which may mean a lower speed). See this for how to pick the right temperature and for a starting point:

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/1872-some-calibration-photographs/

 

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BOTTLES

The bottles look pretty bad. I really don't know why. I can tell you that in contrast you have no stringing issues so personally I would print much hotter and faster. However I have learned it is very very important to allow each layer to cool a certain amount before printing the next layer above and that alone could cause the issues I see on your bottle.

I'm planning to do a test that determines how long I need to cool both with fan on and off before doing the next layer but that's later this week. I'm going to guess around 5 seconds but I could be off by quite a bit.

But looking again at the picture - I'm thinking maybe you printed both bottle caps at the same time and you have stringing issues there? I recommend using the cura project planner - it's easy. It can split up an stl into multiple objects and print them one at a time which gets rid of any stringing issues (so you don't have to do retraction and lower temp, plus it prints much faster one at a time due to less moving around and less retractions).

Still - you have parts of the bottle that has "holes" and parts that have too much plastic (sticks out).

Was this side of the bottle *away* from the fan maybe? If so then slow down the print. Or add a second fan to your UM.

Maybe your feeder has some kind of wobble to it?

I'm really not sure what would cause the over/under extrusion layers other than not enough cooling before the next layer comes by.

 

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