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Far too much material on a small model.

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Hi guys.

Last time you heard from me I was starting my wonderful journey into printing which has gone really well so far and I've managed to produce a few of my kits for prop collectors who follow me on Facebook.

As a 3d modeller myself I know how to prepare models for games and export but I discovered it is definitely not the same for 3d printing.

I'll point out the obvious first I know the model should be watertight, learnt this from running my own Shapeways store for 6 months. I also know that flipped normals, manifold edges and other mesh problems can make it a disaster.

My question is why did this model from Thingiverse use up 3.5 metres of my filament and take 5 hours to print when She is only 8cm in length?


Here's my Cura settings for that particular piece.

Nozzle: 0.8

Layer height: 1.0

top/bottom layer: 0.6

inside fill: 0.6

Support: External only

No heated bed

Single extruder

Filament diameter: 3mm

Colour Silver

You guys have been great btw. If it wasn't for you I wouldn't be up and running

so I trust you can identify the problem in an instant. :grin:



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Well it looks like you printed lots and lots of support. Not sure why infill is 60% when it could be 15%. Could you please go to cura, load settings by loading the gcode, then save the settings and post?

Like this?


filament_diameter = 3

nozzle_size = 0.4

wall_thickness = 0.8

retraction_enable = True

layer_height = 0.1

solid_layer_thickness = 0.6

fill_density = 20

print_speed = 50

print_temperature = 220

support = Exterior Only

enable_raft = False

filament_density = 1.00

skirt_line_count = 1

skirt_gap = 3.0

retraction_min_travel = 5.0

retraction_speed = 40.0

retraction_amount = 4.5

retraction_extra = 0.0

travel_speed = 150

max_z_speed = 3.0

bottom_layer_speed = 20

cool_min_layer_time = 5

fan_enabled = True

bottom_thickness = 0.3

object_sink = 0.0

enable_skin = False

plugin_config =

model_matrix = 1.6,0.0,0.0,0.0,1.6,0.0,0.0,0.0,1.6

gcode_extension = gcode

alternative_center =

cool_min_feedrate = 10

fan_layer = 1

fan_speed = 100

fan_speed_max = 100

retract_on_jumps_only = True

solid_top = True

force_first_layer_sequence = True

extra_base_wall_thickness = 0.0

infill_type = Line

fill_overlap = 15

sequence = Loops > Perimeter > Infill

hop_on_move = False

joris = False

raft_base_material_amount = 100

raft_interface_material_amount = 100

raft_margin = 5

support_dual_extrusion = False

support_rate = 50

support_distance = 0.5

bridge_speed = 100


start.gcode = ;Sliced {filename} at: {day} {date} {time}

;Basic settings: Layer height: {layer_height} Walls: {wall_thickness} Fill: {fill_density}

;Print time: {print_time}

;Filament used: {filament_amount}m {filament_weight}g

;Filament cost: {filament_cost}

G21 ;metric values

G90 ;absolute positioning

M107 ;start with the fan off

G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops

G28 Z0 ;move Z to min endstops

G1 Z15.0 F{max_z_speed} ;move the platform down 15mm

G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length

G1 F200 E3 ;extrude 3mm of feed stock

G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again

G1 F{travel_speed}

M117 Printing...

support_end.gcode =

support_start.gcode =

cool_end.gcode =

cool_start.gcode =

replace.csv =

end.gcode = ;End GCode

M104 S0 ;extruder heater off

M140 S0 ;heated bed heater off (if you have it)


G91 ;relative positioning

G1 E-1 F300 ;retract the filament a bit before lifting the nozzle, to release some of the pressure

G1 Z+0.5 E-5 X-20 Y-20 F{travel_speed} ;move Z up a bit and retract filament even more

G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops, so the head is out of the way


M84 ;steppers off

G90 ;absolute positioning




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3.5 meters doesn't seem like all that much but you can reduce that 5 hours. A lot of the PLA was the support material. Almost half of that was having double wall thickness.

Myself I would change the wall width from .8 to .4. That will almost cut your print time in half *and* it will use less PLA.

You printed at .1mm height which gives you twice the resolution on the horizontal layers (twice as many layers) so tends to look better but takes longer. But the nice thing about the UM is it can print 200mm/sec no problem so I would raise your print speed to maybe 150mm/sec (although if you want to speed things up more and decide to make layer height .2mm then I wouldn't go over 100mm/sec as the nozzle can only supply so much PLA per second.

Those two changes shouldn't affect print quality and speed up the print to maybe just 1.5 to 2 hours.

You retraction minimum travel is 5mm which I would lower to 1mm as the legs of that pony appear to be less than 5mm apart. If you got lots of stringing at 220C, you could also lower that to 190C and that would reduce stringing to nothing but may cause some underextrusion (probably not). This will slow down your print (a lot) while working on the legs but it's worth it as retraction and at 190C you should get absolutely zero stringing.

Your minimal layer time is 5 seconds which is a decent value. I would up it to 7 seconds just to be safe. This may slow down some of the layers of your print but it's pretty critical to do so. If a layer doesn't cool enough when the next layer comes down the print looks like crap.

You could reduce the support material by printing the pony on it's side maybe. But then that whole side will look not-so-good. So I would keep it as is. I recommend you get a nicer color PLA for such a cute animal.


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Beyond critiquing your settings: SF-based Cura does some weird things when it detects a "bridge" layer in order to try to create a foundation for it and the next layer, and I think it unduly uses plastic. Daid's new engine handles bridges better IMO. See if you can get on the Beta list from him and examine the differences. Both tell you the expected plastic consumed and you can see if it's different. My bet is that's where you are see the problems.


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