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Smooth Top Surface - Best Case Expectations

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Hi all. I'm trying to determine what is a realistic expectation regarding the smoothness of a flat top surface. I've been fiddling with a lot of settings chasing a finish that doesn't have perceptible printing lines. Perhaps what I currently have is as good as it can get, and I need to move on to evaluating finishing options? Would appreciate any insight from those more experienced than me.


Below is an image of my best outcome thus far. It feels pretty smooth to the touch, but lines are visible on the finish in decent lighting. This is using PLA. Will the results be noticeably different with another material such as ABS?


Thank you.



Edited by DennisV

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Look into the "neosanding" feature (I think that's what it is called in cura or maybe it's called smooth top surface?)  Ideally you want to do a second pass on the same layer as you just finished but just going in the alternate direction (90 degress from infill below and also you want it to reach into the shell a bit and Neotko himself also recommends a tiny tiny bit of extrusion while neosanding - something like 10% extrusion I think.


Neotko does this with S3D which gives you slightly more control (like the ability to extrude during sanding a tiny amount).

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On 12/27/2017 at 5:41 PM, gr5 said:

Look into the "neosanding" feature.


Thanks for the suggestion. Is this the same as the "Enable ironing" feature under Shell settings? I've tried with that ON.


Surprisingly, my best results so far are with ironing OFF, but setting:

  • Wall Thickness 0.8 mm (with 0.4 mm Nozzle)
  • Top Surface Skin Layers 1
  • Top Surface Skin Pattern Concentric

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Depending on the situation, another good option to minimise these lines, might be postprocessing and chemical smoothing. See the thread on "Acetone smoothing" by user Cloakfiend who has done the most experimenting on this, and who achieves excellent results routinely. His models have virtually no visible lines. It's a lot of reading, but then you get a wealth of info too.  :)


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sometimes it might help to add artificially one additional layer, but without the shape of your middle hole in your case. Doing so the last layer will be processed from one end to the another without making the wall of your middle hole ( you will have to manually cut this out).  Sometimes I do this trick. It helps for the aesthetically point of view, even though my prints are rarely used as aesthetically parts. Only for internal chassis or mould.

hope this helps


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