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Wavy Diagonal and Curves

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Posted (edited) · Wavy Diagonal and Curves

Hi. I notice that when I print something with a surface that is diagonal, or curved, relative to the X axis of the print bed the side wall comes out wavy. Example images of a top down view below, made on Ultimaker 2+ with ABS .4mm nozzle and .1 layer height.


I'm trying to determine the cause:

  • Limitation of 3D printing?
  • Limitation of Ultimaker 2+?
  • A symptom of Cura trying to slice based on Convert Image import?

what are the logical next steps to try to address:

  • Adjust layer height?
  • Change wall thickness?
  • Switch nozzle?
  • Temperature settings?


I'm obviously new to CAD and 3D printing, so I'd appreciate any educated guidance so I don't waste time and money chasing the wrong solution via trial and error.






Edited by DennisV

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Posted · Wavy Diagonal and Curves

Caveat: I have never printed ABS. Limitation of 3D printing - no; limitation of Ultimaker 2+ - probably certainly not; Convert image import - no idea what that is but if you have looked closely at the model on the Cura bed and the lines are not wavy then that is what Cura will slice - also look at it in xray view and see if there are any indicated mesh errors.


Adjust layer height - I doubt that will make any difference

Change wall thickness - again doubt it; but your wall thickness should be a multiple of your nozzle diameter, eg 0.8,1.2,1.6 etc. if using a 0.4 nozzle. Not having this will court other problems

Change nozzle - well could be I suppose; not a bad idea but if all your other models are printing straight lines then I doubt it.

Temp settings - two part answer; it would not have been my first thought; but you do have artefacts on your surface which could be caused by a too higher temp. and/or your retraction settings


You do not mention prints speed - if you are printing really fast san 80/90 mm/s + then I wonder.


Looking at your photo my first thought was to think that something was loose, such as your belts, which was causing errors in the positioning of the print head; but you will need an Ultimaker user to help you with diagnosing/fixing that

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Posted · Wavy Diagonal and Curves
20 hours ago, yellowshark said:

have looked closely at the model on the Cura bed and the lines are not wavy then that is what Cura will slice


Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Looking at the file closely in Cura, I see that it is not rounded smooth either. So it appears you've helped me find the source of my problem. Thanks!


Now I'm left to chase a fix.


I am creating the file by using Adobe Illustrator to set some type. Then saving that as a PNG image. The image looks smooth at 100%. Antialiasing of the edges becomes visible when enlarged, as one might expect. I'm creating the image in Illustrator at 100% (i.e. the same size I want printed). So in theory, there should not be artifacts from enlarging.


I'm creating the Cura file by opening the PNG with File > Open, and the resulting Convert Image... dialog.


Perhaps there is something going on with the Cura Convert Image size settings that is causing this? I've tried to find details on the feature, with no luck.


Additional insight or suggestions appreciated!

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 7.12.18 AM.png

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 7.04.09 AM.png

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Posted (edited) · Wavy Diagonal and Curves

In case anyone else runs into this, it appears the issue was with my source being a PNG file. Since PNG is a bitmap file the curves and slants get anti-aliased. Cura doesn't seem to handle that very elegantly.


If I export SVG and slice it in another program, I'm able to get very nice curves and slants. It is too bad that Cura can't import an SVG file itself.


Edited by DennisV

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