Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts

Printed object thicker than model

Recommended Posts

I'm playing around with settings and printing some small test pieces to establish the best parameters for printing parts and keep finding the printed parts are thicker than the modelled part.  It looks like some of the initial layers aren't as close to each other as they should be which when accumulated increases the overall thickness of the part.  Any ideas on how to address this please?

The thickness of the part in each photo should be the same (5mm).  I've attached the stl file for reference as well.



Test Cube.stl

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @Yowan, welcome to our community! 

Could you elaborate a bit more about your goal? Are you trying to establish a standard to print a lot of one particular model, or a certain type of material?

It is likely that the best parameters may very depending on the size of your model and what material you use. 

If you use your Ultimaker professionally, it makes sense to establish a benchmark but just wondering what your scope is. 


Could you in your photo include in which orientation it is printed? I can guess based on a hint of layers I see, but it is better to be sure. 


Do you have active leveling enabled? This feature compensates for any offset during the first 10mm of your print. Have you tried rotating your print by 90º so it stands rather than it lays flat? I think 4.94mm is not a very bad outcome, there will always be some shrink/expansion because of the material being thermoplastics. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a machined component which has various curved surfaces that I've be trying to re-create with a 3D print, so that I can have it machined in-house.  However, getting the settings correct to ensure an accurate dimensional replica is printed is proving problematic!  I suppose it's more about establishing some standard default settings for printing using PLA (with PVA support where applicable)

The actual piece I'm looking to print is approximately 150mm x 150mm x 90mm but whether I print a small test cube 20mm^3 or the main part, there gaps between the layers that increase the overall dimensions.

I've tried orientating the part in different ways but that just means it#s thicker in a different axis.

Active leveling is enabled and I'm happy with the 4.94mm dimension - it's the 6.21mm which highlights the problem; 1.2mm over a 20mm is far too much and when you apply that to the main part I'm trying to print - it results in being 3mm wider than it should, which is not acceptable for my application.

The expansion is only in the Z axis - X and Y axis are spot on.............bit of a head scratcher!  I'm wondering if it's because of speed or temperature or something else?!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem happy to help! Active leveling is really great if you start prints through Cura Connect and are not sure about the calibration of your Ultimaker, or when you have a print with a thicker base plate. Active leveling corrects an offset during the first 10mm, and reduces the compensation to 0 during the next 10mm. Which means after that, you should have the desired dimensions again. 

If it had to correct an offset which caused your dimensional inaccuracy, you may want to manually level your bed if you haven't already. 



You can find some tips on the second half of this page.


Good luck!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • Architect Design Contest | People
      The goal of this contest is to design a set of people figurines that could be used in such a project to make an area, office or mall seem populated. 
      Think of different types of people in different environments, like walking people, people standing still, working people, and both men and women.
      • 31 replies
    • Taking Advantage of DfAM
      This is a statement that’s often made about AM/3DP. I'll focus on the way DfAM can take advantage of some of the unique capabilities that AM and 3DP have to offer. I personally think that the use of AM/3DP for light-weighting is one of it’s most exciting possibilities and one that could play a key part in the sustainability of design and manufacturing in the future.
        • Like
      • 3 replies

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!