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jdrake

Calibration of Printer and Line Width

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Posted · Calibration of Printer and Line Width

Just wanted to start off with that I am used to Simplify3d.

 

In it, I am used to it knowing the width of a line as something 0.48 with the nozzle being 0.4 due to expansion after extrusion.

 

Now I see cura likes to keep it at 0.4, and I have seen some places that you should adjust the flow during a print of a vase mode cube to get it down to that width instead of telling it what the actual width of the line is.

 

Can somebody confirm the behaviour of the "line width" setting?

 

Specifically is the method that I have heard about proper with cura?

 

Does the line width actually do anything to change the real size of the line being laid (it seems to do this based on empirical samples) or just the width between lines?

 

Thank you for any information.

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Posted · Calibration of Printer and Line Width

Hi and welcome,

 

The line width setting is the width of the line that is extruded. 

 

If you ask for 0.4mm and your extruder e-steps are well set in, your feeder is not slipping, the nozzle is not partially clogged, the filament has a constant and good diameter, it should actually build a 0.4mm wall.

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Posted · Calibration of Printer and Line Width

To give some specific background on my machine and configuration:

 

I am using colorfabb ngen (1.75mm) which seems to be incredibly well consistent on width. The esteps have been calibrated using the 100mm extrusion method which results in esteps of 817.7. It was further refined using the non-linear extrusion compensation the RepRapFirmware provides to 820, with additonal parameters that model the reduction in extrusion that comes when increasing extrusion speed. The last specific thing in configuration that might affect stuff is my use of pressure advance which was also configured.

 

The machine is a v6 extruder running a 600mm capricorn tube off of a Bondtech extruder.

 

I have never encountered the line width coming out of a 0.4mm nozzle using just an esteps calibration to result in a line of 0.4mm. My best slicing experience has been with s3d - it seemed to be pretty spot on with its assumption (0.48mm presently).

 

The only way to reduce this line down to 0.4mm seems to be adjusting the flow rate down to about 90% - which always seemed odd to me being that esteps should be properly calibrated.

 

When I print a hollow cube to test single wall thickness, I notice the first two layers put down aren't necessarily the greatest, so I might have to look there first.

 

I am really having trouble with this and would love to know if there is a better way, or there is something I am missing here. I do have two new 0.4mm nozzles (bought from MRRF last year in a 3 pack e3d had) and several other nozzles of various sizes.

 

Thank you very much for your reply.

 

 

 

 

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Posted · Calibration of Printer and Line Width

Hi @jdrake I am not answering your questions specifically but thought I would give you my experience. Which is germane.

 

For years my setup was 0.4mm nozzle and 0.4mm line-width which gave me good results. Then a couple of years back I was doing some testing on dimensional accuracy and calibrating my e-steps and measured the width of the printed test lines and saw that they were 0.45mm.

Now whether that was due to expansion or my extruder having a 0.45mm hole due to manufacturing tolerance or wear over a period of years I know not. But I set my nozzle width and line width setting to 0.45 to match and improved my printed results.

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Posted · Calibration of Printer and Line Width

@yellowshark, that brings up my original question about whether line width is telling cura what the width actually is or if it will actually adjust the extrusion amount to be what it thinks is that width. 
 

I have had it increase the thickness of the lines when changing that setting.

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Posted · Calibration of Printer and Line Width

Lol, OK I have several takes on this and I do not claim to be an expert on this as I have never needed to play around with it, ie line width

 

1. I take it to be and do all our design on the basis that the line width is governed by the physical extruder aperture. I measure that by printing a single line. Well of course I did not use to do that - the specifications for the printer said it had 0.4mm nozzle which we took as gospel.

 

2. I think Cura uses the line width to calculate the amount of filament to be pushed through to achieve the line width, with the caveat that one can only deviate so far from the nozzle width before it goes wrong. But if it is as simple as that then it raises the question as to why one has to specify the nozzle width in Cura. So I am not convinced that what I have said is totally accurate. The old original Cura which stopped at 15.04 or 15.06 never had a setting for line width; it used the shell width and nozzle width to calculate the number of lines to print for a wall (according to the Help text)

 

3. I guess if one is into jewellery or circuit boards then this stuff may be important but we fundamentally do mechanical engineering and architecture and after 6 years we have never had a use case that has made us stray from the old maxim line width = nozzle width.

 

 

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Posted · Calibration of Printer and Line Width

 

 

53 minutes ago, yellowshark said:

>>snip 

 

For years my setup was 0.4mm nozzle and 0.4mm line-width which gave me good results. Then a couple of years back I was doing some testing on dimensional accuracy and calibrating my e-steps and measured the width of the printed test lines and saw that they were 0.45mm.

>snip

 

 

I should clarify that the dimensional testing was on the accuracy of length of line, not the width. I just happened to have printed a single line and though I would measure it. I was not aware there was a e-step setting available that affected the dimension of the width!!

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