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jimeee

Printing a completely solid object?

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Hi, I have an Ultimaker 1 and I used Google sketchup to design an object (handle) for printing.

I have managed to complete the design to the best of my ability and its quite basic, but it is "watertight" and seems to be ok. I then imported the file into Cura and it accepted it and showed me the layers that it would perform. The problem is the interior of the object has a thatched "scaffolding" inside it - I assume so the object can be printed without collapsing in on itself. I did a test print and the object printed great - only it is somewhat weak structurally, due to it not being solid.

I wanted the object to be completely solid - so there is no scaffolding inside. Is this a setting in Cura that I am overlooking?

In google sketchup, the object is indeed "hollow" and the individual "walls" of each surface is 2D.

Do I need to fix my original design in Sketchup (I have no idea how to make the design solid) or is there any advice anyone can give? Thanks.

 

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I'm still somewhat new to Ultimaker myself, so please forgive if this doesn't work for you.

In Cura 13.11, there is a "Fill Density (%)" setting under the basic tab. The higher this number, the more "scaffolding" there is. Setting this to 100 should fill the part in completely.

If this doesn't work, I'm afraid I'm unfamiliar with SketchUp (ProE/SolidWorks user), so I wouldn't be sure the next step.

 

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Hi,

 

assuming you are using the latest cura version, and found the fill density settiing

Knipselfill

You could can give a wider shell thickness, but if the model is hollow, you can only make it solid in you cad program.

Or take a look in the expert settings, and check a box at fix-horrible settings, might help, (Perhapssssss)...........

 

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You can either set shell thickness to 200mm or you can set fill density to 100. Both give very different results but in both cases you get 100% solid part.

Solid parts take MUCH longer to print, are not much stronger, and tend to warp much more (shrinking plastic pulls). Your part may lift off the bed if it is solid (while you print) or you may experience other troubles.

Definitely wipe your blue tape with isopropyl alcohol to clean off the was that comes with the blue tape. This will increase your sticking power by around 5X.

Consider setting shell thickness to say 5mm instead of completely solid. If this handle needs to lift 200 pounds, maybe 10mm shell?

The infill isn't for strength as much as general support to hold it together until the print is done (people will disagree with me on this!). I've printed many parts with 3 passes on the shell (1.2mm shell) and zero infill.

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Instead of increasing the "infill amount" which will increase the scaffolding density. Increase the shell and top/bottom thickness. This will make the outsides thicker, which will give a strong result without using loads of plastic.

 

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If you cant see them, first click on Expert>Switch to Full Settings

Then on the basic tab under the quality section there will be layer height, and shell thickness

Shell thickness: make sure its a multiple of your nozzle diameter (ultimakers are .4mm) so use 0.4, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6... ect

Under Fill there is Bottom / top thickness and Fill density.

Bottom/top thickness: This needs to be a multiple of your layer height. so if you are printing at 0.2mm try 1.0, 1.2, 1.4... ect

When I print structural parts I like to make the shell thickness and top and bottom thickness larger to increase the strength.

Infill can add strength, but an extra layer of the shell will make it much stronger than an increase in infil. Still if you want a part "solid" go for a large shell and top/bottom thickness, and if you REALY want a solid core you could try 50% infil, this will make it look almost solid, but will give you a little lee-way for other problems (like if you are over extruding).

I don't know what type of handle you are printing, but the Ultimaker handle (handle for your printer: https://www.youmagine.com/designs/ultimaker-handle#!design-information) I would print at 1.6mm shell thickness and 1.6 mm top and bottom thickness with only 20% infil and .2mm layerheight. I bet this would result in a much larger safety factor than x9 or so (overkill!).

 

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Also there are 2 types of modeling software, one where it treats the model as surfaces (sketchup) and others that treat them as solids (many cad programs)

If you are looking for a simple to use solid modeling program you could use 123d Design (the one you download not the online one) and it treats the models as solid models. This makes sure they are pretty much always watertight.

Also you can get a lot of the more expensive software such as 3ds max and autodesk inventor for free as long as you use them for your own learning of the software, just don't use them for business. Just sign up on their education website.

 

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Most education discounts (in the US, at least) require you to prove that you are an educator and/or student in an approved school/college.

Of course there are any number of possible CAD packages that you can use, and all have their fans and detractors. A couple of recent additions to the CAD space that I think are interesting, because they come from quite well-established high-end engineering CAD companies are AutoDesk Inventor Fusion 360 (cloud based; free for hobbyist use, and relatively cheap for professional use ($25/month subscription)) and RS DesignSpark (free: a cut down version of SpaceClaim, which I just love).

 

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Ill check those out!

As far as the autodesk programs are concerned they let just about anyone download the education versions. you can do this because they have certification tests for their different software. They want to make sure people can thus learn their software, hence it's not just for educators but for people that just want to learn it (this was made clear to me at an autodesk booth at a convention I was at). I don't know about the legaity of using it thusly for hobby type work and then sharing that work. If it's for your own personal use and growth though, it's fine. Don't use educational copies for work under any conditions!

But you are right, there are so many free cad and modeling packages out there that you don't even need the big expensive ones anymore!

 

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AutoDesk Inventor Fusion 360 (cloud based; free for hobbyist use, and relatively cheap for professional use ($25/month subscription)) and RS DesignSpark (free: a cut down version of SpaceClaim, which I just love).

 

+1 for Autodesk Fusion 360 and pitty that RS DesignSpark is Windows only. There's no way I'll leave my Mac and boot Windows to model objects.

 

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+1 for Autodesk Fusion 360 and pitty that RS DesignSpark is Windows only. There's no way I'll leave my Mac and boot Windows to model objects.

 

You know, I'm a huge Mac fan and have used Macs exclusively for 20 years now. I detest Windows. And I installed a Windows Virtual Machine in Parallels on my MacBook, just so that I could run SpaceClaim. If you knew me, you'd know that that is the highest praise there can possibly be for a Windows program. It's really that good. With the stuff that Parallels does to blend the operating systems, you don't even really need to know that you're running Windows (which helps!).

I like Inventor Fusion 360, although Autodesk makes me nervous. They have this huge stable of CAD programs, and keep buying/developing more. And there doesn't seem to be a clear game plan. It's just a 'throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks' kind of approach. I thought that Inventor Fusion (the desktop, not the 360 cloud version) was a really nice program, but they just seemed to keep that around for a few months, and then killed it off, in favor of the sexy new cloud thing. I'm wary of investing time to become expert in the package, if they're going to kill that off in favor of something else.

 

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You know, I'm a huge Mac fan and have used Macs exclusively for 20 years now. I detest Windows. And I installed a Windows Virtual Machine in Parallels on my MacBook, just so that I could run SpaceClaim. If you knew me, you'd know that that is the highest praise there can possibly be for a Windows program. It's really that good. With the stuff that Parallels does to blend the operating systems, you don't even really need to know that you're running Windows (which helps!).

 

Good to know. I don't like Parallels because it swamps the system while trying to "blend" windows stuff into my Mac, but I am using VirtualBox and I might have a windows image somewhere. Thanks for the praise, I'll give DesignSpark/SpaceClaim a shot.

The thing is, while I am comfortable with OpenSCAD for simple objects I still haven't decided for my "main" CAD package yet. Most have way too many features and awful interfaces. And others like Google Sketchup aren't directly made for this kind of use and have too few features.

 

I like Inventor Fusion 360, although Autodesk makes me nervous. They have this huge stable of CAD programs, and keep buying/developing more. And there doesn't seem to be a clear game plan. It's just a 'throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks' kind of approach. I thought that Inventor Fusion (the desktop, not the 360 cloud version) was a really nice program, but they just seemed to keep that around for a few months, and then killed it off, in favor of the sexy new cloud thing. I'm wary of investing time to become expert in the package, if they're going to kill that off in favor of something else.

 

Hm, that's an angle that I didn't consider before. But I don't think they will ditch Fusion 360 (cloud) anytime soon. Fusion Desktop was marked as a technology preview so we knew the risks. Still it was nice to have an offline tool for designing. That's one of the problems with the cloud version - you might never know if their service fails. I'd hate it to have to wait if their cloud is down. I would also be very nervous if I'd use it for my business.

On the other hand now that they have added editing capabilities for .stl files, this feature alone makes their offering very intriguing. I just hope that they won't also kill MeshMixer. This tool is way to much (silly) fun :)

 

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Hehe we might have gotten a little off topic, but I'm downloading design spark, looks similar to autodesk inventor, solidworks, pro e, and all those other guys. I guess there are only so many ways to dress up a cad program!

Thanks for pointing out a real nice looking piece of software!

Also +1 for mesh mixer!

 

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