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kristen

Upgraded Cura, downgraded prints

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I've been noticing a real decrease in the quality of my prints lately. The sides look rougher (more blobbing) and the top fill tends to get small holes in it. I had been thinking it was due to some poor filament, but I found that reprinting items I'd sliced some time ago still produces nice parts.

I'm wondering how much of this is due to the old parts having the more random fill (or alternative fill options enabled) vs. this new grid pattern which is leading to sagging/bridging issues when printing the top. Likewise the duplicate external layers appear to have been axed. It was really nice getting the 100 micron finish on a quick 200 micron part.

Any chance we can get some of these options back ?

 

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I think Cura has made some big steps forward in recent versions (Thanks Daid!), but I've noticed some of this too.

I've had trouble with the newer infill pattern. Someone mentioned to stick to 20%, because you get a different pattern than with higher values, and that works much better. But, you give up the ability to control your parts. With smaller parts, the size of the 20% infill grid is too big. Going to a higher infill percentage switches the pattern, and I just get a bunch of spikes, where the lines cross, rather than the correct fill. I honestly wish we could have the option for the random infill pattern, which I really liked.

Even with the infill and perimeters printed at the same speed, I sometimes have a hard time tuning for quality on both. One tends to under-extrude, while the other extrudes fine. I've been asking for an "infill flow multiplier" for a while now, so I'm not sure we will ever get it. It would really allow more control over prints, including faster infill speeds without under-extrusion.

Another thing I've noticed, is that when initially doing the perimeters, Cura jumps back and forth between the inner loops and outer loops. When it does so, it seems to choose a random point-to-point move, without retract, which lays a partial bead down, that is still visible when the infill is complete. On exposed flat surfaces, this sucks. I wish that when moving between inner and outer loops, Cura would just do a printing move along a line which is already part of the infill pattern. Then there would be no evidence.

 

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Don't be afraid to experiment with other slicers. Personally I'm a fan of KISSlicer and switch between that and cura depending on what I'm doing.

I find that cura does a slightly better job with thin walls but KS gives better surface finish. KS gives you many more parameters to play around with. cura allows you to set a thinner initial layer than the rest, KS only allows it to be fatter. KS allows you to set a different speed for the perimeter, cura does not. The list goes on.

 

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I know I should experiment with other slicers more, but with all that Daid has done with Cura it would feel like trading in Solidworks for Openscad.

I appreciate that dumbing down the number of options (in the general interface) probably reduces the amount of support Daid and the rest of the crew at Ultimaker have to do, The skinning and the infill options really did improve the quality of prints 'tho and it would be a shame to take the ultimate out of Ultimaker.

For now, I'm pretty happy rolling back to 13.04 and testing the waters with some other slicers.

 

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That comparison seems a bit exaggerated to me hehe. I'd say it's more like Mac vs PC where (generalising hard here, don't want to start a silly flame war.) the Mac does it's job and does it well but you're fairly limited in what you can do. The PC can do all the same things, with a little less polish, but also allows you to tweak everything.

I just starting fiddling with slic3r today and the first decent print I got looks very promising. I still have some tweaking (and holy hell can you tweak :shock: ) to do but I'm liking what I see so far and just might switch from KS to slic3r as my alternative slicer. If KS gets sequential printing and brim implemented it will likely become my only slicer though :)

edit: I'm especially liking something I've missed from Netfabb where you can print the perimeter at one layer height and infill at another. So for example use 0.1mm as a general setting to get good quality but print double height for infill to save time. And it's not just stacked, it tracks the contour.

 

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Kisslicer does the different layer height for infill thing too. You just need to be careful, because you can easily blow out the extrusion limits if you're printing infill in much thicker layers, without lowering the linear speed accordingly. Also be sure and set the extrusion width manually in Slic3r, http://www.extrudable.me/2013/11/03/slic3r-strange-defaults-causing-qu-bd-woes/, which can also overtax the extruder.

 

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I'm using the free version of KS which does not include the stacking option.

Yeah I'm noticing that it does "weird" things with extrusion widths. I got perfect perimeters and skirt but under extruded solid infill when I first tried it. I tweaked the solid infill by setting it to 0.45mm instead which at least hid the problem.

Then I tried the sequential printing but it seems bugged in the latest RC (it prints the first object and then keeps printing the next object without changing the height, ever, no further z-moves in sight in the file) so I tried the earlier version instead and then I got under extrusion on the perimeters as well hehe. But the print I did with the tweaked infill in the latest RC produced a very nice looking part, much better than what I was getting with cura for that particular model.

I guess I'll go in and specify each and every type of extrusion and see how that goes, thanks for the tip :)

 

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I too have the same quality issues with CURA 13.11.2. Prints that have been printed with earlier versions of CURA will now no longer print, it is just making a mess. The bottom layers have gaps and I can see the blue tape through the print. As for using support with your print, forget it, what a horrible mess it now produces above the support. I have tried everything I can think off but nothing seems to work, so for now I will have to give CURA a pass and try something else. Hopinf for a fix soon. :oops:

 

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I too have the same quality issues with CURA 13.11.2. Prints that have been printed with earlier versions of CURA will now no longer print, it is just making a mess. The bottom layers have gaps and I can see the blue tape through the print. As for using support with your print, forget it, what a horrible mess it now produces above the support. I have tried everything I can think off but nothing seems to work, so for now I will have to give CURA a pass and try something else. Hopinf for a fix soon. :oops:

I hope you guys understand that with "it is just making a mess. The bottom layers have gaps and I can see the blue tape through the print. As for using support with your print, forget it, what a horrible mess it now produces above the support." I cannot do anything, as it does not give my anything to do on.

Photos, pictures, models, settings used. That's how I can assist. Random saying "13.04" was better does not do anything, as 13.04 was using Skeinforge, which is a totally different implementation of all underlying code.

 

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DAID

Awesome software.BTW

I have tried 13.11.2 and agree with the above comments. Basically, regardless of flow setting I'm getting holes in my top layer.

I'm using two different printers both Prusa i3 one with a 0.5 head and one with a 0.4 head, with different pla.

Tried different layer heights 0.15-0.3 and fill settings 10% -60% still getting holes in top fill. I have eve tried a 1.5mm top and bottom layer.

My favourite build at the moment is 13.06.4, as I much prefer the support material, so much easier to remove, & top layer is perfect.

Useful key shortcuts.

It would be fantastic, if you added two extra key shortcuts:-

Clear Platform

Save Gcode

Also when selecting printer, save profile two it. at the moment I have to lo0k for the different ini files for different printers.

Keep up the fantastic work

David./

 

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