Jump to content
UltiMaker Community of 3D Printing Experts

A question about extrusion widths - UM2


Recommended Posts

Posted · A question about extrusion widths - UM2


I am trying to print a cool iphone cover design for my wife. But i am unable to print without any holes. i figured that its a matter of extrusion width after reading illuminarti's post about extrusion width in Slic3r. But my problem is still not gone. let me explain. I set the extrusion widths to .4 because thats the nozzle size. When i tried to slice the model at that settings there are lot of holes in the model (see Repetier host screenshot) infact i printed the model and it came exactly like that.

Then i changed the extrusion width to .2 (half of the nozzle size) thinking that i will be able to print these small designs. The repetier screenshot shows very little holes which made me happy. Unfortunately, i faced major problems while printing.

1) The first layer had extreme difficulty to stick. After a heavy layer of gum I was ok.

2) It almost seemed like the flow rate was not enough as i could see the lines were not sharp. The design looked disastrously bad even though repetier showed a clean picture.

I am wondering whether i will be able to print a smaller extrusion width using UM2? is it even physically possible? How else can i print this intricate design? Are there any other settings that can help. i tried different infills, angles and a lot more combination. Almost all of them failed during the preview in repetier itself.

Will i be successful in printing this design if i change the nozzle to a .2 diameter. What are the pros and cons?

I appreciate your help. I need to print this gift quite soon.


.4 thickness

No holes @.2 width

.2 thickness


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · A question about extrusion widths - UM2

    It all comes down to how small the gaps are that are left, after the outer walls are printed, and how well the slicer thinks it can fill them. These are some pretty small details, so there's not a lot of room for the slicer to get the head in to do the infill.

    Changing the nozzle width setting to 0.2mm isn't going to work very well, because the actual hole is still 0.4mm, so you will simply be extruding half as much plastic as is needed to fill that space. You can't really control where it comes out, so you will get a rather poorly defined bead that doesn't fill the available space, or stick, as well as you might like. Now, actually having a smaller nozzle would help a lot, but you'd have to print very slowly, because the pressures required to extrude through that tiny hole would be even higher (and, AFAIK, no one has any UM2 nozzles less than the standard 0.4mm). While you can get away with declaring a nozzle size smaller than the actual size, I think in practice, the limit is about 75% of the actual size - and it's still not going to be ideal.

    What you might try instead is printing with just a single perimeter, if you aren't already; that might leave enough room inside for the printer to set up a proper linear infill pattern. Failing that, you might try other slicers. Kisslicer in particular has a feature for filling in the small gaps like these, but not sure how well it works in practice.


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · A question about extrusion widths - UM2

    Which slicer did you use? If kisslicer, try cura. If cura try kisslicer.

    Consider redesigning this and making the pattern twice as thick. Or 50% thicker. Same exact pattern though - just larger.

    I've printed pretty intricate details in the past on the bottom layer:

    new experiment with single extruder


    Check out the edge of the arm. I don't know how I managed to get Cura to do single dots like that but it did.


    This was printed on an old version of steam engine (Daid's newer slicer). He has drastically improved "thin walls" since then. That's what he calls it "thin walls".


    The above shot is a test piece meant for a cell phone. Later I printed the actual phone with lady liberty in purple and the phone case in white. It came out great. I increased the flow for the white area and that improved things over this photo.


    edit: Also this was printed on a UM1 on kapton tape and also I had levelling issues - when I fixed that the purple infill met the walls in ALL regions instead of just some.


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · A question about extrusion widths - UM2

    @illuminarti: thanks for the feedback. i did try printing at perimeter =1. The gaps were still there. It looks like i am pretty much stuck with a .4 nozzle.

    @gr5 thats one hell of a print.

    two questions

    1) Is that a dual extruder or did you change the material mid way

    2) What is the nozzle size for the print?

    It would be sweet if you could share your print settings.



  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · A question about extrusion widths - UM2

    edit: I don't have a dual extruder. I just changed the filament between the "two" prints.

    Nozzle is .4mm. Done before the UM2 existed.

    I printed a very thin layer (.2mm I think) of purple then when print was done I printed the cell phone on top using white. I had to get leveling perfect because after the first try one side was thicker (darker) than the other. There was maybe 20 minutes where the printer was off in between the two prints. Print the bottom layer of the cell phone thicker - .2mm.

    The software to make the purple part was here:



    I think I cut off the bottom/base using Cura (cut off bottom feature).

    There's more details of how I did it all here:


    But if I were to do it again, for the white part, I would just print a "normal" part "on top" but with thick bottom layer (.3mm). Of course I used a UM1 which doesn't skip on the extruder just because there isn't room for all that PLA to flow. I guess on a UM2 I would print the first white layer at 240C to reduce likelyhood of the extruder pressure getting too high and having it slip and then underextrude for a bit.


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · A question about extrusion widths - UM2

    You can see the same basic approach as George used in my 3D printed Xmas cards from last year; I printed the writing and QR code first, using two layers of 0.1mm, and then printed the card base over it as a solid piece, with a 0.3mm first layer.



  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · A question about extrusion widths - UM2

    I am just blown away by the video! Wow. I need some clarifications here.

    1) Is the material change done in between the print? did you use a cura plugin to do such a thing.

    2) How does the printer know to start from the right Z height. I assume its one single program which waits for the user to change material.

    3) What i am impressed with is the uniformity with which the layers are laid. Is that a Kapton tape? I am struggling to get the alignment right over the size of what you are printing.

    Finally, are there any posts that you have done to discuss the settings used? the slicer used etc? I am truly blown away by this stuff.


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · A question about extrusion widths - UM2

    Lol, thanks. I used the PauseAtZ plugin to Cura to insert the appropriate filament changes points.

    For the base layer, I created the QR code as a graphic, and then converted it to a DXF file using Illustrator, then imported that into my CAD package, and extruded it up into a 0.2mm high solid. Sliced that in Cura.

    The text was drawn in Illustrator, and then converted to coordinates using an open source CAD/CAM package, and then I manually calculated the e-coordinates for each line segment using a spread sheet, and produced the gcode manually for that part, using a text editor to add it to the end of the QR code gcode. That was printed as one file, iirc.

    Then the main card was modeled in my CAD package, with the various parts extruded out to different heights, and then sliced in Cura, with the pauses added for color changes. It was printed after the first file was finished. As I mentioned above, I had a thicker first layer for that one, so that the filament flowed over the black part as it went down.

    When I actually produced the cards en masse, I manually duplicated the blocks of gcode and and shifted the origin between each one so that I could print 4 cards at a time, to reduce the number of filament changes needed.

    Yes, it was printed on cold Kapton tape to give a nice smooth bottom. Unheated Kapton tape works ok for prints with lots of surface area and not too much height. Anything taller than a few cm will likely come loose though, unless you use glue, perhaps.


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · A question about extrusion widths - UM2

    And if you look closely, you'll see that after printing a vase, earlier, I forgot to re-enable the solid top option in Cura, so that the final red layer only draws the outlines, it doesn't add any infill.... ;-)


  • 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

      • Here it is. The new UltiMaker S7
        The UltiMaker S7 is built on the success of the UltiMaker S5 and its design decisions were heavily based on feedback from customers.
        So what’s new?
        The obvious change is the S7’s height. It now includes an integrated Air Manager. This filters the exhaust air of every print and also improves build temperature stability. To further enclose the build chamber the S7 only has one magnetically latched door.
        The build stack has also been completely redesigned. A PEI-coated flexible steel build plate makes a big difference to productivity. Not only do you not need tools to pop a printed part off. But we also don’t recommend using or adhesion structures for UltiMaker materials (except PC, because...it’s PC). Along with that, 4 pins and 25 magnets make it easy to replace the flex plate perfectly – even with one hand.
        The re-engineered print head has an inductive sensor which reduces noise when probing the build plate. This effectively makes it much harder to not achieve a perfect first layer, improving overall print success. We also reversed the front fan direction (fewer plastic hairs, less maintenance), made the print core door magnets stronger, and add a sensor that helps avoid flooding.

        The UltiMaker S7 also includes quality of life improvements:
        Reliable bed tilt compensation (no more thumbscrews) 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi A 1080p camera (mounted higher for a better view) Compatibility with 280+ Marketplace materials Compatibility with S5 project files (no reslicing needed) And a whole lot more  
        Curious to see the S7 in action?
        We’re hosting a free tech demo on February 7.
        It will be live and you can ask any questions to our CTO, Miguel Calvo.
        Register here for the Webinar
          • Like
        • 7 replies
      • UltiMaker Cura 5.3.0-Alpha 🎄 Tree Support Spotlight 🎄
        Are you a fan of tree support, but dislike the removal process and the amount of filament it uses? Then we would like to invite you to try this special release of UltiMaker Cura. Brought to you by our special community contributor @thomasrahm
        We generated a special version of Cura 5.2 called 5.3.0 Alpha + Xmas. The only changes we introduced compared to UltiMaker Cura 5.2.1 are those which are needed for the new supports. So keep in mind, this is not a sneak peek for Cura 5.3 (there are some really cool new features coming up) but a spotlight release highlighting this new version of tree supports.  
          • Like
        • 16 replies
      • New here? Get ahead with a free onboarding course
        Often getting started is the most difficult part of any process. A good start sets you up for success and saves you time and energy that could be spent elsewhere. That is why we have a onboarding course ready for
        Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle, Ultimaker S5, Ultimaker S3 Ultimaker 2+ Connect.   
        They're ready for you on the Ultimaker Academy platform. All you need to do to gain access is to register your product to gain free access. 
        Ready? Register your product here in just 60 seconds.
          • Like
        • 14 replies
    • Create New...