Jump to content

Noob Question: How to improve this print (Calibration Cube)


Recommended Posts

Posted · Noob Question: How to improve this print (Calibration Cube)

Hi all,

I am an absolute 3D printing beginner, so I am i little overwhelmed with all the settings in cura.

I used the Cura extension "Calibration shapes" to print some calibration cubes with my Anycubic Kobra Max.


I am not really satisfied with the result.

The top is not good looking

the corners aren't really sharp

you can see horizontal and vertical "ghosting" from the "X" and "Y" all way around the surface (even on the sides were there is not even a letter) 


The first two cubes are printed with 80mm/s. The second large one with 40% Speed.

I also tried the cube with enabled and disables acceleration and jerk control in cura.


Can someone give me a hint what knobs i have to tune to improve my prints?


Thank in advance





  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted (edited) · Noob Question: How to improve this print (Calibration Cube)

    Whether the printer came as a kit, or assembled from the factory, there are a couple of things to do to the machine itself to insure the mechanicals are adjusted.  Do not assume that because certain parts were assembled by Anycubic that they were assembled correctly.

    Use a carpenter square and a straightedge and go over the frame.  You want the 3 axes to be as close to 90° to each other as you can get them.  My ender came with a 2° angle between the X and Y and that was a factory assembled piece.  Don't be afraid to loosen some screws and make some adjustments.  These are basically simple motorized machines.

    Next is the X beam.  You have dual Z screws and motors with a timing belt across the top.  You don't want the two sides fighting each other.  The same is true for your bed trolleys.  The beams the bed travels on need to be precisely parallel or there will be binding and your prints will suffer.  The vertical Z beams also need to be exactly parallel or the X beam will rotate as it rises.

    With the machine cold - wiggle the nozzle.  There shouldn't be any movement but loose hot ends have been known to happen (one of those factory things).

    Each set of trolley wheels should have one that is mounted on an eccentric cam so it is adjustable.  You should be able to just rotate an wheels with your fingers.  If you can't then the adjuster wheel needs to be moved away from the slot.  If it is too loose then the adjuster wheel needs to be moved in to the slot.

    When all of that is done then the printer should make nice square prints.

    The Extruder motor may need calibration.  Within the gcode files you print are "E" values and they are in "mm's of filament".  When a command tells the extruder to deliver 100mm of filament then exactly 100mm of filament should come out of the extruder.  There are a ton of videos out there on how to calibrate the E-steps.  This is likely what is wrong with your top surfaces.  Going along with this is an exact measurement of your filament diameter.  That number goes into Cura and is used to calculate the volume of an extrusion.  When people talk about 100% Flow they are talking about the ratio of "Volume of Filament extruded" to "Volume of extrusion at the nozzle".  When that is even steven you have 100% flow.  If your filament says 1.75mm on the package but is actually 1.72mm when you measure it, and Cura has 1.75 as the filament diameter, you will have a built in 4% under-extrusion.

    Use a flat topped calibration cube and scale it to about 75 x 75 x 1mm thick.  Slice it and print it.  Top surfaces are the best for checking the flow to see if you are under-extruding (gaps between adjacent extrusions), over-extruding (ridges and the nozzle looks to be bulldozing plastic) or just right which looks....just right.  A magnifying glass can help.  Remember these are practices and can be aborted when you see something and recognize that you want to make a change.


    Non-square corners can be caused by loose machine parts.  Extrusion problems can be from E-steps being out of whack.  Ringing is usually a speed/accel/jerk thing.  It's hard to tune ringing out.

    You never really turn Accel and Jerk control off.  You can set them in Cura to certain values but if you don't "enable" the accel and jerk in Cura then the printer will use what it has saved internally.  Right now don't worry about it but you should enable both in Cura (500 accel for everything and 8 Jerk for everything) so you can start building a baseline for your settings.


    There.  Now you have something to do tonight.

    Edited by GregValiant
    • Like 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted (edited) · Noob Question: How to improve this print (Calibration Cube)

    Add: I try to connect my printer to my PC but all i get is "device descriptor failure" in the device manager. I tried many different attempts to solve this problem, but without any success so far 😕

    Edited by firefist235
  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · Noob Question: How to improve this print (Calibration Cube)

    That might be because the USB to Serial drivers aren't installed on the port.  Have you tried other USB ports on the computer?  When Cura was installed it should have installed the port driver.

    In the screenshot you can see that the USB port is listed under "Ports (COM and LPT)".  The "USB-SERIAL CH340" is the driver and in my case my printer is connected to COM11 which is the port name.



  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted (edited) · Noob Question: How to improve this print (Calibration Cube)

    I've written this little app.  It's more versatile than Cura in regards to communicating with the printer as you can actually view the responses from the printer.  It checks the baud rate up to 250,000 and the Com Ports from COM1 to COM40.


    It's for Windows only and is unsigned (that costs money) so if you decide to try it you would have to fool your anti-virus into letting it install.


    I've been under the hood on this today.  If you use it please let me know if there are glitches.  This does not send Gcode files over the USB but rather controls printing from the SD card from the computer keyboard rather than the knob on the printer.


    Connect the printer to the computer and then start the app.  There is a readme file.


    Greg's SD Print Tool

    Edited by GregValiant
  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · Noob Question: How to improve this print (Calibration Cube)

    Thanks alot. But i don't think this would work because my PC dont even recognise the printer correctly. I think there is some hardware failure

  • 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

      • S-Line Firmware 8.3.0 was released Nov. 20th on the "Latest" firmware branch.
        (Sorry, was out of office when this released)

        This update is for...
        All UltiMaker S series  
        New features
        Temperature status. During print preparation, the temperatures of the print cores and build plate will be shown on the display. This gives a better indication of the progress and remaining wait time. Save log files in paused state. It is now possible to save the printer's log files to USB if the currently active print job is paused. Previously, the Dump logs to USB option was only enabled if the printer was in idle state. Confirm print removal via Digital Factory. If the printer is connected to the Digital Factory, it is now possible to confirm the removal of a previous print job via the Digital Factory interface. This is useful in situations where the build plate is clear, but the operator forgot to select Confirm removal on the printer’s display. Visit this page for more information about this feature.
          • Like
        • 0 replies
      • Ultimaker Cura 5.6 stable released
        Cura now supports Method series printers!
        A year after the merger of Ultimaker and MakerBotQQ, we have unlocked the ability for users of our Method series printers to slice files using UltiMaker Cura. As of this release, users can find profiles for our Method and Method XL printers, as well as material profiles for ABS-R, ABS-CF, and RapidRinse. Meaning it’s now possible to use either Cura or the existing cloud-slicing software CloudPrint when printing with these printers or materials
        • 48 replies
    • Create New...