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Topolabs nonplanar FDM FFF toolpaths for improved desktop 3D printing quality

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It's an interesting idea but it seems a bit time intensive and finicky with the very dense support "mould" being printed first and then covered in tape. Seems like going down in layer thickness would produce similar results. He's using fat 0.25mm layers (although he calls them very thin..) which I'm guessing is sort of necessary to compensate for the randomness of the tape. Going down to 0.1 and 0.06 layers you're taking away a lot of that stepping. I printed a frog yesterday at 0.06mm and I have to get the light to hit it juuuust right to be able to even see the layers.

I think varying the layer height in conventional slicing could produce really really good results as well. Use nice and chunky layers for straight walls and go down to thinner layers where there's curves.


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It's probably more about the texture and stability. The part he printed in this video has a very nice texture and is probably a lot stronger than if it were printed conventionally. There are a lot more consistent strings running all over the surface.

Also, it doesn't look like he's running a dual extrusion setup. The second color was added in a second step which would be unthinkable with conventional slicing. (Not sure if that's actually true, but it does look like it)

The question is, how much effort does it take to generate such a code? Can the Arduino handle it?

I think it would be a very good feature, but not more. Usually you'd want to print conventionally. But if it isn't that difficult to implement this technique for example into Cura, then it would surely be a welcome addition.


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Ultimaker, and Marlin can handle this. Joris has already made some cups on an ultimaker that uses this Z movement technique. He did it with a Cura plugin that moves Z also:

Very cool:


Pay particular attention to the coloring - Joris changed filament to other colors part way through.

I think the multi color aspect of this topolabs thing is the coolest idea by far. Be aware that if your nozzle doesn't come to a perfect point there will be a limit to how steep the Z axis can go on your part.


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