You may have recalled the ‘More Options’ tab when you sliced your last print. Lets click that tab.
You’ll now see: Layer Height, Shells, Infill, Speed and Temperature
These all affect the quality of the print in some way. Let’s go through how each affects the print.
Layer Height – the height of each layer of filament being extruded. It is used to determine the vertical resolution of a print. Layer Height is typically measured in microns or millimeters. Finder’s default setting is set to 0.18mm or 180 microns (0.18 x 1000). Decreasing the layer height makes printing longer but it will produce high-quality prints and increasing it would speed up the printing time but reduce the print quality.
At DHF, we print with layers ranging from 0.1mm – 3mm but mainly print with a layer height 0.2mm or 0.25mm. We do this to print all our youth prints efficiently without reducing the quality so much. We only print at 0.1mm for certain paid jobs.
Shells- the outer vertical layer of a print that affects the strength of the print. If you increase the shell count you’re telling the printer to build a larger border within the interior.
Infill- The infill is the structural support within the print that also determines the strength. Think of it like the structural support of a building. There are a number of different types of infill but the more common type is the honeycomb pattern. It replicates the interior structure of a beehive which is believed to be one of the strongest structures in the animal kingdom.
Speed- Print speed determines how fast the extruder moves across each layer and sometimes how fast it extrudes filament. The speed of a print can dramatically change how your print comes out. Some filaments need a slower print time than other types like flexible filament. But if printing with the standard PLA, slow speeds improves quality and faster speeds can worsen the quality.
Temperature- Printing temp is important for getting a successful print. Most filament begins to melt at about 200℃ and if the printer’s hotend doesn’t get hot enough you could risk clogging it. Some printers have heated beds that help prints with adhesion, they can heat up to about 120 ℃. Filaments like ABS and Nylon would require a heated bed.
You’ll do fine with the default printing settings but we recommend changing these presets:
3D models with large overhangs will require a support structure to successfully print. Overhangs are any part of a print that protrudes from the base of the model without proper support. Most printers can handle any overhangs less than 45 degrees.
A support structure is generated by the slicer and placed beneath the surface of any overhangs. In some slicers you have the option to choose where supports are placed, luckily FlashPrint is one.
As mentioned in the video above, there are different types of support structures you can use. FlashPrint only offers tree-like support and linear support. We like to use linear support because it’s easier to remove then the tree-like structure and doesn’t leave much scarring on the print once it’s gone.
Let’s load up another file into FlashPrint, import 4-support.stl from your flash drive
This file presents multiple overhangs and will need support to successfully print.
Click ‘Supports’ and then click ‘Supports Options’
Change the supports type to Linear and the Overhang Threshold to 45° and then click ok.
Now click ‘Auto Supports’ , click ‘Back’ and then save the supports to the file.
Go ahead print this file and practice removing the supports from this file.
Once you complete the support test, go ahead practice slicing and printing the remaining test files on the flashdrive.