Previously, we saw where and how to download the program and program the printer.
Today, we’ll see some useful printing parameters.
Drag your 3D entity inside the slicer. This object was made with Tinkercad, which is a program that allows you to create 3D models. I did create a series of tutorials dedicated to Tinkercad (here).
Before going further with the parameters, I’d like to introduce you to the layer view or slicing. Click on the button Slice on your right.
It displays the changes when we modify the parameters.
It’s an important simulation to understand the path of the 3D printer. You can have a preview of potential critical points and fragile parts and possible errors. That’s why you should always do it before printing. Better safe than sorry, especially when the entity takes hours to be printed.
Theoretically, these parameters should be changed each time you start a new project, according to the kind of entity you are going to print.
Usually, 3D printers have got a 0.4mm nozzle, meaning the width of the track is 0.4mm.
However, the nozzle can be changed as well as the track width.
Rule: the layer cannot be thinner than 0.06mm and it cannot be thicker than 3/4 the nozzle size.
With a 0,4mm nozzle you can set:
- 0.1mm layer height for high quality;
- 0.2mm layer height for medium quality;
- 0.3mm layer height for low quality;
As we already know, layer height and quality have a direct influence on the printing speed.
Wall thickness refers to the distance between one surface of your model and its opposite sheer surface. Wall thickness is defined as the minimum thickness your model should have at any time. Every surface of your 3D model must be assigned a wall thickness.
The shells are the red parts in the picture below.
Infill density is the amount of filament printed inside the object, and this directly relates to the strength, weight, and printing duration of your print. Different 3D print infill types, or infill patterns, can affect the object’s final strength without changing the print’s weight or filament used.
In the picture above, the infill density is 100%. If we were to change it to 15%, the green parts would be thinner.
Supports are needed when there is an incline over 65°. Overhangs need construction supports to avoid the PLA to fall off. Supports are the parts in a light blue color.
Temperature changes according to the material type and can vary from company to company.
Temperature affects the resistance of the objects and the supports removal.