Surface Finish Calibration Test Shape
by whpthomas, published
If you are having problems with uneven surface finish in things with curved surfaces, this calibration shape provides a quick print shape with a diversity of surfaces to check. I made this as an alternative to the standard 20 x 20 x 10 calibration cube.
<b>UPDATE (Feb 7th 2013)</b> New Slic3r Config files for the Replicator 2. You still need to use ReplicatorG to load the sliced gcode files and export as x3g to print. Scroll to the bottom of Instructions below for installation guide.
I have also recently added a new 340 micron profile for when you just want to print something quickly, and a new 340 ZERO FILL to make it easier to create Stretchlet Bracelets like emmett's http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:13505
Version 6 profiles have been tweaked for the new 7.0 firmware. I have also described all the key changes I have made in these profiles so you know what I have changes and why, so you can experiment yourselves. I have tried to be a bit conservative with the settings in the profiles provided here, so read the comments below to tweak them even further if you feel the need to.
Because a few of you have asked - Paypal donations graciously accepted - whpthomas at yahoo dot com
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print, review, tweak, calibrate...
I have included my best Replicator 2 profiles for 0.1 and 0.2 mm layer heights in ReplicatorG. To install them, select an existing profile you have already duplicated, then in the ReplicatorG menu select <b>GCode->Edit Slicing Profiles...</b> and click on the <b>Locate</b> button. On my mac this opens up <b>~/.replicatorg/sf_50_profiles/...</b> with the folder of the currently selected profile highlighted. Select the parent directory i.e. <b>~/.replicatorg/sf_50_profiles</b> and unzip the profile files in that parent folder. They should turn up in the <b>GCode->Edit Slicing Profiles...</b> and <b>Generate</b> next time you run ReplicatorG.
If you are using the latest version of Makerware, download the Makerware_profiles-xx.zip and unzip them into your <b>~/Things/Profiles</b> folder. For more info on using these scroll down to the bottom.
These profiles were saved from my Mac, so if you unzip on a PC, check in the skeinforge <b>Alteration Module</b> to ensure the start and end code file names are correct as well as the <b>Home Module</b>. Sometimes these will be blank - so copy the filenames over form a working Replicator 2 profile if they are missing.
Make sure to measure each roll of filament you load and enter the diameter under <b>Print-O-Matic->Plastic</b>, if you can't 1.75 is a good starting point.
<b>100 micron print settings</b>
Infill 30% Layer Height 0.1mm Number of shells 3 Feedrate 80 mm/s Travel Feedrate 150 mm/s Print Temprature 230c (*)
<b>200 micron print settings</b>
Infill 20% Layer Height 0.2 to 0.3 mm Number of shells 1 Feedrate 80 mm/s Travel Feedrate 150 mm/s Print Temprature 230c (*)
The 200 micron profile uses the <b>Skin Module</b> to print the outside layer at half the layer height i.e. 100 micron for a 0.2mm layer height, however the surface finish is not as good as the 100 micron profile, but it prints twice as fast!
<b>340 micron print settings</b>
Infill 10% Layer Height 0.34 mm Number of shells 1 Feedrate 80 mm/s Travel Feedrate 150 mm/s Print Temprature 230c (*)
*If you are in a hot humid climate like me (34c & 90%) and having problems with stalls, droping the print temperature a few degrees can help.
<b>340 micron zero fill (for Stretchlet Bracelets)</b>
Infill 0% Layer Height 0.34 mm Number of shells 0 Feedrate 80 mm/s Travel Feedrate 150 mm/s Print Temprature 240c
These are the Skeinforge settings I modify - and why.
Firstly the material is set as ABS - I know, the Replicator 2 only prints PLA - WTF? However its just the way it has been setup, changing the material to PLA seems to break everything, so better to leave well enough alone - promise to have a go at 'correcting' this some time in the future.
Clip Over Perimeter Width = 0.2
This helps to reduce the little blobs or zits that form where the nozzle loops start.
Minimum Layer Time = 2
This is supposed to help endure that small layers don't melt. But if the nozzle slows down too much, it just sits there and melts the thing it is trying to cool.
Extruder Retraction Speed = 20
Filament Diameter = 1.75
Filament Packing Density = 0.97
I have tried values between 0.93 and 1.0 but I think 0.97 is the most reliable. If you are getting too much plastic, 1.0 may be better, however if inter-layer adhesion is an issue drop down to 0.93. I have also found that clear and white PLA prefer higher packing densities like 1.0, whereas black and grey prefer lower numbers like 0.95.
Retraction Distance = 0.5
This helps to get rid of excessive strings. However too much retraction and too much heat can lead to jams as it sucks in air bubbles.
Restart Extra Distance = 0 to -0.1
This will also reduce the little blobs or zits that form where the nozzle loops start by relieving back pressure. However make sure this is a very small negative number - larger numbers can cause printing gaps, or worse unload your filament mid print if there are too many islands, and positive numbers will increase back pressure and lead to jams.
Extra Shells on Base Layers = 2
Helps to stitch overlapping layers to the perimeter. Use in conjunction with either 1 or >= 3 extra shells in Print-O-Matic
I think this is both the fastest and strongest infill pattern, and it works with both 0% and 100% Print-O-Matic settings
Solid Surface Thickness = 3 for 200 micron and 6 for 100 micron
Sets the number of layers printed for the top and bottom layers.
Start From Choice = Nearest
Stops all the little blobs and zits forming in the Lower Lefthand Corner.
Loops -> Perimeter -> Infill
Ensures the best surface quality on the outer perimeter shell.
Infill in Direction of Bridge
Generally I leave this feature on, to ensure overhanging bridges are filled in the right direction. However, if you have a shape where the first layer is the bottom of a curved surface that is protruding outward this will result all the base layers printing in the same direction, so if you notice this happening, turning off this feature will correct it.
Jitter Over Perimeter Width = 2 or 10 to 15
Alters the perimeter starting point (called the zipper) - spreads imperfections around so they are not all in the one place. Although sometime you want this to be 2 so its in one discrete line that is hidden in a crevice somewhere.
For my 200 micron prints I activate this module.
Horizontal Infil Divisions = 2 Horisontal Perimeter Divisions = 1 Vertical Divisions = 2
This gives your 0.2 mm layer height prints a 0.1 mm skin - so you get twice the print speed with a surface finish almost as good as 100 micron.
Convex enabled Gap over Perimeter Width = 10
Runs a bead of filament around your base layer before it starts so as to prime the extruder and ensure your base layer gets off to a good start.
Having problems with the first layer sticking too hard to the build plate
Object First Layer Feed Rate Infill Multiplier = 0.9 Object First Layer Feed Rate Perimeter Multiplier = 0.9 Object First Layer Flow Rate Infill Multiplier = 0.8 Object First Layer Flow Rate Perimeter Multiplier = 0.9
Having problems getting the first layer to stick
Object First Layer Feed Rate Infill Multiplier = 0.6 Object First Layer Feed Rate Perimeter Multiplier = 0.6 Object First Layer Flow Rate Infill Multiplier = 0.53 Object First Layer Flow Rate Perimeter Multiplier = 0.6
If you are printing directly onto your acrylic build plate, and having problems with PLA sticking too well, a light dab of olive oil and polish with a tissue to create a very thin film will help. With a light sheen of vegetable oil objects will still stick, but also snap off easily. If you put too much on, rub down with a bit of mentholated spirits or rubbing alcohol.
Perimeter Feed Rate Multiplier = 0.5 Perimeter Flow Rate Multiplier = 0.5
For mechanical parts with fine tolerances - particularly small parts, setting the Perimeter to 0.4 or even 0.3 can improve surface accuracy and remove ringing artefacts.
<b>USING MAKERWARE CUSTOM PROFILES</b>
In MakerWare there is no Print-O-Matic for custom profiles - so this is where you find those settings in skeinforge.
Infill (%) = Fill->Infill Solidity (ratio)
With this one, make sure to divide the Infill percentage you usually use by 100 to get the ratio.
Number of Shells = Fill->Extra Shells on Alternating Solid Layer Layer Height = Carve->Layer Height Temperature->Extruder = Temperature... Speed while extruding = Speed->Feed Rate and Speed->Flow Rate Setting Speed while traveling = Speed->Travel Feed Rate
Filament Diameter = Dimension->Filament Diameter
<b>INSTALLING SLIC3R CONFIGS</b>
Use the <b>Flle->Load Config</b> to set each configuration. Save a <b>'Replicator 2'</b> printer settings, <b>'PLA 1.75'</b> filament setting (and maybe one for any other filament sizes you have eg. 1.69) and one print setting for each config (100, 200, 340 micron). You still need to use ReplicatorG to load the sliced gcode files to export the x3g file to print from your SD card.
Slic3r can be downloaded from here http://slic3r.org its OSX, Windows and Linux compatible. Slic3r is a fast slicer, and the default infill pattern also prints fast. You can also make hollow objects like vases really easily.