Vibration a.k.a. ripple a.k.a. shadow a.k.a. ghosting test

by orcinus, published

Vibration a.k.a. ripple a.k.a. shadow a.k.a. ghosting test by orcinus Mar 21, 2014


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  1. Print
  2. Inspect for ghosting of the sharp edges (letters, dimples, corners)
  3. Proof your machine for vibration
  4. ???
  5. Profit!


Make sure to test with both PLA and ABS at a variety of temperatures.

The hotter the extrusion, the more liquid it is and more obvious the vibration artifacts will be. Also, PLA is much less viscous than ABS.

Test with a variety of colors as well. Semi-transparent filaments tend to hide the vibration artifacts rather well. As do matte and very light filaments. Glossy black and opaque silver work very very well.

Mind the X and Y orientation when slicing - having the labels correspond to actual X and Y axes will make debugging easier.

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These tips have helped me a lot.
Thank you Orcinus.

i am STILL struggling like hell; to get good prints.. im getting vertical ripples and ghosting. i have asjusted my jerk, accel, belt tension, isolated my printer on a pad and am not about to instal glass fiber reinforced belts with a idler pullys that have 16 teeth... Please. if anyone knows good settings for the ANet a6 OR A8 let me know... this is wearing me out.

hi may i know how you change the acceleration and jerk ?>?

Either in your firmware source (configuration.h in marlin and repetier), or via eeprom settings in your host app (if it has them), or on the machine itself, if it has an LCD.

You're gonna have to anchor and brace your frame. The acrylic frame is just too flexible in every direction to eliminate the rippling. My A8 has aluminum angle stock bracing the verticals and front & rear plates, and is anchored to a thick MDS board. It helps.

I saw somewhere (don't remember where) that stated vibrations in X axis will be visible on Y axis face of this print, and vibrations in Y axis will be visible on X axis face of print. Can someone please confirm this is true? Right now I just need to find out which axis I need to look at, I have ghosting on the X axis face, but I also have some vertical ringing which is making the vertical surface faces on all sides of my prints rough (they where smoother before I did my Y axis extension (Duplicator i3). I'm printing PLA at 30mm/sec, 205c Extruder, 60c Bed, Acceleration (X and Y) set at 800, and Jerk at 8. I can provide other settings if needed, anyone got any advice? Thanks in advance

Apparently the Y axis should have a tensioner? I found one laying on the table after my Y axis extension and thought it had fell off the X axis, so that is where I put it, Im thinking this might be contributing to some of my issue, will move when I get a chance and report back, still curious about above though.

Vibration on the Y axis will be visible on the X side of the block, while vibration on the X axis will be visible on the Y side of the block.

Thank you for this, real easy way to see which axis I need to adjust.

Also weight of your x axis can really effect your x axis ghosting at fast printing speeds because tbe weight shifts past its zero at speed, truly get good speeds is lighten the x

ionno, i prefer speed AND no ghosting. I did the belt twist mod from nophead and ghosting has been a thing of the past at 80-100mm/sec

Belt twisting has nothing to do with ghosting. What you're talking about is the vertical ribbing caused by thr belt teeth rubbing against the edge of your pulley and is easily fixed by the forementioned mod or just aligning the belt path.

Really good tips, thanks!

  1. ??? = Collect underpants.

I'm also interested! What printer are you using and what did you do to get such a dramatic improvement?

There was no single thing. There are tons of little changes that contribute to reducing the vibration. For starters, knock off your acceleration and speed. Everyone keeps lusting for speed when there is no reason to - you're not producing parts en masse in a factory, there's absolutely no point in going over 50 mm/s. Don't reduce the acceleration too much or you'll start getting blobbing, but anything above the values required to avoid that is unneccessary.

Tweak the belt tension. High tension = precision and vibration. Low tension = increased positional error, but decrease vibration. Find a happy compromise between the two. Add gaskets between the steppers and whatever you're mounting them on. Depending on your linear motion system, increase the friction. Your steppers will heat up more and require more current, but the friction will dampen the vibration greatly. Isolate the extruder with cork or adhesive gel tape. Add feet to your machine, but make them layered - layer of foam, layer of gel, layer of cork. The objective isn't to make your bot immovable, but to make it wobble on the feet, as that will absorb the vibration.

Again, lots of little things. Also, bear in mind they'll be short lived. Most of the improvements i've made 9 months ago have seemingly evaporated - the belt tension changed over time, the layers of padding compressed, etc. The only "permanent" tweak is reduction in speed and acceleration.

Final note: the more rigid your machine is, the more vibration you'll get. I'm using an ORD Bot, which is as rigid as it gets. There are no plastic parts connecting the metal ones - whole machine is one big bell. You can feel the Y stepper vibration in the X gantry quite clearly, as there are no transitions between materials to soak the vibration up. Rule number one in isolating anything is - the more transitions, the better. Also, the more rigid the machine, the higher the resonant frequency.

Thanks for these tips!!!
Another way to improve prints is at design level, rounding shapes as much as possible on intersections. Solidworks allows to do that very easily. More difficult with OpenSCAD...

That's true. Fillets help a great deal. Unfortunately they don't help with cases such as organics, sculptures, high res scans etc.

+1 to the comments regarding speed. I was caught up in that game for awhile when I first got my printer. Eventually my buddy said "why do you need to print fast?" Now I usually print around 35mm/sec.

when you say 35mm/s, do you mean outside perimeters at 35mm/s? Because 35mm/s is meaningless when it comes to slicers like Cura where they have a Main Print speed, but all actual speeds (Infill, perimeters, top and bottoms, etc) are calculated from the Main Speed.
So assuming this is the case with your posted speed of 35mm/s, in cura that really translates to a visible perimeter speed of only 17.5mm/s.
This is indeed pretty slow.

Is that the case for you?

What params can be adjusted to reduce such artifacts?

See my reply above.