Bridge Calibration Test

by 3D-ME, published

Bridge Calibration Test by 3D-ME Mar 29, 2014
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This is a test object to calibrate bridges on your printer, and is designed to print as quickly and economically as possible, by minimizing time and material spent on areas not necessary for proper calibration.
Bridging is your printer's ability to print a layer between gaps in lower layers without support, essentially printing over thin air, creating a "bridge". It is very important that your printer can properly bridge, because many prints require some bridging.
Head on over to the 'instructions' tab to get started.
The first two files (pictured) have an overall length is 40mm with a bridge 30mm long.
The first file is about 13mm (1/2") tall, and the second file is about 6mm (1/4") tall to save even more time.
I also added two more bridges, one with a 75mm bridge, and the other with a whopping 100mm bridge!


  1. Slice the file with a low infill, and take note of your bridging speed.
  2. Print the file
  3. Observe the bridge. if it is perfect got to step 6, if not, go to the next step
  4. If the bridge is sagging or drooping, change the bridge speed settings in your slicer software. Slow your bridge speed by an increment of 10 mm/sec, then print another. My final speed was 10 mm/sec.
  5. Repeat 1-4 as needed until you get a nice flat bridge
  6. Post your bridge here under the "I made one" tab, with your bridging speed, and a picture showing off your print!

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What do you change in S3D to bridge speed settings ?

You mention clicking the 'instructions' tab for more info, but there are no tab/button for instructions.
In 'contents' there is a clickable link to 'instructions' but it does not appear to take me to any new instructions?
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:284380#custom instructions

Bridge Calibration Test
by 3D-ME

I'm getting a saggy bridge underneath and is very stringy. I'm using a Printrbot simple with matercontrol as a slicer my temp is as low as I can get it to extrude properly my speeds for infill are 60 m/s and my bridge speed is at 30m/s
After the stringy layers print on it seems that my hot end actually pushes is down. I've printed bigger prints such as a rabbit and I've seen the same stringy filimant at the start of a bridge on them as well that seems to droop and makes the whole thing look undesirable. Any tips on what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks very much. Never thought of using test jobs to calibrate certain aspects of a print.
I literally got my kit prusa up and running last night. Made 2 tests so far. A shot glass and a figurine. The cup worked out fairly well. The figurine looked a bit rough than I thought. I was supplied with their disc recommended setups via slicer but I know I'm going to have to adjust these settings. I have absolutely no idea what each configuration will do yet and this is a good step in the right direction.
I want to make it as smooth as possible. What settings do I normally play with to achieve this? Make it run slower?

I am not able to set set the bridge perimeter speed, the bridge I am able to slow down but not the bridge perimeter. I am using Slic3r. You can view my result at the following link http://www.ifmarkdesigns.com/Sharing/Bridge_Test_01.jpg

Do you know of the setting that I can set to slow the bridge perimeter speed, is that even possible? Thanks in advance.

I don't think you can slow down bridge perimeters specifically in Slic3r, however I usually run my external perimeters fairly slow anyways. Your printer does seem to be pushing out too much material on the bridges, maybe reducing the bridging extrusion multiplier will help you get a better bridge. Good luck!

Thank you for the quick response! Slic3r now has a bridge perimeter control, which I set. It uses your bridge speed when activated. And I got it printing over air! It is slightly over extruding so I will adjust that tonight and post my test print. Thanks again!

I haven't printing much lately, and my slic3r version is rather old, haha, but I'm happy to be of help!

I am using simplify3d and a flashforge creator pro. I cannot seem to get this right. The first layer of the bridge prints great when I lower the print speed and other parameters mentioned in this thing, however the second layer always causes the print speed to dramatically increase to non bridging speeds, and the nozzle scrapes the first layer to pieces. Any advice?

printed great. perfect to test my new hotend fan duct

Glad it worked well!

I am not able to get a single string across the two towers. The filament just sticks to the nozzle and forms a blob. Does anyone have any suggestions to how I can get a bridge ? I'm printing at 0.1 mm layer height.

I used Bridge 2, tried with 100%, 80% and 30% Bridging speed, but there seemed to be only the slightest difference (I use Simplify3D on my computer and repetierHost on the Laptop i use for printing, idk if the Laptop kinda "supressed" this configuration or if it just doesn't make a big difference on my printer), but the results were still quite okay. I can also change the amount of material extruded while building a bridge, could that also be relevant or not really?

Some people like to extrude slightly less material while bridging with the hopes that it will cause the thread to form higher, and thus a flatter bridge. I doubt that your laptop makes a big difference, and I have sometimes had to use 10% bridging speed with my printer.

In simplify drop the extrusion below 100%, I tweaked mine down to 80-90% and of course the speed down too. All in the other tab of the process FFF. That stretched the string out and of course a print fan made all of the difference for me.

I can't even get the bridge across them towers to stick. The filament either sticks to the nozzle or the entire filament would just drop to the bed.

I tried playing with the multiplier already.

It might be print temperature, then. What material are you using, and what temperature is your nozzle when printing?

I would try printing the bridge at 10%, and it might help to reduce the bridge extrusion rate down a little bit as well. For example, my bridging speed is usually 10-15% with a bridge extrusion rate at about 90%.

(btw 100% is 3600mm/min if that varies with different printers) The printing speed alone didn't change much (but the quality wasn't very bad, the lowest layer hung a little bit but the rest was nice and flat), but i'll try again with the settings you suggested and less extrusion rate tomorrow, thanks (Y)

Very helpful, thanks. :)

I used bridge2, printed 9 times, with speeds of 75, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 15, 10, 5. 10mm/sec returned the best results for my printer.

I'm glad that it helped you!
I printed bridge2 at 10 mm/sec today, and it turned out better than the speed that I had before. (75 mm/sec) Slower speeds definitely work better for bridging.