Mostly random collection of 3d printing thoughts

In 3D Printing, Crafts, software on December 3, 2013 at 10:25 am

I’m finding that as i do more modeling and printing I am becoming more fussy with the details. I’ve spent way too much time today working on getting all the vertices on the bottom of the model at exactly the same height.  As I’ve gotten better at using the slicing software I’ve noticed that the bottoms of my prints are sometimes not exactly equal.  The difference is only a fraction of a mm but when you are printing in .1 or .2 mm levels that fraction shows up.  If I have support material enabled it means that part of the bottom will be smooth and part will have the more jagged support material.  Without support material the print can be really sloppy in places or maybe it doesn’t adhere to the printing surface.  This is probably the worse thing that happens because it means the ABS curls or warps in some way that can ruin the print.  Sometimes (like with my chess queen) the bottom of the print is on 3 or 4 different layers for printing.  Early on I didn’t know why some prints just didn’t work.  As I get deeper into this stuff I’m discovering that it is often little things like this or maybe a surface with reversed normal (i still don’t know what causes this or why it is even a thing, but at least i know how to detect it and fix it now).  Finding and fixing these is giving me a much better success rate for my prints.

Something else I’ve figured out is why I was having so many problems with Slic3r.  Slic3r does a very poor job of alerting you to problems with a print.  It combines this with a very aggressive method of attempting to fix problems.  Now that I am learning how to find these problems other ways Slic3r is giving me much better results.  KISSlicer is excellent for this, I run most .stl files through it just to see what problems I might have missed even if i don’t plan on using KISSlicer to generate my gcode for the print.  I’ve also discovered how to find many of these problems within Blender while I am doing the modeling.  It actually detects a few more problems I had not heard of before.  I’m not even sure what one of them is or how to fix it yet.  It doesn’t seem to be effecting my prints so it might just be something that would effect rendering the model or using it in animation.  I”m not sure yet.



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