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Tips to improve small objects print quality?

Posted by Lexar 
Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 05, 2017 09:33AM
I am sort of stuck in a dilemma of how to print very small objects with good quality. From here I am trying to print the "Leg_Hinge_001.STL" file and it has to be printed pretty good in order for the landing leg to clip on properly. I've tried printing with support material and a slow speed but it's just too hard to take the rafting (that is already fused) off of the hinges, along with the fact it sometimes looks like a mess. Any tips would be great. I am using Slic3r and OctoPrint too.
Re: Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 05, 2017 04:01PM
Hi small parts are tricky.

Best thing is to print a sacrificial tower:


Also decided to break out the 0.2mm nozzle which I haven't used before. Doesn't seem to make much difference to your part (0.2mm is on the right):

But does mean you can print a 13% scale Benchy (ish).

Also the part was awkward as there was no flat side:

And so had to be printed with support.

These were ABS at 240 deg C nozzle, and 115 deg C bed, printed slow at 25mm/s.


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Re: Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 05, 2017 04:43PM
Thanks for replying.

I'm using PLA and with a 0.35mm Nozzle diameter, so if I used your settings for Slic3r, could that help a bit? If I may ask, why print a sacrificial tower?

Also, would you suggest that I print at 25mm/s for all settings on the Speed tab of Slic3r and increase the heat to about 220C? Could that help? and concerning the supports, do you just have the supports at 45 or 60? From looking at your pieces, it looks like you only had supports for the bottom half of hinge

I've tried to print this slowly, at 210C, with supports on and it still looks like a big blob of mess, especially with the supports being fused to the build, barely outlining the shape of the hinge.

Sorry for all the questions!
Re: Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 06, 2017 01:07AM
Hi my slic3r settings you can have but they might not help that much, different material, different printer.

I print a tower as the part is small so it gives it chance to cool between layers. This is much more effective than slowing down the print or having a huge fan, of course if you want to do all 3 that's fine.

Printing slow is a good idea but too slow and you might run into problems with material breaking down in the heater block. I'd use less temperature not more. I print pla at 195 but 185 isnt unheard of, presuming actual temp not indicated temp. This matches with what you said about it all looking like a mess, too hot and /or over extruded.

The only support required is the base which is uneven all the other angles are 45 degrees max which should be no problem on any printer.


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[www.thingiverse.com] DemonDeltaMicro - Micro Delta Printer & Things I've made/remixed.
Re: Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 06, 2017 07:05AM
Awesome thanks. I've tried what you suggested and it still seems to be "smooshing" up near the top. Would decreasing the Layer Height help with this? Besides that, it's a whole lot better than before and what really counts is the functionality so its making progress

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2017 07:27AM by Lexar.
Re: Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 06, 2017 07:06AM
What layer height and nozzle size are you using currently?


[www.precisionpiezo.co.uk] Accurate, repeatable, versatile z-probe.
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Re: Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 06, 2017 07:28AM
Im using 0.2mm for the layer height and 0.35mm for the first layer height with the Nozzle diameter being 0.35mm

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2017 07:31AM by Lexar.
Re: Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 06, 2017 09:11AM
Yes you'll benefit from using a lower layer height for two main reasons, with such a small part the layers are a bigger proportion of the part so resolving the details is easier with lower layer heights. Also you'll get less curl on overhangs especially with decent fans.


[www.precisionpiezo.co.uk] Accurate, repeatable, versatile z-probe.
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[www.thingiverse.com] DemonDeltaMicro - Micro Delta Printer & Things I've made/remixed.
Re: Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 06, 2017 10:12AM
Alright awesome. I've tried that and there was a stark contrast from earlier prints. Now one more question if you don't mind haha. I've gotten most of the parts printed except for the legs, and the main problem is the support material. Here you can see the print itself turned out fine, but the support material fused with the build. I currently have the Pattern Spacing as 5mm, Pattern angle 0, Interface Layers as 4 layers and Interface pattern spacing 4mm. It was easy to peal off the material except for the edges and some crevasses as you can see. Any ideas on how to improve the settings? Much obliged !
Re: Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 06, 2017 10:30AM
I find support with PLA and PETG very difficult to work with as removal is tricky. ABS supports come away easily but it's a more difficult material to work with in terms of bed adhesion and warping.

If you haven't tried it download prusa slic3r, it will use your existing slic3r settings so it's the easiest upgrade ever. It makes much better supports, and does cubic infill which is genuinely 3d and saves a ton of filament even on functional parts.


[www.precisionpiezo.co.uk] Accurate, repeatable, versatile z-probe.
[www.facebook.com] Post an image of your setup, give us a like/share


[www.thingiverse.com] DemonDeltaMicro - Micro Delta Printer & Things I've made/remixed.
Re: Tips to improve small objects print quality?
August 06, 2017 10:57AM
Alright, will do! Thanks for your help!
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