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A must-read for 3D printing beginners, eight elements of slicing software

Properly setting up 3D slicing software can greatly improve the success rate of 3D printing. That’s why it’s important to understand how slicing software works and every setting that will affect the final shape of your model.

For professional users, the the the correct settings for 3D printing slicing software will effectively improve the success rate of 3D printer model printing. But at some point, professional users will also cause printing failures because they do not set up the slicing software correctly. So, how to set up the content in the slicing software?

In fact, for beginners, the biggest problem is: facing various consumables and designs, they are unable to set up the 3D printer correctly, which ultimately results in a large gap between the printed product and the product they imagined. So, as a beginner, how should you set up the slicing software correctly?

To solve this problem, you must first understand the basic functions of slicing software and understand how these functions affect 3D printing. Here are some detailed introductions.

What is 3D slicing software? What can it do?

Slicing software is a type of 3D software that converts digital 3D models into printing codes that can be recognized by the 3D printer, allowing the 3D printer to start executing printing commands.

The specific workflow is: the slicing software can horizontally cut models in STL and other formats according to the settings you choose, so as to obtain floor plans one by one, and calculate how much consumables and time the printer needs to consume. This information is then stored in a GCode file and sent to the user’s 3D printer.

Eight major issues analyzed one by one

Once you know the working principles and processes of slicing software, you need to understand the settings that affect them one by one.

1. Floor height

Layer height can be regarded as the resolution in 3D printing. This setting specifies the height of each layer of filament. If the height of each layer is low, then the finished product will be printed with a smooth surface. But this also has a disadvantage: it will consume more time.

If you adjust the layer height value to a larger value, the thicker layer will form a rough surface, thereby improving the layering. This approach will help increase the printing speed, and this setting is more suitable for printing that does not require details. model.

If you want to print a model with detail, then it is recommended to print at a thinner (lower value for layer height) height.

2. Shell thickness

The shell refers to the number of times the 3D printer prints the exterior wall according to the settings before starting to print the hollow part. This setting adjusts the thickness of the exterior wall and thus has one of the greatest impacts on the strength of the finished product. By increasing the quantity, the 3D printer will be able to print thicker and stronger facades.

3. Drawing

This function is mainly used to pull the filament back and stop the process of extruding the filament when the 3D printer needs to cross the hollow part. If you always turn this function on during the printing process, it may cause the filament to become clogged in the nozzle. In this case, you need to turn this function off.

4. Filling density

Filling refers to the space density within the model shell. This function is usually united in “%”. If you set “100%” filling, then the interior of the model will be completely filled. The higher the filling ratio, the strength and weight of the object will also increase, which will also lead to longer printing times and more consumable losses.

Normally, the filling density is 10-20%. If you need a stronger product, you can also choose a filling density of more than 75%.

5. Printing speed

Printing speed refers to the speed of the extruder when extruding filaments and traveling. The optimal setting is to find the best balance point between the extruder and the moving speed. There are many reasons for designing filaments, number of layers, temperature, etc. If a single maximum speed is sought, it will lead to messy phenomena such as draping in the final model. The slower speed can provide you with high-quality printing effects. The generally recommended speed is 40-60mm/s. During the printing process, it can also be changed at any time according to your requirements.

6. Support

When the printed model exceeds an angle of 45°, the filaments extruded by the 3D printer will not be able to lay flat in the original layers. If the printing number exceeds 45° for a long time, the appearance of the model will be rough and droopy. By adding supports, a high-quality environment without sagging can be created for the final model. Common support types include “tree”, “grid” and other shapes, and users can choose according to their own needs.

7. First layer adhesion

When some users are 3D printing, they will find that the first layer of printing cannot be effectively attached to the platform. This situation is usually caused by insufficient adhesion of the platform. In the slicing software, you can increase the filament adhesion through two settings. Platform adhesion.

Adding a surrounding layer around the low surface of the object will greatly help reduce the curling and deformation of the bottom corners, and it will be easier to remove after printing.

Bottom bracket: Print a separate layer of bracket under the object. If you print a particularly small object or the bottom surface is uneven, the bracket will improve the bonding of the bottom surface of the object. However, removing the bracket after printing will affect the print quality of the bottom surface.

8. Initial layer thickness

The initial layer refers to the thickness of the first layer printed by the 3D printer on the platform. If you want to give your model a sturdier base for printing, you can increase the thickness of the initial layer. Usually the default thickness in slicing software is 0.3-0.5mm. This value can quickly build a solid base and stick it to the platform very stably.

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