1st Post - Understanding relationships in Cura

Discussion of Ultimaker's open-source Cura software
Tessmacher
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1st Post - Understanding relationships in Cura

Post by Tessmacher »

Hi all!

I am in the process of familiarizing myself with Cura, and have v.4.4.1 installed. I have been playing around with it, primarily to learn what the features are, because I have not yet acquired the printer, and it is my intention to purchase a Creality Ender 3 Pro. The acquisition of the printer has to wait, for various unrelated reasons, hence my wish to become more familiar with the slicer program.

I am going to be printing a fairly large set of parts, ranging in size from 88.95mm tall to 152.41mm tall, and 48.87mm to 53.98mm in diameter. Most of the parts are generally cylindrical in nature, with diameter variations, save for one part with a semi-rectangular profile above a cylindrical base.

Because of the size of these parts, (ranging in height from 3.5" to 6") it is my intention to print them with a 0.6mm nozzle. I plan to use Hatchbox PLA filament.

I do not have a good understanding of the relationships between many of the settings in Cura, and I was hoping to start a running discussion on how to set up, to get reasonable quality out of the prints. There will be a total of 74 of the parts printed, so I'd rather not waste a lot of filament playing around with settings, and hope to benefit from the experience of more knowledgeable users. I hope to get answers aimed at inexperienced users, rather than those intended for more experienced users. Thanks.

Primarily, I don't understand the relationships between the "Quality" and "Shell" settings. Is there a reasonably descriptive explanation of how these interact, available for reading?

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GrueMaster
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Re: 1st Post - Understanding relationships in Cura

Post by GrueMaster »

The "Shell" is the outer layer of the print, and the settings relate to its thickness. Settings like how many lines are used to form the shell for example. This can help with surface strength (rice paper vs brick wall for an extreme analogy). For the best bottom surface, make sure the print bed is tuned very well. A properly tuned bed will result in a glass-like surface for your first layer when you pull it up. The top layer can be smoothed with a process called ironing (setting in Cura Shell section). This will run the hot end over the printed surface without extruding to get an 'ironing' effect that helps smooth the surface.

The "Quality" section relate to the height of each progressive layer and the output of each line the printhead makes. It controls the layer height, which can lead to better quality vs faster print times. See this article for a better explaination of layer height.

Tessmacher
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Re: 1st Post - Understanding relationships in Cura

Post by Tessmacher »

Thank you for the link to the article, but it really didn't address the intent of my original post, i.e. what the relationships between the settings are. It was far too "generic" in it's explanation. I know what "shell" is, as it's pretty obvious, but I don't know what the relationships between the settings involve. Perhaps I should give a more detailed explanation of what I'm looking for, to avoid getting responses that don't address what I've asked.

To that end: If I make a change in Layer Height from a Height of 0.2 and a width of 0.4, to say, a Height of 0.5 and a Width of 0.5 again, with an 0.6 nozzle, what will that do to the finished print? I don't really care a great deal about the "smoothness" or detail in the final product, as it is a fairly general cylindrical shape, with minor variations in diameter. I've attached a photo of one of the parts, as an illustration.
part-004.png
I'm aware of the need for supports, and I'm reasonably sure I have already figured that one out in Cura. My question is, how to understand the relationships between the settings so that I end up with a print that won't take 2 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes and use up 130.31 meters of filament? I hope that makes sense.

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond! I do appreciate it!! :-D

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LePaul
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Re: 1st Post - Understanding relationships in Cura

Post by LePaul »

I'm working to master Cura better since I have just setup two Ultimaker S5's at work

Here's a marvelous resource from Ultimaker

https://ultimaker.com/en/resources/21932-mastering-cura

Tessmacher
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Re: 1st Post - Understanding relationships in Cura

Post by Tessmacher »

Wow! That's the best set of explanations I've seen yet!

Thank you for posting that!!

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