Skeinforge Settings Help

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joecross
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Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby joecross » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:16 am

I'm busy printing the Raptor Reloaded on my new CTC printer (Replicator clone). I'm having trouble printing the fingers without supports because the edges keep curling up as soon as it gets to the overhang (you can see it on the top finger in the picture below). Adding supports fixes the problem, but then I have to cut and sand off the supports, which makes the fingers look ugly.

I think my biggest problem is that there are SOOOO many Skeinforge settings and one or two of them is likely affecting the quality of my prints. I've got the basics down - infill, shells, layer height, speed - but I feel like there are other settings that are negatively influencing my prints.

Does anyone have a set of Skeinforge setting files (CSV files) they can share?

Image

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laird
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby laird » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:05 pm

The fingertips on these designs are a challenge to print, because they require a steep overhang, both in the front (the long overhang of the fingertip) and in the back (the curved radius at the bottom of the end of the finger).

I really like making the first layer thick and slow. For example, 150% thickness, and 50% speed, and I calibrate the nozzle pretty close to the print bed, so the first layer really sticks. This sometimes means that I have a little extra material on the first layer, but that's easy to trim off. And, in general, I try to make the temperature as low as possible, so that the plastic is solid as soon as possible after extrusion, which helps with overhangs.

The other thing that helps isn't a software change, it's adding active cooling to the printer. I have a FlashForge Pro (pretty similar to your printer) and when I added http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:537918 it made a world of difference, because it cools the plastic immediately after extrusion so I get much better overhands. And while it sounds silly, if you rotate the print so that the fingertip is towards the front of the printer instead of the back, the print improves because of the airflow.
- Laird Popkin

joecross
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby joecross » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:30 pm

laird wrote:I really like making the first layer thick and slow. For example, 150% thickness, and 50% speed, and I calibrate the nozzle pretty close to the print bed, so the first layer really sticks. This sometimes means that I have a little extra material on the first layer, but that's easy to trim off. And, in general, I try to make the temperature as low as possible, so that the plastic is solid as soon as possible after extrusion, which helps with overhangs.


Thanks Laird! When you say thickness, do you mean height or width? If I am doing 200 micron height, I'm guessing you're advocating for 400 micron first layer at half speed. If so, do I have to monkey with width, as well (I've read that the two require a balancing act that I don't fully understand).

On temp - I've been printing PLA at 210 nozzle and 0 on the heat bed (with blue tape). I've gotten good results all the way down to 190-ish, but the layers just seem cleaner at higher temps. Should I go down closer to 190 for the fingers? Do you ever change temps part way through the print?

And I'll definitely check out the active cooling on Thingiverse!

droomurray
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby droomurray » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:16 pm

Do you have a cooling fan over the extruder, that will really help.

Drew.

joecross
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby joecross » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:37 pm

droomurray wrote:Do you have a cooling fan over the extruder, that will really help.


Unfortunately, no. I checked out the one Laird pointed me to, but it requires some soldering since my board doesn't support an extra fan. I'm not in a position to do that, so I'm going to have to think about how to power the fan. Maybe just hard-wire it and keep it on all the time??

droomurray
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby droomurray » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:53 pm

Yes I would turn it on after the first layer, you really want the 1st layer to stick !

Drew

droomurray
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby droomurray » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:55 pm

Going cooler might help, I print at 205 for PLA.
I print in the garage which is pretty cold anyway, you could see if you can find somewhere cooler to put the printer ?

In short your problem is heat, you could also try slowing the print down, that might help ?

Drew.

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laird
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby laird » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:05 pm

joecross wrote:
laird wrote:I really like making the first layer thick and slow. For example, 150% thickness, and 50% speed, and I calibrate the nozzle pretty close to the print bed, so the first layer really sticks. This sometimes means that I have a little extra material on the first layer, but that's easy to trim off. And, in general, I try to make the temperature as low as possible, so that the plastic is solid as soon as possible after extrusion, which helps with overhangs.


Thanks Laird! When you say thickness, do you mean height or width? If I am doing 200 micron height, I'm guessing you're advocating for 400 micron first layer at half speed. If so, do I have to monkey with width, as well (I've read that the two require a balancing act that I don't fully understand).

On temp - I've been printing PLA at 210 nozzle and 0 on the heat bed (with blue tape). I've gotten good results all the way down to 190-ish, but the layers just seem cleaner at higher temps. Should I go down closer to 190 for the fingers? Do you ever change temps part way through the print?

And I'll definitely check out the active cooling on Thingiverse!


By 'thickness' I mean the height (Z). If you're printing at 0.2mm, I would make the first layer 0.3mm. I don't change the width parameter - it should be 0.4mm in skein forge normally, so an 0.3mm layer height still gets 'squished' pretty well. If you went to 0.4mm, you might want to let width auto-compute, at which point it'd be around 0.6, which would be glued to the print bed. :-)

I have been printing PLA at between 190 and 210, depending on the material, and 40 for the print bed - that seems to help stick the first layer.

I haven't changed temperatures between layers, but I know some do.
- Laird Popkin

joecross
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby joecross » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:03 pm

I've played around with the various suggestions you've all given. Squishing the first layer does help, but it didn't make a significant difference on the overhangs, which still curled. BUT, I put a floor fan in front of the printer on full blast and the overhangs immediately improved, without changing any Skeinforge settings. So that appears to be my next path to better prints!

Of course, my board doesn't have the Q6 part for adding another fan like the one Laird pointed to in Thingiverse. So now I have to decide whether I'm going to take a swing at soldering it on or buying a new board or hardwiring a fan to the power supply or what. As always, advice appreciated.

Joe

LydiaOST
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby LydiaOST » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:11 am

lol. I cool my laptop w/ an external fan. :)
--Lydia
eNABLE'S Organizational Support Team founder, Team Facilitation Team member, eNABLE Help Desk member, Google Plus teacher, and Junior Forum Admin.

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laird
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby laird » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:49 am

You can also get fairly cheap fans that are USB powered. http://www.coolerguys.com/usbfans.html for example. Then you can power it from a USB power supply, or a nearby computer. And it's easy to plug/unplug the fan from USB so that you cool the PLA prints and not the ABS prints.
- Laird Popkin

joecross
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby joecross » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:44 pm

laird wrote:You can also get fairly cheap fans that are USB powered. http://www.coolerguys.com/usbfans.html for example. Then you can power it from a USB power supply, or a nearby computer. And it's easy to plug/unplug the fan from USB so that you cool the PLA prints and not the ABS prints.


Thanks Laird - perfect! I don't mind watching the first layer go down and then turning the fan on manually (I've heard that the first layer sticks better if you keep the fan off). I'm sure I'll eventually want to upgrade my board (or replace it when it fails), but I'd rather wait until something more critical compels me to do it.

neildarlow
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Re: Skeinforge Settings Help

Postby neildarlow » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:11 am

Hi,

This topic is quite old but, as a Skeinforge user of over 2 years, I would like to add something to the conversation.

Skeinforge is a very capable slicer and I rely on it a lot to deliver accurately dimensioned prints which it does very well. It does however have weaknesses when presented with narrow areas to fill and if you are unable to reduce the number of perimeters it will just leave out the infill.

The e-NABLE printing tips request the use of 2 perimeters and this effectively rules Skeinforge out. Cura has a more pragmatic approach to infill and will generally fill narrow areas even when multiple perimeters are required. This, I would say, makes it a better candidate for e-NABLE printers.

I have no doubt that Slic3r can produce satisfactory results. In my experience Slic3r falls somewhere inbetween Skeinforge and Cura in respect of its configurability vs. ease of use. Some of the assumptions that Slic3r makes have caused me problems in the past.

I have sliced the raptor-reloaded parts with both Skeinforge and Cura. Skeinforge requires a single perimeter in order to create completely filled proximals on the initial layers using a 0.5mm line width. Cura can achieve the same result with 2 perimeters at the same line width.

Printing with a single perimeter and Skeinforge's strategy of varying infill with solid, bridging and sparse infill layers produces visible effects on the surface of the print which affect the final print quality. Cura uses a more uniform alternating line infill which, combined with an achievable 2 permieters, results in a better surface finish. Overhangs also print better due to the extra perimeter.

Regards,
Neil Darlow


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