• What do the different settings in Cura do?

    Quality

    Here you have a few selections:  Layer height, Shell thickness, and Enable retraction. Layer height is simply just that — it is how thick each layer will be printed. A larger layer height would print faster, however it will also show ridges on the print and miss the fine details; a thinner layer height would print slower, but it keeps the print smooth and detailed. The Shell thickness is the outside layer of the print and will be the portion you see and feel once your print is complete. The thicker the shell, the wider and stronger the exterior of the print will be. This setting is mainly important on hollow items but can also affect solid prints. Retraction pulls the filament back into the nozzle as it moves over an empty space to get to another portion of the print. When the retraction setting is disabled, the filament does not go back into the nozzle and creates a "stringing" effect across the gaps of the print. 
     

    Fill

    This section gives you the option to change the Bottom/Top thickness as well as the Fill Density. The Bottom/Top thickness determines how thick the layers will be for the first outside layer and the last outside layer. This setting should be around the same measurement as your shell thickness to create an equal print.  Fill Density will be how much of the inside of the print will be material. This internal layout can be changed depending on how durable you would need the print to be. Keep in mind that prints with more infill will take much longer and use more material.
     

    Speed and Temperature

    This section will allow you to change Print speed, Print temperature, and Bed temperature. The Print speed is the general speed that the printer head will be moving at when going across the build area. The slower this is, the better quality the print will be. The Print temperature is the temperature of the extruder and will need to change depending on a few variables. Things to consider when changing the temperature would be the type of filament being used, the color, and print speed.  As a starting point, for 1.75mm black filament extruding out of a 0.4mm nozzle, it would be best to set the temperature to 210 degrees. Additionally, if the print speed was increased, the temperature may need to be increased as well so that the filament melts properly. The option for Bed temperature changes how warm the printing bed itself will be. This will help filament from shrinking when cooled quickly and in-turn show a better result. This is also going to rely on the same variable and should be set to 60 degrees for the same example above.
     

    Support

    The Support settings allow you to select the Support type and Platform adhesion type. For Support type, this will support any parts of your object that are trying to print over open space. You will see two choices here: Touching build plate or Everywhere. When you select Touching build plate, it will only print support structures off of the build plate. If you select Everywhere, it will build supports both off of the build plate and in areas where the print overhangs above other portions of itself. The choices for Platform adhesion type will be for a brim or raft. A brim will be a small outline around the item to help prime the extruder head. We recommend using this on every print you do not use raft support. Raft support acts as a gridded raft for the print to sit on and helps in situations where the print is not sticking to the bed.
     

    Filament

    In the Filament section, you will have options for the Diameter of the filament you are using as well as the Flow percentage.  These settings will usually stay the same unless the hardware is changed. Match the filament to the diameter of the filament you are using and keep the flow to 100 percent.

  • Why are my layers misaligned?
    • The gears and belts that make up a printer's X and Y-axis can wear down over time. This can cause gears to skip and cause the printer to lose its place. It is good to always lubricate metal-on-metal parts as well as check belts and gears regularly for wear. Your gears for the axis can also slip if the travel speed is set too high or if the movement belt is set too loose. We recommend lowering the travel speed and tightening the belt to see if the issue goes away.
    • Printers are very delicate while printing. Any movement or jolts can cause prints to fail or gears to slip. If your printer is moved at all during a print, this can cause the belt to slide a few steps and cause prints to be misaligned.

  • Why does my print look "stringy"?

    Why does the exterior of my print look "stringy"?

    • Retraction is the main factor in why prints will have small strings of filament between open spaces. When the nozzle head moves over open space of the bed to go to another portion of the print, the printer will retract or back the filament away from the hot end. This setting can be found in your 3D printing software and, if you are having issues with stringing, you can increase the retraction distance and speed. Be careful to not make this setting too high as it can cause issues like filament grinding.
    • The temperature of the nozzle can also play a role here. If the nozzle is set too high while the printer head moves between open space, the nozzle may actually allow filament to drip out into the build space. You can fix this issue by lowering the extruder temperature. Keep in mind that a temperature too low can cause a clogged nozzle and filament grinding.
    • If your print is moving too quickly from point-to-point, it can cause the filament to drag and cause overhang. What happens is the filament does not have time to set and stick to the previous layers, causing the portion of the layer to drag outside of the build space. You can change these settings in the printing software under movement speed.
     

    Why is the infill "stringy"?

    • The main culprit for the internal supports of your print being stringy would be the thickness of the layers put down into the infill. You can increase this setting in Cura under Fill settings.
    • The most common issue with infill is the infill speed being set too high. This is normally fine because no one will see the infill, but it can cause problems for the surrounding edges and structural support. You can change this setting in Cura under the Advance tab and Speed category.

  • How To Setup Cura Software