What are the uses of 3D slicer

10 slicer tricks to improve the quality of your 3D prints!

Since every slicer program has its special characteristics, I will also go into the general things here. You can use this on all known slicer programs. Here I will show you how you can optimize your printed object with small changes to the parameters and get the best out of them.

1. Using the expert settings

What I would advise you in any case, to deal with the expert settings of the various slicer programs. Even if all the different parameters seem a bit off-putting at the beginning, you can use these to fine-tune your pressure. Practice a little, print test models and see the changes. After a short time you will find that it looks more complicated than it is in the end, as helpful explanations can often be found in the slicer programs.

2. Preview the print

A really very helpful tool with the slicer programs are the so-called view options. Here you can, for example, display your model in the printable layers and thus view your workpiece layer by layer. Of course, this view won't tell exactly whether 3D printing will work, but it will give you a chance to see if you made any obvious mistakes or if there were any problems with the slicing process.

(Image: Here you can see very well how your model is built and which structures your 3D printer would like to print.)

Slicing -

The secret of 3D printing

Compact e-book all about slicing!

3. Create different print profiles

Not all 3D printing is the same. If you have already been able to gain your own experience, you will have noticed yourself that you have to adapt the settings to the respective model. Even if the previous workpiece worked perfectly with the settings, this does not have to be a guarantee that it will be the same with the next one. Create different pressure profiles so that you can benefit from the experience you have gained. These profiles should be sorted according to material, quality or size of your printed models, for example. This can be extremely helpful for future printing projects and you can avoid some misprints.

(Image: own print profiles)

4. Keep the heating bed temperature low

The heat emitted by the print bed improves the adhesion of the workpieces. Warpage is also minimized, but excessive heat can create new problems. So the saying “less is more” applies here. Try to keep the bed temperature as low as possible so that the bottom layer doesn't deform. If you have set the temperature too high you can find a kind of "cave" under the first layer. You have to find a healthy balance between good adhesion and no deformation of the floor. The heating bed temperature is mostly on the filament spool of the manufacturer.


5. Adapt the layer thickness to the model

Normally white, they say, the smaller the layer thickness, the better the quality of the model. But that is not always the case and the complexity of 3D printing does not always do justice to this statement. For example, smaller models with thin layers can quickly overheat and deform the model. Another disadvantage with thin layers is the compensation for material defects. In this special case, the diameter of the filament strand is meant. If there are extreme differences, you will see this more easily with thin layers than with larger ones. Perhaps the most common disadvantage of the thin layer is the traversal of cavities. Since only a tiny amount of plastic is extruded in these layers, this thin strand can also break more easily. The typical error pattern for this problem can be found here.

6. Slow printing

Of course everyone wants their prints to be of high quality, but above all it should be done quickly. But that's not the right approach when it comes to 3D printing. Give the 3D printer time to build up your model layer by layer so that these layers bond together optimally. The higher the printing speed, the more difficult it will be for your 3D printer to adhere to the contour points. I had my best experiences with a printing speed of 30mm / s to 50mm / s. You should also pay attention to the speed of movement. Choose these carefully, otherwise the positioning for the 3D printer can become a real problem here as well. Here I take 80mm / s to 120mm / s.

7. Increase wall thickness

A very simple trick to increase the stability of your model is to increase the wall thickness. Not only that your model is more stable, you can also avoid the error of so-called "ghosting". But it should be said that more material is required and that the printing time is increased.

8. Optimize the position of the workpiece

Try to align the position of your workpiece so that it is "easy" to print. This means that, if possible, you avoid large overhangs and areas that are free in the room. It should also be remembered that the first layer should have a large contact area with the print bed, as it is the foundation of your 3D print. What should also be mentioned when it comes to alignment is that most 3D printers have a much higher resolution in the Z direction than in X and Y. So if you want to realize fine details during printing, it is better to align the workpiece in the Z direction .

Advantages:

  • Better adhesion (larger contact surface)
  • No support structure necessary

"Harder to Print"

9. Save material and time

This is exactly where the great advantage of 3D printing is. You can also print your models "hollow" to save material and time. Of course you have to go wrong for what you want to use your model and whether it will be exposed to any physical loads later. However, you can easily compensate for any stability problems by increasing the wall thickness. This is a good and comparatively simple method to save raw materials and time.

Slicing -

The secret of 3D printing

Compact e-book all about slicing!

(Image: workpiece without filling, but with double the wall thickness (0.8mm) -> reduction of the printing time about 50%)

10. Use different slicers

Every slicer has its "special" functions and depending on your model, it can really make the difference whether the 3D printing works right away. Try a little and don't be afraid not to use the original software of your 3D printer. Because, on the whole, the different software are structured in the same way and if you have already gained experience, it shouldn't be a problem for you to work with another.

The most popular slicers at a glance: