I am trying to print 1 1/2" mini figures for train layout. Using XBOX 360 Kinect scanner camera, Skinect softwae, and cura for Anet A8 Printer. Can anyone help with good starter settings for AnetA8 ptinter? Any help and comments appreciated!
I start with default cura settings for PLA. When changes are made, I try to do that one at a time. It is easier to identify cause and effect. I also use slice preview. It will show overhang issues, where filament drops in air. This print is designed to work without supports.
I just did a test print after doing firmware on my Odin 5. I leveled bed, with bed and hot end at 60/205, hit print. I forgot to load filament, after print was started. I quickly pushed some in, but and it was not purged. It skipped on skirt, but started going on part.
Part is a test, for 2020 extrusion snap-in V-slot filler. It was printed blue side down. Blue is residual in nozzle from prior print.
This part came to mind, be cause it is small, and has fine features. Flat part is 2 layers.
Yeah, there are no specific settings for printers. All they do is limiting the bed size and setting the nozzle size of a printer, so they are basically just defining the limits of your hardware.
One of my main printers started as an Anet-A8 and got converted over the years multiple times. Last time when the acrylic frame started to get brittle. This printer only prints ABS parts and it printed all the white ABS parts on the printer itself as well.
As @KitCarlson mentioned above the default cura settings are usually fine as a start point. You then go and setup the temperatures required for your filament.
When printing detailed objects temperature and speed are key. The lower the speed, the lower the temperature needs to be and the other way around. I usually just print with 55mm/s and 215°C with my filaments, as I don’t care about print speeds.
Once that is done you need to decide about retraction and z-hop. If dialed in properly spiky details like hair get printed better.
I strongly suggest to checkout the “adaptive layer height” option in the experimental section. It creates great surface on curved areas. So the stop of a sphere no longer looks like a round stair case. For figurine this should be a huge improvement.
Cura has a million options which can be a little overwhelming, but you don´t need them until you need them. Most of the time you don’t. That’s why they are hidden by default.
Here some options I use regularly to enhance my prints and improve layer adhesion: (please note that I use German as language, to the real names may be differ from my translation.)
Support Brim: If you enable a brim, support also gets a brim. In most cases the option can be enabled.
Inner Brim: Unlike a normal brim this also does a brim on the inside at the bottom layer. This may cause trouble, if you have e.g. screw holes building up from the bottom up, but in other situations like e.g. printing a face mask you basically double the first laxer surface area.
Also important is the layer time setting. It usually is set to 15 seconds or so by default. This time limit should ensure the layer can cool before the next is set on top. When printing figurines this gets important as well as for small pin shape objects like hair. The problem is that this only works properly for a bigger area, where the printer wastes time by moving or prints slower. If the area is too small the hovering nozzle will keep the surface below hot, which is exactly what we don’t want. Therefor you need enable the Z-Lift option. The tool head will then print a layer and move away and return after the delay. But be warned. you need to have the retraction settings properly set up, or you get stringing or gaps at the points where the nozzle is lifting/returning.
The layer z seam is also an option to consider. Do you want it at a sharp corner, random or what? Well, that depends on the model. If it has vertical corners, set the option to sharpest edge. Random is not always a good choice. This may create little dots (the seam line got split) at multiple locations. So you need to post process everywhere, while a line at the back may be cut easy.
You also should check the travel section. Where to travel from point to point. You may have seen lines crossing layer lines on top sections. That is caused by the hot nozzle driving over a fresh layer and smoothed it out. To avoid that you can limit movement to over support and on the outside.
Infill, Top/Bottom layer are options available by default. These depend on the type of print and the look and strength you want to achieve. The smaller an object is the lower your infill percentage can be. Most of the strength comes from walls. For high detailed thin models I would go for three walls in all directions and 10% infill. If there is more volume to cover use higher number. Keep in mind that at the top the printer needs to bridge between infill and lower infill can cause the bridge to sag and this could be visible as small bumps at the top layer. This can prevented by using the so called roofing option, where infill gets closed before even starting the top layer.
These are basically all options I use when printing. Of course you can go in deep to even get better results for special objects, but usually this is all you need.
I hope this helps.