new A5 print quality, suggestions ?

TapNorXTapNorX Posts: 6Member
edited May 2018 in 3D Print Lounge
Hi all,

so here is my thread with some pics of the benchy boat and the "scorpion" fan attachment. Seems there are a lot of tweaks to do to get my printer serving me well. Suggestions for improvement are very welcome :) I'm using Cura 3.3.1 for slicing. If you want i can upload the .gcode too. And the photos seem to be not very sharp, i can do some more with my camera if needed.

edit: btw im using the 250gr PLA 1.75mm spool, shipped with the printer. printed with 210°C nozzle temp and 65° heat bed temp.
took almost 3hrs for the boat.

Post edited by TapNorX on


  • kd7eirkd7eir Posts: 3Member
    That looks like you need supports for the prints
  • TapNorXTapNorX Posts: 6Member
    For the blower part, you're right, the boat is supposed to be printed without any support since its a benchmark for your settings. However i bit the bullet and bought Simplify3D. With its support function i got a much better result on the blower, unfortunately it produced supports in the inside as well and these were not removable (on the final print) so the function was not given. Also the Benchy looks way better. I used the settings vid from A5 google group. I still consider to use the trial cashback, these 150 bucks are hard to swallow and i dont know if i cant get similar outcomes if i put some more effort into the free solutions (Cura/Slic3r).
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,791Administrator
    edited May 2018
    Have you tried updating your firmware yet? Mesh bed levelling is also worth doing, to help your first layer quality. Take your first layers even slower: 12-15mm/s is a good place to start! Try levelling with a piece of paper, and set your first layer height to 0.12 to 0.15mm

    I'm still not happy with the printing quality of my A5:
    - the long Bowden tube doesn't help things
    - any any looseness of the tube in the couplers translates into sloppy prints
    - the bearings are not well greased from the factory and run quite rough, especially on the y axis
    - the extruder motor vref was too low for me from the factory causing under extrusion as the extruder motor would skip

    Post edited by Samuel Pinches on
  • TapNorXTapNorX Posts: 6Member
    yea i already updated main (1.1.8C)+lcd(20180111) to community firm, dont know if there is an updated version of that. right now im only using the standard bed leveling. With using brim i cant complain, everything is sticking on the bed. I print the first 2 layers with 10mm/s then going up to 60 for the rest. right now im printing a custom case for my RPi, the estimated print time was bit over 3hrs but i have the feeling it will take some longer. Do u have experience with faster print times? maybe 70-80mm/s?

    the bowden tube is really long, i can imagine the extruder will have hard time with pushing flexible filaments through it.

    Not looked much into mesh leveling, will try that later maybe. I also think of buying the IR autolevel module from the wiki site. In Berlin is a distributor located who seem to have the updated version, maybe i will visit him and grab that.

    I never checked the voltage of the drivers, i already ordered 4xTMC2130s from Ali. Is it worth to replace all 4 or are the X/Y drivers enough? Will check the Vref when the drivers arrive - from what i can see i dont have any step skips so there is probably no issue. On my cert card was the QA passing day 26th April this year so i guess its the latest or second latest version. I also had some white filament coming out of the nozzle when i loaded the PLA from package. Maybe they have improved their QA and checked the Vref and made a test print in factory ;)

    Last question, any experience with ABS? I read that it can ruin your bed when you try to remove the print from it.
    Is it possible to put some protective layer on the bed and print on that instead directly on the bed?


  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,791Administrator
    edited May 2018
    I haven't tried faster printing as I'm still going for better quality. 

    I cut my Bowden by 10cm and this helped a little. Oiling (canola oil) the filament can also help to lubricate the Bowden tube a little.

    I don't recommend the IR sensor - I found it to not be very consistent, possibly due to the patterning on the bed. Try mesh bed levelling first, as IR will never be better than a good manual mesh bed level if done correctly.

    I am still using the A4988 with smoothing diodes (Triangle labs 8x) as the A4988 is rock solid when cooled properly, and I don't have time to muck around with the TMC2130 SPI etc at the moment. You WILL need to add a cooling fan for the drivers if you go TMC, much easier to first tune the A4988 properly, maybe even add a fan first, and go from there. Checking the Vref can't hurt :smile:

    I haven't done abs, but I guess I would suggest adding blue painters tape to the bed surface as a protective coating, and then printing onto that.
    Post edited by Samuel Pinches on
  • aristoaristo Posts: 8Member
    Hi guys,
    I need some advice on how to configure supports and brim/raft; in the prints I have done these features are really hard to remove and print quality is not the best in the interface areas.
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,791Administrator
    There are settings in Cura that you can configure, like changing the gap between the top of a support and the bottom of a print... what have you tried so far? Heaps of good tutorials to check out if you search "cura support settings" in google.
    Ultimaker has good Cure documentation on support generation here.
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