Saturday, April 21, 2012

Prusa Tips & Tricks: Why Layer Height Matters

After getting my printer fully calibrated and so forth, I began to experiment with the different settings available inside of slic3r to determine how different parameters affect the quality output of my printer. I found that what affected quality the most was layer height, not only would lowering the layer height make the ribbing on a print less prominent, it also created more precise angles within the model.

I decided to create a comparison of a model using layer height as the variable for determining quality. As you can see, I achieved pretty good results using a 0.5mm nozzle. When printing at 0.1mm layer height or lower, any slight errors in calibration are greatly exaggerated, any slight miscalculations in the amount of plastic being extruded can wreak havoc on quality.

Another issue with layer height is the time it takes to print an object. Printing something at 0.1mm takes 4 times longer than at 0.4mm. When printing large objects this has to be taken into consideration when selecting an appropriate layer height.

In conclusion of my makeshift experiment, I found that my Prusa prints optimal quality at 0.2mm layer height, good to know.