Advanced 3D Print Settings

Larry Guo Stack

Below is a collection of more advanced tips and tricks for printing our visors. They have been graciously contributed by members of the 3D printing community. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their knowledge!

Be sure you have already tried our suggested print settings first:
https://botcamp.org/2020/03/22/3d-printable-healthcare-visors/

Maximize Printer Bed Capacity

Difficulty Level: Easy

Try and fit as many visors as possible on your print bed by using combinations of the Full and Small models.

Printing multiple visors at once doesn’t speed up the actual printing process. It reduces the frequency of time spent in between prints collecting parts and resetting your printer.

Overall, this does save time and improves convenience.

Ruo Mu Guo
Logi Vidarsson
Sean Aaron Bronee
Sean Aaron Bronee

Perfect The First Layer

Difficulty Level: Easy

The first layer printed is the most important. Many of the later tips will depend on having a quality first layer to build upon. Try to print a first layer that:

  • Firmly adheres to the bed
  • Provides a smooth surface to build on top of
  • Doesn’t have any missing or thin areas (aka under-extrusion)

Some tips to get an excellent first layer:

  • Ensure the bed is level
  • Print the first layer slower than the rest of the print (30-60mm/s)
  • Print the first layer at a lower height than the rest of the print (0.1-0.2mm)
  • Print the first layer with a higher flow than the rest of the print (110-300%)
  • Add a reusable layer of tape to the bed (masking or gaffer’s tape)
  • A combination of the above

Some things to avoid, if you can:

  • Rafts and brims add lots of time and material to the print – but a small skirt can help to prime the nozzle

Printing the first layer slower often allows you to speed up the rest of the print. Sometimes by enough to make up for the slower first layer and more!

Shawn T. Lim

Speeding Up The Rest

Difficulty Level: Easy

Once the first layer is printing well, increase the print speed until the quality begins to degrade. Most users with printers that are running well are able to achieve speeds around 90-150mm/s, while still producing functional visors. Be sure to keep the speed of the first layer slower than the rest of the print.

This step will increase your throughput the most. Many printers are configured by default to print at 60mm/s or less, but are capable of printing this visor design at more than twice that speed.

Shawn T. Lim (actual speed)

Printing Wider Lines

Difficulty Level: Medium

You can reduce the number of lines printed by making them wider. Normally this is done by replacing your printer’s nozzle with a larger one, however this is NOT always necessary.

Most consumer printers come with a 0.4mm wide nozzle, and are configured to print 0.4mm wide lines. Printing the same line width as the nozzle size makes perfect sense, but it is possible to print lines that are much wider than the nozzle.

The video below explains the process in great detail, but there’s a good chance simply setting your line/extrusion width setting to 150-200% of your nozzle width will significantly speed up your print. Some users have reported the visors seem to come out stronger as well.

Printing lines twice as wide will reduce the time to print by close to half.

Extrusion Width - The magic parameter for strong 3D prints?

Stacking

Difficulty Level: Hard

Before you start stacking your prints, please read the following information carefully, as stacking may NOT make sense for you!

Printing stackable supports adds significant time, material and complexity. You will also need additional time to separate the visors, and remove the supports.

If you can clear your printer bed occasionally, you will likely produce a lot more visors, and waste less material by printing unstacked.

Please understand that our goal is to provide as many visors as we can to those who need them.

There are good reasons to stack if you absolutely need to, but please don’t produce big, inefficient stacks just to boost your ego on social media.

Please do the math before deciding to stack, and our healthcare professionals will thank you.

Stack SizeStacked
Time
Unstacked
Time
Time
Wasted
Lost
Visors
259m42m17m0.76
41h 58m1h 24m34m1.62
83h 56m2h 48m1h 8m3.24
167h 52m5h 36m2h 16m6.48
3215h 44m11h 12m4h 32m12.95

If you printed a stack of 16 visors, you probably could have printed 6+ more if you printed unstacked instead.

Ruo Mu Guo

Stackable STLs are currently available only for the 3HP version:

Special thanks to Dave Minock, Kevin Birchall, Clifford Seipke, Greg Needel, and especially Ruo Mu Guo for your work on these stackable STLs.

Automatic Bed Clearing

Difficulty Level: Hard

A more efficient solution than stacking is programming your printer to automatically remove visors when they are complete. This can be done by adding custom code to the end of your print job that will cause the print head to push the visor off the printer.

Please note, attempting this can cause irreparable damage to your printer. You have been warned!

The video below demonstrates the process. We recommend using a heated bed with a special surface that automatically releases parts when cool, such as the AnyCubic UltraBase. The M190 command can also be used to wait until the bed has cooled to a certain temperature before attempting removal.

Although this is an amazing tip, I would NOT attempt this one, unless you are very familiar with G-Code, know your printer’s limits, and you know for sure the visors don’t require a lot of force to remove from the bed.

Automatic 3D Print Removal using G-Code