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Rough Top Surface

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:27 am
by kenyu73
Thanks for looking at my question. I'm new to 3D printing and glad I finally started!

Is the attached example normal for flat surfaces? The sides are super smooth and infill hash appears solid... just the top layer(s).

Using Simplify3D.4 and the new Qidi Pro-X @ 195C -- cookie cutter settings (.2 layers, 20% infill, etc). This is Hatchbox 1.75 PLA.

It almost looks dry... maybe add more extrusion? Hotter nozzle? I might try adding a bunch of processes with different settings and do a bunch of 5x5x2mm bricks.

I'm really hoping this isn't normal!

Thanks again

Re: Rough Top Surface

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:23 am
by airsyspro
Go to Settings, Advanced, Layers. Check to see what your "Top Solid Layer" setting is. I would go with a minimum of 3.

Re: Rough Top Surface

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:11 pm
by greybeard
You can get a fairly nice top surface but, of course it depends on print parameters and your printer.

Points to note:
Infill supports the top layers and does affect results. Recommend a Grid for cross-hatching the infill. 20% is fine with cross-hatching (it actually results in double as each direction is 20%. Thus, you'll get 40% infill. Lower infill density=larger gaps for plastic to droop into...

Number of layers - use at least 3 top layers. You could improve quality further with another layer and/or making the top layer at 0.1 height.

Temperature also matters so, do some trial tests... For simplicity of testing, use a small part with a flat top surface and try several approaches/parameter changes...

[Update: Added photo] The attached images use eSun PLA+, 3 top layers at 0.2mm, Infill pattern is Grid, Temp=235ยบ

Re: Rough Top Surface

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:53 am
by kenyu73
Thanks for the replies.

I did 3 (maybe even 4) top layers. I could try with 0.1 for the top as that would definitely make the "resolution" better. To me it just looks like the layer lines at predominant so maybe higher temps would help flatten the lines more? Maybe more extrusion on the final layer too?

I know 3D printing isn't fine resolution like (SLA?) but I was a bit shocked on how this flat surface came out. My models that are curved and irregular look great, like a Groot model or a few animal models with gradual curves on top. Even the letters came out kinda bad... but again... some can be corrected with settings.

I may try this on my next piece like the one above:

0.25 height, then 0.1 for final 3 layers
same infill @ 20%
bump extruder width from .4 to .5 for final layers (this should produce more ooze, right? Or maybe go less for more "fine" lines.... /sigh

So maybe options!! Its great though... but as noted above, I'll do thin small tests so I dont have to wait 2 hours between tests.

Anything other advice?

Re: Rough Top Surface

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:13 pm
by greybeard
It is a plastic printer - it would be silly to think you can print a part that looks like it was molded.
You can improve the appearance by using Acetone vapor bath and/or paint... Look at some YouTube video's on the subject (here's a good one: ).
However, consider the printer is laying down Ropes of plastic having the width of the nozzles hole, plus the 'Various parameters' that affect what the rope looks like, including Temp, Overflow, Speed, Height, Direction of print... list goes on.

No matter what you dial-in for the best outcome, it will be what it is (a string/rope of plastic) and your job (so to speak) is to "Trial & Error" test.

Refer the simplify's Quality guide for improvements and troubleshooting...