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  1. #1

    I'm new to this and have some questions about how small is to small with 3D objects.

    I had built this 3D model of a fairly simple L Bracket. It's small but not ridiculously small. It's a 1" even leg L bracket that's, for the most part, 0.125" thick and it's thinnest area is 0.0625". I tried slicing it with Cura and it looks banged up. The print lines look huge! The leg that's horizontal appears as if it would be printed in one Layer? I tried messing with the settings and can't seem to get anything good out of it.

    Is this part to small for my printer? My nozzle is 0.3mm, I have an Alunar m508. It's a Prusa clone. I would be very disappointed if this part is considered to small.


  2. #2
    Ok. I figured it out, but I'm left with another question. So, in my 3D software I built this bracket that's basically 1" x 1" x 0.5". When I opened the STL file in Cura, the object is only 1mm x 1mm x 0.5mm!!! What is up with that? I had to scale it up to about its actual size and it slice beautifully.

    Now my question is, why was Cura seeing it as being so small? How do I get it into Cura without having to scale it up? Does it have something to do with Cura or my STL file that I got from my 3D software(Inventor). I dont want to scale, I need accuracy.


  3. #3
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Oakland, CA
    You might want to start designing in mm instead of inches. Either that, or find the right button in your slicer that tells it your model is in inches.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    yep stop thinking in large, illogical measuring system and start using millimetres. Slicers can convert inches to mm - but most automatially assume you're being sensible and using mm to start with.

    In answer to how small you can go - there was a normal sized wristwatch (ie: NOT smart watch size) printed in fdm at tct last year. Admittedly they did go down to 0.1mm nozzles. But all the teeny tiny parts were printed in plastic. amazing thing.
    Was demonstrating some enclosed delta machines.

    I've personally printed 8 toothed gears 5 mm across with 1mm central hole, rubber tyres 3mm across with 1mm axle hole and 1mm thick.
    For that project i ended up with 5 individual parts which could all comfortably fit on a dime - printed around 100 of each, so it's repeatable as well. And that's with a 0.4mm nozzle.
    So , yeah if you get it right you can print pretty small and detailed parts.
    But do it in mm :-)

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