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  1. #1
    Technologist dacb's Avatar
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    i3v Cura settings

    After struggling with Slic3r, I've moved to Cura. I enjoyed Slic3r's exquisite control over parameters, but other issues led me away from it.

    In addition to sharing them, I was hoping for feedback on my medium quality Cura settings. These are for a 10" i3v w/ 1.75mm x .4mm hexagon head and ABS. Use at your own risk. Sufficiently indemnified, here goes:
    The retract parameters are based on comments somewhere about here. Temperature is from experiment with MakerFarm vendor glow in the dark green ABS. To help deal with curling of the finished piece, I've been using a brim. The travel speed is probably too low at 100 mm/s. Bottom layer is slow (20mm/s) and fat. Infill is roughed out at 100 mm/s and most printing occurs at 70 mm/s (mostly based on ideas from printbus).

    This is a starting point. For each object I print in Cura, I go through a mental checklist and tweak parameters such as infill, wall thickness, brim, support and speed.

    [profile]
    layer_height = 0.2
    wall_thickness = 0.8
    retraction_enable = True
    solid_layer_thickness = .8
    fill_density = 25
    nozzle_size = .4
    print_speed = 70
    print_temperature = 240
    print_temperature2 = 0
    print_temperature3 = 0
    print_temperature4 = 0
    print_bed_temperature = 110
    support = None
    platform_adhesion = Brim
    support_dual_extrusion = Both
    wipe_tower = False
    wipe_tower_volume = 15
    ooze_shield = False
    filament_diameter = 1.75
    filament_diameter2 = 0
    filament_diameter3 = 0
    filament_diameter4 = 0
    filament_flow = 100.0
    retraction_speed = 10
    retraction_amount = 1
    retraction_dual_amount = 16.5
    retraction_min_travel = 1.5
    retraction_combing = True
    retraction_minimal_extrusion = 0.02
    retraction_hop = 0.0
    bottom_thickness = 0.3
    layer0_width_factor = 100
    object_sink = 0.0
    overlap_dual = 0.15
    travel_speed = 100
    bottom_layer_speed = 20
    infill_speed = 100
    inset0_speed = 0
    insetx_speed = 100
    cool_min_layer_time = 5
    fan_enabled = True
    skirt_line_count = 1
    skirt_gap = 3.0
    skirt_minimal_length = 150.0
    fan_full_height = 0.5
    fan_speed = 100
    fan_speed_max = 100
    cool_min_feedrate = 10
    cool_head_lift = False
    solid_top = True
    solid_bottom = True
    fill_overlap = 15
    support_type = Grid
    support_angle = 60
    support_fill_rate = 15
    support_xy_distance = 0.7
    support_z_distance = 0.15
    spiralize = False
    simple_mode = False
    brim_line_count = 20
    raft_margin = 5.0
    raft_line_spacing = 3.0
    raft_base_thickness = 0.3
    raft_base_linewidth = 1.0
    raft_interface_thickness = 0.27
    raft_interface_linewidth = 0.4
    raft_airgap = 0.22
    raft_surface_layers = 2
    fix_horrible_union_all_type_a = True
    fix_horrible_union_all_type_b = False
    fix_horrible_use_open_bits = False
    fix_horrible_extensive_stitching = False
    plugin_config =
    object_center_x = -1
    object_center_y = -1


    [alterations]
    start.gcode = ;Sliced at: {day} {date} {time}
    ;Basic settings: Layer height: {layer_height} Walls: {wall_thickness} Fill: {fill_density}
    ;Print time: {print_time}
    ;Filament used: {filament_amount}m {filament_weight}g
    ;Filament cost: {filament_cost}
    ;M190 S{print_bed_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own bed temperature line
    ;M109 S{print_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    G21 ;metric values
    G90 ;absolute positioning
    M82 ;set extruder to absolute mode
    M107 ;start with the fan off
    G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops
    G28 Z0 ;move Z to min endstops
    G1 Z15.0 F{travel_speed} ;move the platform down 15mm
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
    G1 F200 E3 ;extrude 3mm of feed stock
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
    G1 F{travel_speed}
    ;Put printing message on LCD screen
    M117 Printing...
    end.gcode = ;End GCode
    M104 S0 ;extruder heater off
    M140 S0 ;heated bed heater off (if you have it)
    G91 ;relative positioning
    G1 E-1 F300 ;retract the filament a bit before lifting the nozzle, to release some of the pressure
    G1 Z+0.5 E-5 X-20 Y-20 F{travel_speed} ;move Z up a bit and retract filament even more
    G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops, so the head is out of the way
    M84 ;steppers off
    G90 ;absolute positioning
    ;{profile_string}
    start2.gcode = ;Sliced at: {day} {date} {time}
    ;Basic settings: Layer height: {layer_height} Walls: {wall_thickness} Fill: {fill_density}
    ;Print time: {print_time}
    ;Filament used: {filament_amount}m {filament_weight}g
    ;Filament cost: {filament_cost}
    ;M190 S{print_bed_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own bed temperature line
    ;M104 S{print_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    ;M109 T1 S{print_temperature2} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    ;M109 T0 S{print_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    G21 ;metric values
    G90 ;absolute positioning
    M107 ;start with the fan off
    G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops
    G28 Z0 ;move Z to min endstops
    G1 Z15.0 F{travel_speed} ;move the platform down 15mm
    T1 ;Switch to the 2nd extruder
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
    G1 F200 E10 ;extrude 10mm of feed stock
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
    G1 F200 E-{retraction_dual_amount}
    T0 ;Switch to the first extruder
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
    G1 F200 E10 ;extrude 10mm of feed stock
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
    G1 F{travel_speed}
    ;Put printing message on LCD screen
    M117 Printing...
    end2.gcode = ;End GCode
    M104 T0 S0 ;extruder heater off
    M104 T1 S0 ;extruder heater off
    M140 S0 ;heated bed heater off (if you have it)
    G91 ;relative positioning
    G1 E-1 F300 ;retract the filament a bit before lifting the nozzle, to release some of the pressure
    G1 Z+0.5 E-5 X-20 Y-20 F{travel_speed} ;move Z up a bit and retract filament even more
    G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops, so the head is out of the way
    M84 ;steppers off
    G90 ;absolute positioning
    ;{profile_string}
    start3.gcode = ;Sliced at: {day} {date} {time}
    ;Basic settings: Layer height: {layer_height} Walls: {wall_thickness} Fill: {fill_density}
    ;Print time: {print_time}
    ;Filament used: {filament_amount}m {filament_weight}g
    ;Filament cost: {filament_cost}
    ;M190 S{print_bed_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own bed temperature line
    ;M104 S{print_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    ;M109 T1 S{print_temperature2} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    ;M109 T0 S{print_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    G21 ;metric values
    G90 ;absolute positioning
    M107 ;start with the fan off
    G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops
    G28 Z0 ;move Z to min endstops
    G1 Z15.0 F{travel_speed} ;move the platform down 15mm
    T2 ;Switch to the 2nd extruder
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
    G1 F200 E10 ;extrude 10mm of feed stock
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
    G1 F200 E-{retraction_dual_amount}
    T1 ;Switch to the 2nd extruder
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
    G1 F200 E10 ;extrude 10mm of feed stock
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
    G1 F200 E-{retraction_dual_amount}
    T0 ;Switch to the first extruder
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
    G1 F200 E10 ;extrude 10mm of feed stock
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
    G1 F{travel_speed}
    ;Put printing message on LCD screen
    M117 Printing...
    end3.gcode = ;End GCode
    M104 T0 S0 ;extruder heater off
    M104 T1 S0 ;extruder heater off
    M104 T2 S0 ;extruder heater off
    M140 S0 ;heated bed heater off (if you have it)
    G91 ;relative positioning
    G1 E-1 F300 ;retract the filament a bit before lifting the nozzle, to release some of the pressure
    G1 Z+0.5 E-5 X-20 Y-20 F{travel_speed} ;move Z up a bit and retract filament even more
    G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops, so the head is out of the way
    M84 ;steppers off
    G90 ;absolute positioning
    ;{profile_string}
    start4.gcode = ;Sliced at: {day} {date} {time}
    ;Basic settings: Layer height: {layer_height} Walls: {wall_thickness} Fill: {fill_density}
    ;Print time: {print_time}
    ;Filament used: {filament_amount}m {filament_weight}g
    ;Filament cost: {filament_cost}
    ;M190 S{print_bed_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own bed temperature line
    ;M104 S{print_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    ;M109 T2 S{print_temperature2} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    ;M109 T1 S{print_temperature2} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    ;M109 T0 S{print_temperature} ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line
    G21 ;metric values
    G90 ;absolute positioning
    M107 ;start with the fan off
    G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops
    G28 Z0 ;move Z to min endstops
    G1 Z15.0 F{travel_speed} ;move the platform down 15mm
    T3 ;Switch to the 4th extruder
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
    G1 F200 E10 ;extrude 10mm of feed stock
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
    G1 F200 E-{retraction_dual_amount}
    T2 ;Switch to the 3th extruder
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
    G1 F200 E10 ;extrude 10mm of feed stock
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
    G1 F200 E-{retraction_dual_amount}
    T1 ;Switch to the 2nd extruder
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
    G1 F200 E10 ;extrude 10mm of feed stock
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
    G1 F200 E-{retraction_dual_amount}
    T0 ;Switch to the first extruder
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
    G1 F200 E10 ;extrude 10mm of feed stock
    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
    G1 F{travel_speed}
    ;Put printing message on LCD screen
    M117 Printing...
    end4.gcode = ;End GCode
    M104 T0 S0 ;extruder heater off
    M104 T1 S0 ;extruder heater off
    M104 T2 S0 ;extruder heater off
    M104 T3 S0 ;extruder heater off
    M140 S0 ;heated bed heater off (if you have it)
    G91 ;relative positioning
    G1 E-1 F300 ;retract the filament a bit before lifting the nozzle, to release some of the pressure
    G1 Z+0.5 E-5 X-20 Y-20 F{travel_speed} ;move Z up a bit and retract filament even more
    G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops, so the head is out of the way
    M84 ;steppers off
    G90 ;absolute positioning
    ;{profile_string}
    support_start.gcode =
    support_end.gcode =
    cool_start.gcode =
    cool_end.gcode =
    replace.csv =
    preswitchextruder.gcode = ;Switch between the current extruder and the next extruder, when printing with multiple extruders.
    ;This code is added before the T(n)
    postswitchextruder.gcode = ;Switch between the current extruder and the next extruder, when printing with multiple extruders.
    ;This code is added after the T(n)


  2. #2
    Thank you, will try later to see how it works for me.

  3. #3
    Staff Engineer printbus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dacb View Post
    ...The retract parameters are based on comments somewhere about here. Temperature is from experiment with MakerFarm vendor glow in the dark green ABS. To help deal with curling of the finished piece, I've been using a brim. The travel speed is probably too low at 100 mm/s. Bottom layer is slow (20mm/s) and fat. Infill is roughed out at 100 mm/s and most printing occurs at 70 mm/s (mostly based on ideas from printbus)
    I just think the neighborhood of 70mm/s is a good compromise between speed and printer noise/print quality. Simple flat surfaces and boxes I do print up to 100mm/sec.

    I think we have work to do to optimize the retraction settings; retraction_minimal_extrusion in particular. I've had to turn retraction off on some prints in order to keep repeated retraction from grinding into the filament. Their default of 0.02mm for retraction_minimal_extrusion seems awfully small; I'm currently trying 0.5mm. Likewise, I've increased retraction_min_travel from 1.5mm to 5mm to reduce the number of retractions. I'm also following their field comment and run retraction_hop set to 0.075mm to minimize ooze smearing across a print during a move.

    It'll be interesting to eventually prove whether layer0_width_factor does anything. I had mine set to 250% to mimic my slic3r settings. Skimming through forums before I adopted Cura, the Cura developer was steadfast against implementing the slic3r-like setting, but he was under a lot of pressure to do so. I remember a post where he basically said "fine, it's in the gui. But people are going to have to write their own script for it". Coincidentally or not, this is the one standalone Cura setting that doesn't appear to be accessible in Repetier-Host.

    I know you're running with brim, but I set the skirt_line_count to 2. That usually gives me enough time to tweak thumbwheels on the Y-bed if I want to after seeing how the skirt is turning out.

    It wasn't really clear to me what the "fix horrible" settings are trying to do. I've only ran with them all set to false.

    ---------

    Overall, I've grown to like how Repetier-Host handles the settings for Cura. With standalone Cura, I seemed to always be befuddled on where to find settings. "Maybe basic. Well, I don't see it. Advanced? Nah. Must be in the expert settings - oh yeah, I have to go to the top menu to pull those up. Nope. Must have missed it on one of the other two groupings..." The functional groupings RH has makes more sense to me. For print speeds, configuration details allow you to set up min and max values for all the speeds. In the main slicing pane, you then have a short set of obvious stuff to set - sort of like your checklist. Pick the bed adhesion between brim/raft/none (none will give you skirt). Pick from the predefined print quality options you set up (I only have 0.2mm set up). Set support to none/touching everywhere/touching bed. Drag a slider to set the basic print speed from the range you've defined. Check/uncheck print cooling management. Drag a slider to set the infill percentage. Pick from the predefined filament profiles you set up. Slice. Start Print.

    I do have a downside to RH - with Slic3r and standalone Cura, I used to always grab a copy of the ini file to archive with the print stl and gcode files. RH has multiple ini files that reflect the detailed configuration setup, but I haven't seen a way to archive the final selections actually made on that slicing pane.
    Last edited by printbus; 09-04-2014 at 09:48 AM.

  4. #4
    Technologist dacb's Avatar
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    What were the signs during extrusion that the filament was being ground up by repeated retractions? I'm guessing this is also work-piece specific issue. I would like to find a way in the Cura visualizer to flag / highlight the retractions in the toolpath view.

    Your idea about the skirt line is great. I'm using a brim because I've been having terrible problems with the ABS pulling up and the brim + ABS slurry directly on the plate seems to be working. I would definitely turn this off for PLA.

    My understanding is the fix horrible type A is enabled by default and I didn't mess with those settings. From what I read they involve interpreting geometries from the STL and the type A is generally a good thing but can close some holes that were intended to be left open.

    As for Repetier-Host... I'm intrigued, but the Mac version wasn't stable when I gave it a brief go and I didn't see Cura support (the Mac version is way behind IIRC). Sadly, the linux version requires a version of mono that conflicts with what I need to run my CAM tools.

    Separate from the slicing, I had been using Octoprint on a Raspberry Pi for control, mostly for the web cam (which is really just a wrapper for MJPG streamer). It works for simple manipulations (move Z up, etc.) and for monitoring / setting temperatures, but all of the other features, e.g. starting a print, uploading to SD card, visualizing GCode don't seem to work out of the box. Anyway, since it isn't completely functional, I moved over the Repetier-Server. I'm not in love with the web interface, e.g. it doesn't have a temperature graph, but I've only had it up and running for less than a day so I'll reserve judgement. All I really want is to be able to send files to the printer without sneaker-netting the SD card around the house.

  5. #5
    Staff Engineer printbus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dacb View Post
    What were the signs during extrusion that the filament was being ground up by repeated retractions? I'm guessing this is also work-piece specific issue. I would like to find a way in the Cura visualizer to flag / highlight the retractions in the toolpath view.
    The indicator was that the extrusion would just stop, and when I'd abort the print and pull the filament, the hobbed bolt had chewed into it. Everything would go fine for a while again after reloading the filament and restarting. This is definitely work-piece related. The recent print where I battled this was on a 4-in x 4-in project box with 1-inch high sidewalls. Posts with screw holes for a lid in the four corners. At some point in the sidewall layup, the extrusion would just stop. Predictably. Took a while to rule out bad filament, too-low temperature, too much cooling fan airflow, too much spring tension on the extruder, etc. I eventually realized that corner-to-corner moves were involved in Cura completing the screw posts in the corners, with a retraction on each move. The filament apparently couldn't hold up to the repetitive action of the hobbed bolt rotating back and forth for the retractions over such a short length of filament.

    I'm not aware of a way to explicitly view the retractions in Cura. You can see travel moves, and indirectly perceive a retraction for each move longer than the retraction_min_travel setting. When I want to really see details in the slicer output, I usually bring up the gcode in http://gcode.ws/ and look at layer info. Slider bars allow you to select different layers and follow the nozzle move around the layer.

    Actually, it was viewing the slicer output in gcode.ws that finally told me what was happening with the box. I had both print and travel speeds at 100mm/sec, and watching it print I just assumed the multiple loops around the print were just printing the wall. As soon as I saw the corner-to-corner travel I realized what was probably happening.

    Cura was only recently added to Repetier Host as part of their v1.0 baseline - maybe a month ago. Understood on the Mac and Linux constraints.
    Last edited by printbus; 09-05-2014 at 10:37 AM. Reason: clarity

  6. #6
    Technologist dacb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by printbus View Post
    I'm not aware of a way to explicitly view the retractions in Cura. You can see travel moves, and indirectly perceive a retraction for each move longer than the retraction_min_travel setting. When I want to really see details in the slicer output, I usually bring up the gcode in http://gcode.ws/ and look at layer info. Slider bars allow you to select different layers and follow the nozzle move around the layer.
    Good stuff, thanks. Are you using PLA or ABS? Would it matter for retraction, e.g. the material reacts differently to being push-pull-pushed at temperature?

  7. #7
    Technologist dacb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by printbus View Post
    I do have a downside to RH - with Slic3r and standalone Cura, I used to always grab a copy of the ini file to archive with the print stl and gcode files. RH has multiple ini files that reflect the detailed configuration setup, but I haven't seen a way to archive the final selections actually made on that slicing pane.
    Hey, I don't think I properly acknowledged how important this point is. Independent of any tool, I believe reproducibility of prints is an absolute must have. Thanks for bringing this up.

  8. #8
    Staff Engineer printbus's Avatar
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    The project box was in PLA, but I've had similar problems in both PLA and ABS. I had already learned to turn off retraction if there are lot of very short segments (legs, posts, etc.) involved in a print, but the corner-to-corner travel on that box had me fooled. I edited the post to explain how I had travel and printing both set to 100mm/sec, so I didn't realize that some of the movements were just travel (why didn't I look at the extruder gear??). That box was probably on my "worst" spool of PLA for this. It is softer and more pliable than my other PLA and ABS, and it's undersized in diameter. Variables like that are probably more significant than PLA vs ABS.

  9. #9
    Technologist dacb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by printbus View Post
    ...
    I'm not aware of a way to explicitly view the retractions in Cura. You can see travel moves, and indirectly perceive a retraction for each move longer than the retraction_min_travel setting. When I want to really see details in the slicer output, I usually bring up the gcode in http://gcode.ws/ and look at layer info. Slider bars allow you to select different layers and follow the nozzle move around the layer. ...
    I've gone back to OctoPi after a rough set of prints. I noticed that the most recent OctoPi from github supports a GCode viewer that shows retractions and their pause points. See attached screenshot (red dots).

    octopi.jpg

  10. #10
    Staff Engineer printbus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dacb View Post
    I've gone back to OctoPi after a rough set of prints. I noticed that the most recent OctoPi from github supports a GCode viewer that shows retractions and their pause points. See attached screenshot (red dots).
    I assume OctiPi gives you the same functionality of OctiPrint, just running on a Pi? Some research revealed OctiPrint uses the same gcode.ws viewer. Nice. Do you have the option to see what the resulting print speeds are for different parts of the layer? That's the other thing I go to gcode.ws for, but I don't see that in the snapshot.
    Last edited by printbus; 09-12-2014 at 11:58 PM.

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