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  1. #1

    Print a shape as if it were a raft

    I purchased my first printer to make some pieces I need for a custom EV battery. One of the pieces I need to make is a cover for the cells that is a shape approximately 200mm x 100mm x 1mm. In the process of learning how to print, I made a piece using a raft and the way the printer made the raft would be perfect for this cover. Is there some way to tell a printer to print a flat thin shape using layers like a raft? The raft appears to start with a bottom layer of thicker zig-zag lines with a line's-width gap between them, then a second layer of thick zig-zag lines with no gap, then a layer of thinner zig-zag lines with no gap. If all I needed was a solid flat piece, I could probably trick the printer into just printing a raft for a shape with no padding, but I also need holes in specific places. All my searching for how to print a layer with gaps only returns ways to fix gaps. Below is a photo of the prototype cover printed normally (top) and the piece I cut from a sheet of 1/16" thick ABS (bottom). It is far easier to print this than cut it out but the current print time is about 3.5 hours and I am hoping to reduce that.

    I am using an Ender 3 Max Neo and Creality Print software, though I can use another slicer if that's what it takes. I've looked at Cura and Prusa and haven't found anything obvious yet.

    Thanks in advance,
    Steve In Oregon
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    Last edited by SteveInOR; 12-05-2023 at 08:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    May 2020
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    If it's just a flat piece you are printing then a raft seems pointless, try the print without a raft. Disable raft in the slicer first.

    Draw a 200x100 shape with your holes in whatever software you use, extrude it to 1mm thick and export it as an stl, .obj or .3mf file to use in your slicer

  3. #3
    Sorry if I’m not making myself clear. Let me try this. If I am printing a piece that is flat, say 200 x 100, is there a way to tell the printer to print layers with zigzag lines that have a gap?

    The only time I see the slicer use lines that are gapped is when it is printing a raft. What if I wanted to print a piece as if it was a raft all by itself?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
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    I think you would need to actually create a drawing for what you describe and export it as a file for the slicer to generate the G-code.

  5. #5
    I'm not sure where the misunderstanding is. I already have an STL file of a shape that is 200mm by 100mm and a thickness of 0.84mm. If I set a quality of 0.28mm, the slicer is going to create three layers of zigzag lines but those lines are going to print right next to each other to make a solid layer. I do not want a solid layer. I want a layer that is made up of zigzag lines with space between the lines.I think I figured this out on my own. Using PrusaSlicer, I set my bottom layers to 0 and my top layer to 1. I chose a Fill density of 60% and a Fill Pattern of Line. With the density setting, I can adjust the space between the lines. At a thickness of 0.84mm and a layer height of 0.28mm I get no bottom layer, two infill layers of zigzag lines in opposite directions with gaps in the lines and a top layer of zigzag lines with no gaps. My 60mm x 40mm test print took much less time and was more flexible than the same shape sliced with solid layers. It's not very pretty, but this piece is never seen.
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