Advice for the New Guy?


Here is a mini I did in about 2 hours, poorly painted. Thought you might like to see what you can expect, pluss SW for the win :wink:


That is pretty damn good detail! Looks really small too, do you have the measurements for it? Did you need supports too or was it fine without it? Lastly was that in Luban or Cura? I highly doubt the slicer software would change in regards to all these measurements right? (1 mm retraction and 10 mm/s would be the same in Luban and Cura since their just values given to the machine)

I’m excited to start printing another TIE Fighter after all this poking around. I’ve redone the extruder calibration. I took off the top part of my enclosure to get a more accurate measurement of the filament. I’m still doing the retraction tests…but I’m almost done. After this print I’m going to change the layer height, then the speed and see if that somehow messes with my retraction settings. After that I’ll poke around with the k-value gcode and see if I can get it to measure my bed correctly and see how that looks.

But thank you! It’s good to see a benchmark I can hold my machine too.

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The little Droid is 29mm tall by 35mm long. It did require supports, I sued tree supports. I used cura to generate the gcode and printed it via USB thumb drive.
You can find the profile I used and more pictures (prepainted) here:
Suggestions for removing supports without destroying the model

The basic settings tend to be the same, but cura has many more settings to allow for fine tuning (such as minimum layer time that was needed for this print. Luban does not offer that setting). Its also important to remember that different slicers will use settings in different ways. Even the same slicer can have inconsistencies, with this guy it kept alternating between two different support layouts, even though I didn’t change any settings.

And I belive it can do better with more tweeking and some minor modification to the printer.

Update time!

So I went and printed close to…a dozen? Maybe a dozen and a half of those print towers. I found that for a low resolution (0.24 layer height) print a retraction of 1 and a speed of 10 gives me no strings, no wisps, and the final print points are nice and sharp. I used that for a medium resolution (0.16 layer height) and a high resolution (0.08 layer height) thinking that the retraction settings would be the same.

They definitely aren’t.

In fact, I couldn’t get any retraction distance or speed setting to work. I even tried messing with the flow to try and get a better resolution, but I still had strings.

The thing is, the prints at low resolution looked really sharp. So on a whim I decided to print another TIE Fighter, but using that low resolution. This is the result:

The print lines are as sharp as I have ever seen them. No stringing or wisping at all. Even the laser cannons on the TIE Fighter are crisp and well defined. There are some issues though: There’s a very tiny bit of an elephant’s foot going on, but not too noticeable. The sides of the wings have layers that seemed to have separated a bit and there’s definitely steps on the top of the print you can make out, which I assume is because of the lower resolution.

So the questions I have are thus:

Is there another setting besides retraction that would help for medium and high resolution prints to help with strings or would I need a different slicer for more retraction options?

Let me know if I’m spot on with this as I want to see if my assumptions are right, but the layers separating can be alleviated by increasing the temperature of the plastic, right? Or even making sure the enclosure is actually closed (I kept it open for all the testing I’ve done) so the plastic temperature doesn’t cool too quickly?

I may do this one more time, but with a higher k-value.

I guess next step is playing with Cura!

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I strongly recommend playing with cura, its just better than luban. As far as layer separation, raising the print temp is the usual fix, you could also reduce the cooling fan speed, but the SM does not have great part cooling to begin with so I don’t recommend that.
Oddly enough printing at to low a temp can also cause stringing. So maybe turn the heat up just a little (5 degrees?) And see if that helps both issues…

Either way they are looking way better then when you started and thats great!


I guess, your fighter is a bit underextruded or was printed too fast. I remember i had a similar problems at printing covid faceshields…
Btw, the sharp edge and fullspeed printing don´t makes it easier…

Your are right to check your K-factor again, maybe do a e-steps test again to be sure.
Else turn the extrusion a bit higher (+10%?) and see if this helps.

Hint: This just happens when you retract (I am guessing this because of the model height at this layers),- maybe try without retraction? Or slow down a bit.

With which speed did you the k-factor test? Whats your k-factor now?

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@Atom Yeah, I changed the k-factor which helped a wee bit. But I think I finally got one I’m happy with. It’s gluing ATM. Just got to find a way to take out that little lip of elephant’s feet and I’ll be ready to paint! It’s for a friend so I’m hoping it turns out well.

I took a peak at Cura and getting it set up, but there’s some different ways to set up an A250 printer on there. On the actual snapmaker site: it says to use those settings, but I can’t set the printhead settings to that, it won’t accept any value for min unless it’s negative or zero. On the forums this guy says to measure them yourself: Profiles for Snapmaker 2.0 but they are wildly different. Do printhead settings even matter?

@xchrisd I’ll try the extruded part, though I think it may be just printing a wee bit too fast. They were all at 100%. And yeah, the beginning of those flat wings are tiny. Putting the layer height higher actually helped with adhesion for some reason.

I had the hardest time getting the k-values to work. I gave up on it and set the value to 0.8 as people recommended. Just barley tried it again. I guess I didn’t hit generate when I deselected origin, but now it works!

I’m getting conflicting information here, so I tried both keeping the gcode the same and setting the k to lower case. I…didn’t notice a change in the print. Did they update the firmware so it doesn’t matter? Ironically, both prints the 0.0 k-value actually seemed the straightest.

I slowed the speed value down just a bit from the default. It’s 20, 60 now, but I think that’s still a bit fast. My k-value now is 0.9 as I raised it from 0.8. That was before I got this test working though.

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In general, I was able to print with 60mm outline, with a pretty well tuned machine and filament.

  • Tune your k-factor, I guess 0.9 is okay (I use it myself)
  • Tune your flow with the same filament you print
  • Print a temp tower to get best results

One has to be said, the filament I used in this case is able to be printed so fast! ( I guess up to 200mm/s, petg, extrudr)

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@xchrisd, are you saying you buy special filament to print faster? I always thought print speed had far more to do with the machine then the filament. I can print at 240mm/s on my ender but only 60mm/s on the SM2 with the same filament.

@iAlreadyLost, the print head settings do matter, I was able to set up my A350 using the settings from the page you linked. Maybe take a screen shot of the problem and I’ll see if I can’t figure out the issue.

@Atom, no I didn’t buy filament for printing faster, but with other filament brands I was not able to print that fast.
I talk about comparing renkforce petg with Extrudr petg.

Ahh ok, it is impressive to print that fast with PETG