My morning print could be aptly described as “amateur hour”. I decided to make another stab at my two color cardinal. I had a busy workday, so the print wasn’t my top priority and I did note my filament had come uncoiled as I put it on the machine, but I didn’t think much of it. I got the print started, confirmed the first layer was going well and then I directed my attention to some programming projects.
All of a sudden I noticed the infill of the cardinal, which is usually quite smooth, was very much NOT so.
It was shortly there after, I noticed that all those loose coils had worked themselves in a nice, extruding-thwarting, knot.
I was able to undo the knot and the print resumed. Now, I have seen first hand how the quality and quantity of the infill can impact your top layer.
I was printing at 0.10 mm layers and at this point, I knew I had enough layers for my bird to recover. I felt that he would still end up with a smooth body and head. And I was right! Sure enough, layer by layer, the surface smoothed out and was looking rather fine.
But then…. ANOTHER KNOT.
Seriously! I let the exact same thing happen AGAIN. You would never guess that I spent 10 years working on Quality Control Software. You would never guess that I have heard of phrases like “corrective and preventative action”. : )
Anyway, at that point, I was just two layers away from one of my visible surfaces. I knew the bird would not recover.
But I let the print continue.
Failures in life (and 3D Printing) can also be “Learning Opportunities”. In this case, I wanted to see how my wing detail later in the print would look. It didn’t matter how shabby the rest of the bird looked. I would still be able to assess whether my “peeks of black” were going to be effective in the wing. The overall print would be a fail, but I would still gain some knowledge.
Experiments with Wing Detail
Later in the afternoon, I decided to give the cardinal another whirl. This time I made sure I wasn’t sloppy with my filament. And to keep the learning going with the print, I decided to play with the print lines in the wing.
I remembered seeing the “Owliver Belt Buckle” by Shapeways Designer Michael Mueller in Grey Polished Steel a while back. One of the things that really struck me about the design is how amazingly the print lines added to the feather effect.
Although I was working in plastic, it occurred to me that perhaps my feather detail could also benefit from some changes in the print lines. Perhaps instead of the straight lines on the wing, something like concentric lines that followed the contour of the feather/wing would look nice. But I wanted to keep the body-as in. I wanted to keep the diagonal straight lines there.
This experiment was easy to set up in Simplify3d. For more detail instructions, I suggest referring to their Different Setting for Different Regions of the Model Tutorial.
Quick synopsis – You use the Cross Section View to determine the actual height of where you want to make setting changes. Then you set up multiple processes (aka Settings). In the Advanced tab you can define the scope of the settings– where they should begin and end.
Quick note– I didn’t test it out in Simplify3d v3.0.0, but in v2.2.2 I had to be careful to turn my fan on for the first layer in my second batch of settings (because it isn’t actually a first layer– it just thinks it is)
Another multiprocess note- I have seen a bug with these multi-processes and rafts. I have not tested to see if it is corrected in v3.0.0
With my wing settings, under the Infill tab, I changed my External Fill Pattern to Concentric.
When the print was done, I was able to decide which External Fill Pattern I liked best in the wing.
Conclusion: The original! I liked the original rectilinear better. Does that mean I wasted my time? Nah… at least now I know*. : )
*I’m paraphrasing Barnacules Nerdgasm here (from his BronzeFill polishing experiments).