The Imperial's 3d Printer Settings for Terrain

Author: Dave / Date: AUG 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • My Recommended Standard Settings
  • My Recommended Fast Settings

Advanced

  • Variable Layer Height
  • Linear Advance
  • klipper FW

Lots of questions out there in the Facebook group and on the website about what good settings are for printing the terrain. The most important thing you must do when first getting your printer is calibration. I cannot stress enough that you must go through a calibration process / trial and error before you create an Imperial Terrain or any Gcode and get to printing. Each printer has to be tuned differently because of how and what it is made out of and the differing geometries. The best resource I have found is Facebook groups and other guides/blog posts and even Youtube for where to start on calibration. There are a significant number of models built specifically for calibration on thingiverse and is a great place to start.

CR10 Calibration Videos on Youtube

Prusa Calibration Vidoes on Youtube

Thingiverse Calibration Cube

Once you feel your basic calibration is good to go, make sure you tune your extruder for the best results.

CR10 Extruder Calibration Videos on Youtube

Prusa Extruder Calibration

My recommended Standard Settings

Layer Height = .2 - Ok Speed, Good Detail
Perimeters = 2 Perimeters - Good surface quality and resilience with strong bonding
Infill % = I print at 7% infill, I make up for the top surface layer quality with additional top layers (6-7) because I know I can print infill faster with a rectangular or cubic pattern and internal strength is still very good at 7%
Top Layers = 7
Bottom Layers = 2

Hobbying Notes: Prints at .2 take minimum to medium prep time due to higher quality of the surfaces. Filler Primer from spray can / Bondo / Drywall Texture / Sanding are all options.

My recommended Fast Settings

Layer Height = .3 - Great Speed, Ok Detail
Perimeters = 1-2 Perimeters - I haven’t found significant time savings going from 1-2 perimeters and would keep 2 for resilience.
Infill % = 5% infill, You can drop down here a bit if you keep 2 perimeters above.
Top Layers = 5-7 (You may start to get ugly surface quality so watch and adjust.
Bottom Layers = 2

Hobbying Notes: Prints at .3 take medium to more ( :) ) prep time due to the lower quality of the surfaces. Filler Primer from spray can / Bondo / Drywall Texture / Sanding are all options. I will Spray filler primer, sand, assess surface quality and if needed repeat the process.

Advanced - Variable Layer Height

This is where things get really fun. There will always be places in prints and objects where you dont need a .15 layer height for the great detail but there are places further up in the print where you do.

If you use Slic3r, read about it here : https://www.prusaprinters.org/smooth-variable-layer-height-awesome-supports-slic3r-prusa-edition/

S3D: https://www.simplify3d.com/support/articles/different-settings-for-different-regions-of-a-model/

Cura: https://www.imade3d.com/2018/02/cura-3-2-1-available-download-variable-layer-height/

Advanced - Linear Advance

Available in Firmwares for Marlin based FW machines, the basics of LA are that it allows for faster, sharper printing. To nerd out on the physics of the subject, take a read through this Matt's Hubb article. I have used LA on my Prusa's since around the time it was available and it is a game changer, especially for large flat prints like roofs or larger structures. I utilized that Matt's Hubb article as well to enable it and test on my machines. Always TEST!! Newer versions of Prusa FW have LA built in and ready to go, as well as

Advanced - Klipper FW

For the CR10 folks out there, I'm doing early research on Klippers firmware. Here is the reddit thread with a ton of info. Here is a synopsis from the folks on the sub : "Here is my suggestion -- use Marlin until you are confident in the mechanical abilities and configuration of your printer. Following this, the answer is really simple.. Klipper is superior. I don't know how else to say it. Your prints will look better, while printing faster. The ONLY problem with Klipper is that it takes 15-20 minutes to install, and that can scare a lot of people off. That's one of the primary reasons we created this subreddit."

Next article Hobbying Failed Prints!