All posts tagged with 3dprinting

Cura Profile for Miniature Printing

May 28, 2020 - Søren Alsbjerg Hørup

I own the F5 Cube Large 3D Printer from the Chinese company of FLsun. I use this printer to print fun / non-productive objects, primarily toys for my kids. To calibrate the printer, I have printed a-lot of D&D and Battletech miniatures, such as these 3D printed skeletons:

3D printed skeletons

Initially, the printer was not able to produce a miniature of this quality. I used a-lot of my time tweaking the settings and even upgrading the printer with a parts-cooler to get acceptable results. What is seen above is what I believe to be the optimum the printer can produce with the known limitations of Fused Filament Fabrication (FDM) printing.

The profile I made for CURA can be downloaded here: Link to Profile

I did several adjustments to the stock profile of CURA to be to print miniatures of decent quality. The most important described below. The profile assumes a nozzle size of 0.4mm - it might be adaptable to lower nozzle sizes, but I have not tried this myself.

The profile uses 0.08 as layer height
Generally, the smaller the better.
A fine layer height will produce better results in all my test cases.
For some minis, 0.12 is also OK

Print speed is set to 30 mm/s
Print speed has a big impact on the quality of the print.
Some minis can be produced with decent quality when using a faster print speed, such as the stock 60 mm/s, but I would leave it very low.

Initial layer speed is set to 20 mm/s
This is primarily to help with adhesion to the build plate.
I use a glass bed with no glue.
Set this to whatever works for you.

Enable Print Cooling
A print cooler is a must if you wish to produce decent quality minis.
I initially tried without a print cooler, and was never able to produce a quality which I found decent.
I use 100% fan speed with a minimim layer time of 10 seconds

Supports depends
I typically use supports, specifically the Experimental Tree Supports in CURA.
The choice of supports depends on the mini to be printed.

I use an initial temperature of 230C to get good adhesion and then 205C as printing temperature. My build plate is set to 60C. I believe this setting depends very much of the printer.

Enable Retraction
Be sure to enable the retraction of the print head to avoid too much stringing.
I found a retraction distance of 6.5 mm and a retraction speed of 50 mm/s to be a good setting.

Infill Density
I have mine set to 10% which I have found adequate for all my miniature prints.

Word of caution: 3D printing can eat up alot of your time, especially when printing minis :-)