Choosing the layer height - BCN3D Stratos

 

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configuring layer height

 

In every manufacturing process, there is a parameter that determines the quality of the product, in 3D printing this parameter is the layer height. In this article, you will learn all about layer height and how to set it correctly.

 

 

Table of contents:

What is and how does layer height affect the model

Correctly set the layer height

 


What is and how does layer height affect the model

layer height

The layer height defines how thick the layers of the printed model will be.

 

initial layer height

The initial layer height parameter allows you to modify the thickness of the first layer. A thicker first layer improves adhesion to the print surface. 

Note: Layer height values are automatically shared between extruders so it will only be necessary to indicate it in one of the heads.

 

The thickness of the layers affects different physical aspects of the part and the printing process: 

Surface quality

surface quality example

Reducing the layer height makes the part surface smooth and continuous. It also allows obtaining a greater level of detail along the Z-axis, which has a significant influence on curved surfaces, on-ramps, and overhangs.  

curved surface quality example overhang surface quality example

Printing time

print time comparison for different layer heights

On the other hand, the lower the layer height, the longer the printing time. Time increases inversely proportional to layer height.

Mechanical properties


the thicker the layers, the greater the mechanical resistance of the piece, this is due to the reduction of weld points, which are the weak areas between layers.

In the following graph. how the mechanical resistance varies depending on the diameter of the hotend and the height of the layer:

mechanical properties of the pieces vs used hotend

 


Post-process.

3d printed piece post-processing

For post-processing tasks such as sanding and painting, it is desirable that the layer height is very small to save time in these processes. If you want to know more about how to sand or paint your model, visit the following article: Post-Processing 

 


Correctly set the layer height

setting the correct layer height for the hotend

 

info-icon BCN3D Stratos contains recommended profiles with standard parameters for different layer heights, for each BCN3D printer and hotends.

 

When selecting a layer height, it is necessary to know the physical limitations that must be taken into account:

The diameter of the hotend

   
hotend X 0.6 mm To ensure the maximum dimensional quality of the piece, it is not recommended to use layer heights greater than 50% of the diameter of the hotend.

The minimum layer height

     

layer height tower piece

Although printers can ensure steps in the Z-axis of 0.05mm, it is recommended not to lower the layer height than 0.1mm.

 

Material flow

   
layer height affecting filament flow The layer height affects the flow of the material which depends on the diameter of the hotend, the speed, and the printing temperature. Varying the following parameters along with the layer height helps to preserve the dimensional quality and physical properties of the part.

 

Print speed

print speed

print-speed-2 Cropped

To keep the extrusion flow constant as the layer height decreases, it is recommended to slightly increase the printing speed to avoid excess material in the part. 

It is important to note that with increasing speed, dimensional and surface quality may be affected.   

To avoid problems, vary the speed in steps of 5mm / s and do not exceed the threshold of print speeds of the material.

 

Printing temperature

printing temperature

configuring printing temperature

Varying the temperature helps control the amount of filament that is extruded.

By decreasing the printing temperature the material is less fluid, so the amount of extruded material is reduced and it is not as necessary to increase the speed to control the flow.

    To modify the temperature it is advisable to do it in 5ºC intervals and control the height and section of the piece. You can find more information on how to find the ideal printing temperature in this article: BCN3D Stratos temperature

     

       

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