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Getting Better Prints

Learn how to fine-tune your 3D printer.

Community → Support → Getting Better Prints

Extruding thermoplastic is a complicated process with dozens of variables at play. In this guide we’ll walk you through the bells and whistles of what makes a 3D printer work. We’ll discuss some crafty solutions and fine tuning settings so you can get a polished print that looks beautiful!

Infill

Infill can help make your part strong or weak. It can also mean the difference between a working nozzle, under extrusion or a clogged nozzle.

  

If we take this model of spikes for example, we can see that they get thinner towards the top. If we set our infill to 15%, your hotend may clog once it reaches the top because the printer will constantly retract plastic when traveling between points and won’t have enough pressure in the melt zone to push it back out the nozzle.

By increasing infill, the nozzle will push more plastic to fill in the printed object than it will retract. Therefore ensuring that you have enough plastic to deposit. The goal is to always make sure you have more infill than retraction, otherwise you may end up with under-extrusion at the top of the model, or in the worst case, a clogged nozzle.

 

Blue painters tape

Not all blue painters tapes are made the same. When purchasing blue painters tape, check the adhesion of the tape. Some tapes are very weak and will not stick to the bed very well. If this is the case, your print will warp and will pull the tape off the bed with it.

While others may stick well to the aluminum bed, the non-adhesive side will not stick well to the first printed layer.

We recommend you use our custom manufactured tape. We have specifically designed and engineered this tape to work well with our Delta Go printer.

Retraction

What is retraction and how does it work? Lets first go over a few misconceptions that users have when talking about retraction.

     Myth  Retraction is about “sucking” the plastic back into the nozzle so it doesn’t ooze while the hotend travels from one point to another during a print.

     Fact – Retraction does not “suck” the plastic back into the nozzle because once the plastic is melted in the melt zone, it cannot be pulled back up.

So, what does retraction do? Retraction helps alleviate pressure on the melt zone so plastic does not ooze during non-print moves.

So what are the best retraction settings?

It depends on the material and other settings such as speed and temperature. If you’re printing slow, your printing temperature should be lower. A common misconception is if you have a lot of oozing, you should set the filament to retract more back into the hotend. This is not always true.

Settings to tune:
-Retraction distance
-Travel (speed for non-Print moves)
-Printing temperature

Travel speed
If you’re printing really hot, for example 220C for PLA, you want your travel speed to be higher (not the retraction speed). If you’re printing for example at 200C for PLA, your travel speed can be lower. This is because plastic oozes faster out of the nozzle when it is hotter, so you want to move it to the next starting point quicker.

Retraction distance
Since the Delta Go uses an all metal hotend, you do not want the plastic to clog in the heat break where the plastic transitions from solid to liquid over a short length. Therefore, never set retraction over 4mm, otherwise your hotend may clog.

Based on your results, adjust either the travel speed or the retraction distance and reprint. Only change 1 setting at a time. That way, you can easily see the effect of each change.

Another option you may try editing is the z-hop under Expert Settings. The default settings for the Delta Go have a 0.20mm z-hop. This means that the nozzle will “hop” 0.20mm when moving from point A to point B. We added this to ensure that the nozzle does not hit the side of your printed object as it moves across. If you feel confident that your layers are not warping (even the slightest), then you can set it to zero to eliminate it.

Lastly, you may need to perform a test and adjustment for different materials. Some materials may ooze more than others, and may require increased retraction distance & travel speed to acheive the same results. Lowering the printing temperature by 5-10 degrees can also help the plastic ooze less.

Need more help? Post your question on our forums and our knowledgeable users will help you!