Optimizing for printing hollow/empty objects

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Optimizing for printing hollow/empty objects

Postby jetdillo » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:55 pm

I'm wondering if people here have any specific advice for printing things like boxes, containers, etc. that are meant to have lots of empty space in them. I'm trying to print a container to hold random kitchen items and getting print times estimates of 6-8 hours for a box that's 4 inches on a side without the lid. This is even after taking infill down to 10%, speeding up printing to about 70mm/sec, no raft, no Z-hop, 1st layer set to print at 40mm/sec, per-layer start point is set to "Nearest", etc.
This seems a little crazy, so I'm wondering what I'm missing(if anything).
Is this just a pathological case for FDM printers or maybe just something that Ideamaker is particularly bad at ?

I can't be the only one who's run into this.

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Re: Optimizing for printing hollow/empty objects

Postby MDVolle » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:06 am

I'm far from being an expert on this - I don't go into my g-code files or even use outside slicers, BUT... I have seen some REALLY crazy print files -

Sometimes, there is a lot of "gap filling" happening where I see the head go back to an area that appears complete but it may make 3-5 more passes in that area before moving on.

In other cases, I've seen it go back and forth between opposite sides of an item and just seemingly put a single little dot in place, then jump to the other side to do the same thing - sometimes 8-10 jumps across, all doing something I can't even see - so I don't know what its trying to do.

Another thing I have caught it doing but I can understand is that if you set layer start point to random, it will choose a random point somewhere on the next shell layer and have to drive there to start - if you also have don't travel through holes turned on, it takes the long way and follows the perimeter of your open area to get to that start point.

In several cases, I went back a revision of my slicer profile (not the software, just the profile) and it sliced fine.
In a few cases, I had to go back to a "factory" profile and then re-make my changes to the settings - then it sliced correctly again.

I don't know all the causes or how the profiles could be corrupted, but I have seen the kind of excessive print times you are talking about and it almost always seemed to be related to something in the profile I was using.

In one case, it was the crazy way that the object had been drawn - I was starting from someone else's STL file - I re-drew the part in Fusion 360 and then it printed fine.

Its VERY frustrating when it happens, that for sure -

it also happens when you accidentally get a zero in the wrong place when you put in the layer height.... OOPS - but that was more obvious and easy to fix - 0.01 layers vs 0.10 layers I thin it was 14 hours? I was expecting less than 2

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