The Quality of 3D printing rests upon several factors like hardware of the machine, material condition, slicing options and other conditions. The key factors that can ruin the quality of printing are the following:
• Layer Thickness
• Material Quality
• Proper Temperature
Layer thickness is the most vital factor that affects the most as it is connected with slicer settings and the 3D printer we use. It is a simple rule that smaller the thickness of layers, better the quality of 3D print. Although it is a time-consuming process to make thin layers, the walls of your print will be smoother. Every machine may not be able to print very small layers. The smallest is 100microns commonly and some professional machines are able to deposit layers of 90microns and less.
Material quality of a product determines the aesthetic and mechanical properties of the product. The mechanical properties of the material directly reflect on the printed product. If the properties are poor it will impact on the strength and hardness of the product. Moreover, if a low-grade filament is contaminated, the risk of the extruder jamming is high. The diameter difference of the filament and the extruder is a major problem that creates inefficient printing.
The temperature of the extruder for extrusion must be configured differently for every type of material. On the other hand, there are machines that can automatically recognize the required temperature for the material as soon as the filament is hooked on the holder. To achieve great 3D printing quality using ABS, remember to set high extrusion temperatures of 240- 250 degrees Celsius, and be sure to pump up your building platform temperature to around 100 degrees Celsius.
To be successful with PLA plastic, be sure to set the nozzle temperature to around 200 degrees Celsius and your fan speed to 100% after initial layers are deposited. You can heat your build plate up to around 50-60 degrees Celsius for the PLA to stick better.
Retraction can be configured in your slicing software. Configuration of material retraction is very important when the extruder needs to travel some distances without actual extrusion. The best way to maintain good surface quality is to set a high speed for material retraction. This will prevent the forming of small clods of material on the perimeters.