PLA and ABS 3D printing Tips and slicer Guidance

syedtutul By syedtutul, 22nd Jul 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Technology>Printers

This page is meant to give you a whole picture of tuning parts in 3D printing which is called the slicing settings. We aimed to help you to achieve better printing results and help you understand the terms in the slicing software meant. This could be a troubleshooting guide as we conclude some of the situations that you will be facing and solving actual problems. In this article, we are going to use CURA as the slicing software in Fused Deposition Modeling(FDM) 3D printer.

What can Cura or 3D slicer does?

A slicing software is to transform CAD model or 3D model into a language that gives the command to a 3D printer. All of your printing settings will be included in this language, and the printer will 100% follow your command. It transforms into horizontal layers, calculating time and how much material it will be needed. Finally sent to your printer. Hence the settings on the 3D printer will be greatly influenced by the slicing software's settings.

Slicing Settings that you need to know!

Layer Height

Layer height means the height of each layer of your print, more like a resolution of your prints. Thinner layers give you more sophisticated prints and smooth surface. The cons of the thinner layer are that it takes a relatively longer printing time.

Hence the layer height depends on what your demand is, if you need detailed 3D prints, thinner layer height would be recommended.However, if you want to spend less time to quickly make up something, layer height can set a little bit thicker.However, in this setting, printing layers will be visible, and the rougher surface of the object.

Shell Thickness

The outer walls of the prints are referred to Shell. It is the thickness of the side walls, Thicker wall results in increasing the setting and improve the strength of the print. In general situation, this number is set automatically, however when you need to enhance durability and strength of the print you will need to increase the thickness.


The retraction guides the extruder to pull back the filament when printing in discontinuous surfaces. We recommend you to enable this feature to control the flow of the filament. However, if you finding your printer having too much filament spreading out of the nozzle, and leaving a bunch of strings, it is the situation you need to disable the feature, if you are not disabled, it will probably get clogged of the extruder.

Infill(Fill Density)

Infill represents the density that inside your 3D prints. Measured in percentage, 100% infill representing your 3D prints is completely solid. Higher infill makes your object heavy and strong, but it is also time-consuming and required a much more filament. For display purpose, we recommend you 10-20% infill of your items, however, a functional and sturdy 3D prints may required infill that greater than 75%. Cura infill constructs a grid like a pattern while printing.

Printing Speed

Printing speed representing the speed of the extruder travels while it extruding filament. To adjust the printing speed, you need to depend on layer height, type of printers, type of filaments. It collaborates with all factors and finally generates the output which is the prints. Faster printing speed can reduce the total printing time, however fast print speed can cause a serious messy looking or even failed to print.
For complicated objects, slower speed will be recommended, it gives greater sense of the layer height and results in more delicate 3D prints. Based on different situations, there is no one fits all setting of the printing speed, optimal print speed should be tested in your practice.


When parts of your 3D printing object had past 45-degree angle, we call them overhangs, and resulting in drooping look without using any supports. Support is there to help hold your 3D objects when it extend to a certain degree. It technically builds up to something to hold your 3D objects.

Joe Larson provides a YHT rules for defining the situation when we need to use the supports.

1.Anything in a “Y” shape is safe to print without support because it’s a gradual slope which still has enough material beneath it to keep it from drooping. This is another way to think of the 45 Degree Rule, which states that in general, overhangs with a slope greater than 45 degrees will require supports.

2.Designs that take the form of an “H”, where the middle overhang connects to either side is called bridging. Any type of bridge should have supports to prevent drooping or a messy print.

3.Anything with a “T” shaped overhang will need support to avoid dropping.

Support types:

In Cura operation interface, you will see two type of support type, one is touching build plate, and the other is Everywhere. They both have unique features, so to choose which one to apply, you better know what result they can print.

Touching Build Plate:

It's the option for models where it had directly overhang on the build plate, which means the slicer will calculate the part that needs support automatically, and less filament and time needed compare to Everywhere support.


In a highly complex model, the slicer couldn't calculate the support accurately, so at this moment you will need support everywhere, even the part that overhangs within the model, it will build up a support within the model as well. It's safer, but much more time-consuming support type.

Hope this article provides some nutrients for your 3D printer, and we've attached the proper setting of our 3D Solutech PLA filaments, ABS filaments, and PETG.


3D Printer, 3D Printer Tips, 3D Printing

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