When 3D printing tabletop terrain, the goal is to get the best looking terrain in the fasted possible time, while using a minimum amount of PLA filament. Whether you’re using Cura, PrusaSLicer, Netfabb, Simplify3D or something else, this careful balance between speed, time and quality is controlled by the settings in your slicer.
Below are some suggestions and considerations to help yo get the best results from your FDM 3D printer.
Quick Start: The Cura ‘Standard’ settings work well for printing terrain if you lower the Infill to 5%.
Quick 3D Print Settings:
|Perimeter / Wall
|5-10% (Lines or cubic)
The above can be used on a printer such as the Ender 3 with a 0.4mm nozzle.
Level Your Bed: Most printing problems happen if your bed is not level. Take the time to level your bed (when it’s heated). This can be done quickly by placing a piece of paper between the nozzle and the print bed at the corners and center. You want the paper to have slight friction.
What Temperature Should I print at?
Most PLA filament will come with recommended printing temperatures from the manufacturer, this will usually be between 200-220°C. Note that transparent PLA may require a hotter temperature.
Your print bed should usually be around 60-65°C.
Is your bed clean? – If you have PLA residue, dust or grime on your printing bed, you may encounter adhesion problems where the print won’t stick. You can use isopropyl alcohol to clean the bed – A spray bottle and link free cloth makes applying this super easy.
What Slicer do you recommend?
Cura is a great, free slicer that works with most printers and can be used with network print options such as Octoprint.
How much infill for terrain?
Most terrain can be printed at 5% infill, however if you need something a bit sturdier or will be using OpenLock Clips, you may wish to increase this to 10%.
Good infill patterns are lines or cubic.
What nozzle Size for terrain printing?
Standard 0.4mm nozzles are great for 3D printing terrain. Changing the size here won’t be much benefit.
Do I need to print with supports?
Pretty much all of the 3D printable terrain designed by Saucermen Studios can be printed without supports, this means you can just open the model in your slicer, choose your settings and hit print. We design and test our models so that door ways, overhangs and arches print easily. Depending on your particular printer, you may need to remove the occasional stringing with a sharp knife or lighter/heat gun.