Cura Slicing issues with multiple faceshield prints

I am trying to print face shields for local hospitals, but it is nearly impossible to get more than one on the build plate at once. Why is it impossible to place part of a print in an unused area of another? I could probably print up to three at a time instead of taking 10 minutes trying to not get overlap for just two.

Some slicers compute “used area” more liberally that others. Almost all slicers have the ability to save a build plate so you could use a different “free” slicer to position your three shields, save it, and then load it with your preferred slicer. Ultimaker Cura or PrusaSlicer would be the first two I’d try if CuraLE can’t handle it.

What do you mean you can’t place a part in the unused area of another? That’s not a known limitation, I do it all the time. Do you have a picture of this? What printer do you have? What version of Cura are you using? Are both parts flat on the build plate, Z height 0?

I’m going to guess here that as one part is positioned, the slicer is “helping” by indicating that the part overlaps and doesn’t let it be placed, even if there isn’t any overlap of the actual part.

If I had a link to the part in question, I could experiment with different slicers and see for myself, but I’m not going to search the net and guess at the part in question. Identifying the slicer that isn’t cooperating would be helpful as well.

If you are using Cura, there is a setting in preferences to keep parts away from each other.

You can disable that setting. You can also stack parts … although this is a bit trickier to do … and to do that you want to disable the setting to automatically drop parts onto the build plate (disabling this lets parts “hover” in mid-air above the build plate so you can arrange several on top of each other. Otherwise it tries to force all of them down onto the plate.). Stacking parts requires enough separation so that the next part above just barely makes contact with the part below as it prints … just enough to hold the part in place, but not so much that the parts are bonded permanently.

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I should be able to place the side of the head pieces
between in the grey area, but the system does not allow the
overlap. I had to get creative just to get two on the plate at
once. There is so much wasted print area.

lulzbot cura issue.png

@Phuhque, Have you got a reason for not supplying details like the slicer you are using and a link to the part you are trying to print? It would really help us help you if we had those details.

(From the title of this thread, it looks like the slicer is “Cura” but there’s (at least) two flavors, CuraLE and Ultimaker Cura. Both have version numbers which might be useful as well).

No reason, was just posting updates between calls. Here is a link to the part
I am using a Taz5, all hardware is default.
The version of Cura LE I am using is.3.6.20

Although may not be important, I am using Hatchbox 3.00 PLA.

Thanks for the help guys.

In Cura Preferences, find the option named “Ensure models are kept apart” and un-check that. This will let you bring the inter-mingle the models so you can fit more on the build plate.

Found it, thank you. I need to wait for the current 6 hour job to finish to see how it goes. I don’t mind the ~3 hour print time. It will be so much better to be so much better to have a 9 hour print that way I can set it before going to sleep and it should be finished by the time I wake up. I lost so much time with it idle doing it every three hours. I managed to send my first batch off to one hospital, making the next batch for another.

Good find Tim! :+1: :+1:

I have also added five shield bottoms inside the headbands and it now takes 15 hours on my Taz6. A lot longer print time than the Prusa or Stratasys designs, but the doctors I talked to would not use those headbands due to lack of protection from droplets over the top.

@CSW instead of 3D printing the forehead shield, I used the clear visor material.

The forehead shield is cut at an angle so that it tilts back.

To pull this off, the bottom edge of the forehead shield isn’t actually straight… it’s cut at a V and that means the holes aren’t punched with a 3-hole punch… I used a Cricut Maker cutting machine to cut the shields. I realize most people probably don’t own a Cricut Maker cutting machine. But you could use a 3-hole punch if you put vertical slit down the top center of the shield … stopping the cut before you get to the center hole. Then pull in the left and right halves so they over-lap and clip it together with a paper clip, etc.

This saves a LOT of 3D printing time so you can produce more shields in a day.

Yeah, I have been tempted to get another printer to increase my production, but I just can’t justify the cost. Your design looks good and seems to solve the over-the-top issue. But at this point,I am going to stick with the NIH design. A physician’s assistant that I talked to had used one of my face shields for a couple of weeks and really liked it. It was light, durable and cleanable. He says that everyone that sees it wants to know where he got it. A batch with shield and foam installed, waiting for straps.