I started out with my Taz using Cura, as I like a lot of its features and it prints fine detail like lettering way better than Slic3r. However, I noticed a lot of stringiness on my Cura prints. In particular, I couldn’t get the Make Shootout “Fine Positive Features” model to print nicely. Then I tried Slic3r with the medium PLA profile provided by Lulzbot, and the same object printed perfectly, with no stringing. I went through the settings looking to see if I could understand why the difference was occurring, and I didn’t get much. There were slight differences in retraction distance and speed (which didn’t make sense to me; shouldn’t those settings be the same regardless of slicer?), but it didn’t seem like enough to account for the difference.
What I did notice were the Slic3r extrusion width settings in the Lulzbot profile. The numbers there seemed bizarre to me, though clearly they work really well. Can anyone explain to me why these extrusion widths for various purposes would vary so much? Naively, I would have thought that a 0.35 mm nozzle would have a 0.35 mm extrusion width in most cases, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Seems like I’m not understanding some of the fundamental principals of FFF 3D printing. The Slic3r manual didn’t seem to explain this at all. And why do those extrusion widths vary so much with the different layer height profiles?
I’m also really curious as to how the Lulzbot folks dialed in these settings so finely. Cura doesn’t seem to have anything like this fine control, so I’m wondering if it is even possible to get as nice performance with Cura on things like the Make Shootout bridging and fine positive features tests.
I’d be grateful for any insight people can offer.