General questions for new 3D printer users

Hello, would like to first off say I love my lulzbot! Great work with it.

I’ve been messing with my printer for a week or so now however I seem to be having issues calibrating it further, there a ton of material on the web in regards to slic3r settings and what not but I haven’t really found and understood some general rules of thumb. I been reading about printers for a few months before I bought mine however being visually impaired I found it a lot more difficult to operate than expected. Was hoping someone can help me with a few basic noob questions.

Is there a set mm height that I can use to adjust the tip from the bed? I’m having difficulty with the bed calibration gcode process for some reason and “eyeing” the results to see if the extrusion is “flat enough”

With the .5 tip, how small of a layer height can I get? I’ve used it for .25 layer height with fair results, but is there a rule of thumb for how small to go? Same for a .25 tip.

I seem to be having trouble with actual size with my abs prints. Im scaling the parts 1% more to compensate for shrinkage but still can’t seem to get what I’m looking for when printing NPT male pipe fittings thread.

The printer operates in mm right? So would it be best to design in mm? Slic3r handles everything if I design in inches?

Thanks in advanced for any and all support!

I use a sheet of paper under my nozzle to set the Z end stop and to level the bed. Put a strip of paper on the bed and lower the Z stop until drag is felt on the paper when trying to pull it out. Move to each corner of the bed and repeat. If it is different, adjust the bed leveling screws. This will get the Z where you want it.

To adjust the amount of material extruded ont eh frst layer, you can tweak the first layer height as well as the extrusion width settings. I can certainly see where having less than great vision may make it difficult. If you don;t have someone who can take a look, perhaps taking a photo of your first layers and posting to the forum would be a solution for others to take a look.


Hello Seesoe,

Have a look at the AO-101 Slic3r config files here:

You can see that for the 0.50mm nozzle, they provide 0.40mm and 0.30mm layer profiles. For the 0.35mm nozzle they provide a 0.25mm layer profile, and for the 0.25mm nozzle the profile is set to a layer of 0.10mm. Beyond that I guess it’s up to you to experiment.

FYI, I checked the Makerbot 2 specs (sorry for mentioning it guys :smiley: ) and with a 0.40mm nozzle, they have three layer resolution settings: low (0.34mm), medium (0.27mm) and fine (0.10mm).

That’s odd. Using the afore mentioned Slic3r profile at 0.40mm layer resolution I get pretty good results, see this topic.

I think it is best working in mm. Slic3r can scale parts but STL is a polygonal (mesh) format. Surfaces are made of polygons rather that smooth surfaces. If you scale an imperial model by 25.4 in Slic3r to get it from inches to mm I guess the polygons will be scaled as well. You will get a much less refined model.

Otherwise, if you design your models in a CAD program, which deals with solids rather than meshes, then you could work in inches, scale your model up, and only then export to STL. That way you won’t degrade your mesh.


Could you suggest a CAD program that deals with solids rather than meshes?

By definition, 3D CAD programs deal with solids. If a program deals with meshes, then it’s a modeling program, not a CAD program.

I need to know what operating system you use to give you suggestions.

I have gotten good results with the .5mm nozzle down to 0.2mm layer height. The 0.25mm nozzle will give you better detail at the cost of time and problems, like harder to push the filament through a smaller opening, adhesion to previous layer also can be a problem on smal walled parts

hello, thank you all for your feedback and apologies for the late reply, i been out of town.

i messed around with slic3r settings a lot and i think i understand the basic ideas of them.

after breaking the 101 extrude twice (i know i know), i went ahead and bought the Budaschnozzle 3.0 extruder. i am pretty happy with what i have to work with, there is a big difference in my opinion on the nozzle threads that i like.

i managed to get fairly solid prints with the old extruder and a .5 tip, however i bought my extruder with the .35 nozzle and now the real trouble kicking me.

as lotw said, the .5 is real easy to work with but when you go down it gets much more difficult. i seem to be having a good amount of adhesion issues with the smaller nozzle.

side note, i moved to repetier host and im loving it! its helped me calibrate everything very easily, very clean and simple all in one package solution.

To get adhesion you may have to print at a slightly higher temp, slower, and maybe change the extrude multiplier to extract a little more filament.

I have been bitten by the nozzle changing problem myself. I lost the threads on one hotend because of trying to remove a nozzle that was stuck. Now I have two hotends. One v1.3 with a 0.25mm nozzle and the new v2.0 with a 0.5mm nozzle.