Lulzbot Taz 6, 3D iphone case with face


I’m wondering if my Lulzbot Taz 6 is able to print phone cases with real face or not? I have been trying with different settings but result doesn’t come out similar with the 3D models i drawn. Due to the level of details, I have set the layer settings to 0.15 mm in Cura. If there is anyone did this successfully, please give me some guide. I’m beginning to think that the current 3D printer technology are not capable of this level of details yet. Hope I am wrong and just some simple configuration/tweaking will work. This is my first request from a client, I want to give him the best product possible.

Please help. I have attached a picture of my model in this thread to give you an idea of what I am doing.

Thanks in advance!

What material are you using? Can you post example prints you’re getting? The TAZ 6 can print down to 0.050mm layer heights which is pretty fine IMHO. However if you’re having trouble reproducing your embossed image on the case I don’t think it is 3D printer technology, I think it is more a matter of your not using the right tool for the job. Meaning, if any level of detail if the “image” is less than the nozzle width it will be difficult to print with the detail you desire. Smaller nozzles allow you to print with greater detail. Rule of thumb being you’ll lose/have difficulty with any detail smaller than your nozzle diameter. Not hard fact, but again use it as a rule of thumb.

I am also beginning to think it has something to do with nozzle size and filament size. I’m not sure about the nozzle size, I didn’t swap anything, I’m still using the stock nozzle that comes with my Taz 6, but I could see that the default setting for the nozzle size is 0.5 mm. The filament I used is 3 mm. As I heard this printer print best with 3 mm instead of 1.75 mm.

These are the settings I applied in Cura:

Layer height : 0.15 mm (I’m too afraid to go any lower, as this print already took 9 hours. I don’t want to waste too much time and material when I know it’s not going to come out good)
Shell thickness: 1.0 mm
Nozzle temp.: 215
Bed temp.: 55
Filament flow (%): 70

The rest of the settings unchanged. Should I purchase simplify3d instead? Below are the results, 3 tries in total.

It’s most likely your nozzle is too big for the details you want.

To perform an experiment, print the image with the case flat on the bed with the face image you want to print pointing to the sky. Go into cura and scale up the solid by about 1.5 or 2 (depending how much material you have to burn…you can use a cheaper material if you have it for this test.

Does the image look more detailed when you scale it up? Did certain features suddenly show up that weren’t printed at the smaller scale? If so, the details you’re trying to print are too small for the nozzle. You will need a smaller nozzle diameter.


Thanks Jim. I suspect it really is the nozzle size issue. Nothing much I can do now :confused:

It’s not like you’re stuck, you can change out the nozzle size :slight_smile:. I found this examination of the pros and cons of larger/smaller nozzle extrusion, hope it helps you.

I’ve done similar things, but making lit-from-behind “pictures.”

What I found is that the more layers you have, the clearer the result is. Which means go to even finer layers, or make the total result thicker. For me about 20-30 layers was all I ever tried, due to the printing time problem.

And for me, at the higher layer count the resulting lit-from-behind “picture” got too dim, but you don’t have that limitation.

FWIW, the lit-from-behind images always looked way nicer than seeing them from the front. But for that use you need 100% infill or you’ll see the infill grid pattern when lighting the result from behind.

Thanks tallslenderguy, and MikeO I’m not concern about the lighting, what I want is the level of details of the face. As you can see my print results are grotesque, lol… I want it to be able to look like the digital model, presentable. Which leds me to believe I really need a finer nozzle and filaments.

You may need a smaller nozzle size but you don’t need different filament.

The standard nozzle size on the TAZ 6 is .5mm. My son wanted some miniature gaming pieces printed but the .5 nozzle couldn’t handle the detail. I used a .2mm nozzle and got enough detail to satisfy him. He wanted 6 pieces in 6 different colors and each print was 20+ hours. I haven’t needed that level of detail since.I wouldn’t want to use the .2mm nozzle for everything as it increases the print time substantially.

If you are going to do a lot of detail work mixed with “regular” work, you might consider a second tool head. I did and can switch back and forth in just a few minutes (plus cooling and heating time).

If you are going to do a lot of detail work mixed with “regular” work, you might consider a second tool head. I did and can switch back and forth in just a few minutes (plus cooling and heating time)

So you have two different tool heads with different size nozzles? Then perhaps you execute the “Pause at height” script/plug-in, swap out the tool heads and press resume. Is this correct?

I’ve never tried it but, you don’t get an error about the system being unable to detect E0 or any other kind of error as such?

I am interested to know more about this technique ; I printed some molds and the fine details were on the top and I could’ve used the larger nozzle size to build up the base quicker. Along the same lines of this, is there a way to have multiple layer heights within a print? I tried using the “Use adaptive layers” setting in the Experimental section but the results didn’t turn out too good for me. I would like to control the layer height throughout various points in the model.

No, I do not switch tool heads in a single job. I determine ahead of time which tool head would be appropriate for each print job and then slice and print the job with the appropriate tool head. It might be possible to have two different sized nozzles in a dual extruder tool head, but I’ve not done it.

Multiple layer heights within a single print can be done in some slicers. In CuraLE, “Use adaptive layers” is supposed to do this automagically. Simplify3D has the ability to do multiple “processes” in the same print job and for each process, you can specify begining and ending layer numbers or Z height and the layer height can be different in each process. Slic3r also has the ability to do this but I haven’t used Slic3r very much.