Practical minimum layer height with Taz-6 with nGen filament

Besides the large print volume, one of the specs on the info sheet that sold me on the printer was the minimum layer height of 0.05-mm.

After receiving the printer and using the nGen filament, I’ve started running through the stock profiles. Diving into the profiles the layer_height variable seems to translate pretty closely to an actual mm thickness. I’m using a cheap digital caliper, so it’s likely closer than my measurements.

Using this filament, practically how low can I push it? After I finish printing one of each profile as a reference I’m going to start tinkering with the extrusion settings. The layer_height of the “high quality” profile is 0.18-mm and I would like to push this to at a maximum of 0.09-mm.

Does anyone here have experience minimizing the layer height? Some of the parts on the machine itself seem to have a much smaller layer height than what’s currently printing on the machine. Are those profiles known?

Any help would be appreciated.

The biggest key to layer height is getting your fillament and extruder dialed in perfectly. You need to be extruding perfect calibration cubes at 100% infil and other calibration objects that measure exact to the fraction of a mm before you try going for the extreme thin layers. Good, consistant width fillament is a must. On a modified Taz 5, 0.01 is possible with ABS for sure. A Taz 6 should be able to get into that same range. Another thing to watch out for is any evidence of Z wobble. The thinner the layer, the more likely Z wobble will be apperent at the edge of the part.

Super thin layers also sometimes result in super annoying adhesion to the bed, to the point the object can be extremely difficult to remove without destroying the bed.

At super small scales, any imperfections immidiatly magnfy. Nozzle goobers, loose carriages, etc. all are catestrophic at that resolution. It takes patience, and a great deal of time to get good parts at that scale. If you are going for super fine layers, you may also want to consider going with a smaller nozzle, lime a 0.1mm or 0.2mm. That will add considerable time to your prints, but will make it easier to control the smaller layers.

I would like to see how much I can reduce the layer height using the existing 0.5mm nozzle first. I’m not going to be the only one using the machine, so it would be ideal if the default profiles would still work without needing to tinker.

So, after adjusting my layer height to where I want it (0.09-mm to start). It’s going to be primarily a task of dialing in the flow rate, correct? Then anything finer may be mechanical tweeks to be sure that the machine is as stable and level as possible?

I’m not expecting to get Stratasys quality prints. This is a $2,500 printer. However, I’m just trying to get it as fine as I can so that the prototypes are as close to the final milled (or stratasys printed) parts as possible.

It’s quite possible for a Taz to produce prints of higher quality than most Stratsys FDM type machines. It takes a lot of work and some hardware tweaks, but it can be done. But yes, you have the right idea on how to proceed.