TAZ 5 Cura inconsistent skirt on repeated prints

This is only my second day printing so I apologize if I am using the wrong term. When I issue a print to my TAZ 5 from Cura I am getting an inconsistent “outline” around the print. I have not ever gotten a full outline, but usually it is enough to know where the print will be. Even when I reprint directly after printing I am getting a different outline. At first I didn’t find this to be an issue until I started with smaller prints and now I am noticing that the outline isn’t printed at all, and sometimes the first layer is missing some lines/rows.

I see the outline on the first layer in Cura, so I am unsure what is going on. When a print is started I see the print head move around where it should be printing the outline, so I know it isn’t completely skipping that step. At first I though maybe it was a extruder issue at the start of a print so before I start a print I tried to extrude a few 10mm worth of filament to get it started, but changed no results. I then thought maybe I wasn’t letting the printer head warm up long enough so I started doing double prints back to back, same result of inconsistent outlines.

Right now with normal prints, this isn’t that big of a deal, but some of my smaller prints are missing small sections which sometimes leads to a bad print. For some reason I am thinking it isn’t printing the first Xmm of filament, no matter if that is the outline or lines/rows of the first layer. Any thoughts or suggestions would be very helpful, and thank you in advance.

I have the TAZ 5 0.5mm nozzle, Cura was downloaded for OSX directly from Lulzbot website, version 18.03
I have not changed any settings to the profile, I have used both the Standard and High Detail profile, and only looked at the full/expert details and haven’t changed anything until I learn much more about what everything does.

Do a ctrl-E (expert config settings) and change your skirt line count to 3 or more.

I believe your problem is due to changing the initial layer to a thinner value, and also changing your layer height to a smaller number. I had the same issue with my mini, and printing more skirt seems to help.

Awesome thank you. Increasing the Skirt has ensured the “outline”, glad to know the actual term wasn’t finding anything with outline. Setting it to 2 has corrected issue on my normal prints, had to go with 3 for the smaller ones, but so far nothing has printed a bottom layer missing any lines/rows. It doesn’t do the full requested skirt lines, the first one is always missing some or all depending on the print size.

Regarding the layers, I haven’t changed any settings for that, standard is 0.25 and I believe high detail is 0.18. I won’t be tweaking any values just yet, still need to get more familiar with what it all means. Do you think Cura might be issuing slightly off GCode maybe? I know its hard to go by without images, I’ll get some if any more come out iffy, I’ve already grounded up the bad prints to recycle-reuse later on.

Once again thank you, skirt isn’t consistent still, but at least it’s instructed to print enough before it starts the first layer now.

Thats not a Cura fault, it’s physics :wink:
After every print, the hot nozzle moves away from the print. Until it reaches a certain temperature, the remaining material inside the nozzle will flow out of the nozzle. Same thing during heat up before a print, it will ooze as long as your print is not realy starting or as long as there is filament in the hotend.
Thats the reason why you need the skirt, to fill up the nozzle and ensure it’s completely primed before it starts with the real part.

You need more skirts fore smaller parts, because the skirt is shorter in this case. The nozzle oozes a given volume during last part cool down and heat up again. Given a fixed layer height and with, that means a fixed skirt length. A smaller part has a lower skirt radius, so you need more loops fore the same length.
Thats the reason why there is also a minimal skirt length value in Cura and other slicers. It then ads aditional loops as needed.

There are other methods of priming the nozzle, for example I prefer to extrude an “anchor” at the homing position and then print a single loop skirt. The advantage is that the anchor is cleaning the nozzle quite perfect. :wink: