We have gotten a lot of questions about the settings used for the LongMill. This post will cover details on what settings we use for printing our parts.
3D printed parts have a bit of a reputation for being weak and inferior to metal or injection molded parts. However, we believe that the flexibility that 3D printing affords us to be able to improve on our designs incrementally is much more important for us. We’ve spend countless hours to continue to improve our designs and our printing process to make the strongest and most durable 3D prints possible.
We print all of our parts using black PLA+. We purchase a special formulation of PLA+ designed for high strength in bulk to use specifically in our farm which is not available to the general public.
Parts designed for 3D printing are usually made so that they are relatively forgiving in terms of material quality and printing settings.
We use a combination of Ender 3s, Anycubic Mega-S, and Prusa i3 printers. Parts are usually segregated by printer depending on its strengths and weaknesses (ability to print overhangs, bed surface, speed, ect). However, if you are printing at home and not in a production environment, any FDM printer will do.
Most of our printers have small modifications such as all aluminum extruders, higher quality levelling springs, and glass beds which help improve print quality and reduce maintenance.
Here are our settings.
- 0.6mm nozzle
We have found that a 0.6mm nozzle gives a good balance between print speed and quality. Larger nozzles may be good for larger parts like the angle mounts and feet.
- 235 degrees C
We have found that layer adhesion is strongest for our particular filament at 235 degrees. However, your filament may vary.
- 0.3-0.35mm layer height
Like above, this setting balances print speed and quality.
- 30-50% gyroid infill
We found that gyroid infill provides good strength in all directions. A higher infill can improve part strength, but we use a lower infill on parts that are more prone to warping, or do not require high strength. Instead of increasing infill, it is usually better to “beef up” the part for higher rigidity.
- 3 perimeters (1.8mm appx)
Higher number of perimeters improves print strength. I would recommend using more perimeters if you are using a smaller nozzle.
- 3-4mm top and bottom solid thickness
For some parts take loads along the plate of the solid walls of the printed part, increasing this number can help improve the rigidity of the part.
Tips and conclusion
If you are printing parts for yourself, you can choose settings that best fit with your printer. Increasing infill, number of perimeters, and top and bottom solid thickness can improve the strength of your parts.
One set of parts takes approximately 40 hours of printing.
Every printer is a little bit different and thus works best with different settings. We recommend using the settings that work for you. The settings above are what works for us, and gives us a high quality, high strength part.