An Ideal Print Result of a Calibration Cube
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How To Print A Calibration Cube?

Posted On March 28, 2017 at 6:49 pm by / No Comments

In this complete guide, we will help you to print a calibration cube. If you are first time using a 3D printing or you are testing a new 3D printer or filament, printing a calibration cube will be a great place to start. This guide will walk you through from setting up your 3D slicer to a calibration cube in your hand.

Why do we need to print a calibration cube?

In the process of achieving an ideal print result of a calibration cube, you will gain familiarity with your printer and filament. With such experience, you will be more able to tweak your settings based on the complexity of the next project.

As a reference, you can check out our video of an ideal print result of a calibration cube below.

Before we begin, we need some information from the 3D printer manual provide by the manufacturer.

  1. Nozzle Size
  2. Filament Size: 1.75mm or 3.00mm
  3. Material
  4. Build Volume: Length (mm) x Width (mm) x Height (mm)
  5. GCode Flavour: RepRap (Merlin/Sprinter) or MakerBot or Ultigcode or others

Let's begin.

Step 1: calibrate your 3D printer based on manufacturer's recommendations.

Step 2: Open your 3D slicer and set up your printer.

If you have not set up the machine settings for your printer, please follow the 4 steps below to guide you through.

  1. In the Cura top menu, select "Machine" -> "Add Machine"
    Cura Machine Settings - 1.Add New Machine
  2. Select your 3D printer from the list. Cura will set up based on the pre-set profile.
    Cura Machine Settings - 2.Select your 3D printer
  3. Update machine settings if necessary. Double check all following information are set up correctly (printer's manual as primarily source):
    • Maximum Length
    • Maximum Width
    • Maximum Height
    • Heated Bed (Y/N)
    • Machine Center 0,0 (Y/N) (most XYZ printers front left corner 0,0; delta printers 0,0 center)
    • GCode Flavour

Cura Machine Settings - 3.Machine Settings

Cura Machine Settings - 4.Update Machine Settings

Step 3: If your 3D printer is a RepRap based printer and operating with 1.75mm PLA, you can download - Calibration Cube Gcode and skip to step 6.

* Right click and "download link file as..."

If not or unsure, you will need to set up the following printing settings manually by following these 4 steps. Please note this profile is based on BotFeeder PLA Filament.

  1. Switch from "Quick Print" mode to "Full Settings" mode.
    Cura 3D Printing Settings - 1.Switch from quick print to full settings
  2. Set up "Basic Settings" tab:
    • Quality:
      • layer height (resolution): 0.2mm
      • Shell Thickness: 1.2mm
    • Fill:
      • Bottom/Top Thickness: 0.15mm
      • Fill Density: 25%
    • Speed & Temperature:
      • Print Speed: 30mm/sec
      • Printing Temperature: 205°C
      • Bed Temperature: 65°C (also works with no heated bed)
    • Filament:
      • Diameter: 1.75mm (default)
      • Flow (or extrusion rate or feed rate): 100% (default)
    • Machine:
      • Nozzle Size: 0.4mm (*Enter your nozzle size*)

    Cura 3D Printing Settings - 2.Basic Profile

  3. Set up "Advanced Setting" Tab:
    • Retraction:
      • Speed: 100mm/sec
      • Distance: 4.5mm
    • Quality:
      • Initial Layer Thickness: 0.15mm
    • Speed:
      • Bottom Layer Speed: 20mm/sec
      • Infill Speed: 30mm/sec
      • Bottom/Top Speed: 20mm/sec
      • Outer Shell Speed: 30mm/sec
      • Inner Shell Speed: 30mm/sec

    Cura 3D Printing Settings - 3.Advanced Profile

  4. Set up "Cool" tab. To access the "Cool" advanced tab, please enter through the green arrow in above image.
    • Fan Full on at height: 0.6mm
    • Fan Speed Min: 50%
    • Fan Speed Max: 50%
    • Minium Speed: 10mm/sec

    Cura 3D Printing Settings - 4.Cool Fan

To print with BotFeeder ABS Filament, please adjust the following parameters.

  • Extrusion temperature: 255°C
  • Print Bed Temperature: 115°C

Learn more about BotFeeder temperature and printing guide.

Step 4: Download the STL of the calibration cube.

Click here to download.

Download STL from Thingiverse

Select "File" -> "load model file" and select the STL file you just downloaded.

Cura load model file

Step 5: Export the gcode onto a SD card or on computer.

Cura export file as GCode

Step 6: Load the gcode in your 3D printer and start printing.

Step 7: Monitor and make sure the first layer is ideal. We recommend you to read article: How to properly print first layer?.

Step 8: Check the print result. If result is not satisfy, you might need to recalibration your printer or change your brass nozzle tip or other uncommon reason.