Troubleshoot a 3D Printer
gaps in thin walls
Because your 3D printer includes a fixed size nozzle, you may encounter issues when printing very thin walls that are only several times larger than the nozzle diameter. For example, if you were trying to print a 1.0mm thick wall with a 0.4mm extrusion width, you may need to make some adjustments to ensure your printer creates a completely solid wall and does not leave a gap in the middle. Simplify3D already includes several dedicated settings to help with thin wall printing, so we will describe the relevant settings below.
Adjust the thin wall behavior
The first settings that you need to verify are the dedicated thin wall settings that Simplify3D includes. To view these settings, click “Edit Process Settings” and select the Advanced tab. The software includes a very useful features that is known as “gap fill”. This is exactly what it sounds like – it allows the software to fill these small gaps between your thin walls. To enable this option, ensure that “Allow gap fill when necessary” is checked. If you are still noticing gaps in your thin walls after enabling this option, there is one other setting you should check. Click on the Infill tab and increase the “Outline Overlap” setting. This will allow more room for your gap fill to fit between your thin walls. For example, if you were previously using an outline overlap of 20%, try increasing that value to 30% to see if your thin walls become more solid.
Change the extrusion width to fit better
In some cases, you may find that you have better luck changing the size of the plastic that is extruded from the nozzle. For example, if you were printing a 1.0mm thick wall, you could achieve a fast and strong print if your nozzle was setup to create a 0.5mm extrusion. This works best for parts that have fairly consistent wall thicknesses. You can adjust the extrusion width that the software creates by clicking “Edit Process Settings” and selecting the Extruders tab. Choose a manual extrusion width and enter a value of your choosing.