Adjusting print settings

This article explains the Print Settings panel for the different types of printers that GrabCAD Print supports.

FDM printers

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PolyJet printers

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Print settings for FDM printers

Model Settings

These properties can be changed for individual parts on the tray. Select models with left-click, either in the 3D viewer or the models list in the Project Panel. Add to your selection with ctrl+click.

Support Style and Part Fill Style

To learn about the different styles,  read more here

Use Model Material

This allows the support structure to be printed using mostly model material, with a few layers of support material where the support structure meets the model. This reduces the amount of time the job spends switching between support and model material each layer. An additional setting changes the infill of the generated support structure to be higher density and without a boundary contour. 

Self-supporting Angle

Supports are generated wherever the angle of the part surface drops below a specified value, known as the self-supporting angle, and it can be adjusted here. You can increase or decrease the amount of supports that are generated, and also restore the value to the default recommendation, which varies for different printers and materials. 

Thicken Thin Walls

When the model is sliced, some areas of the slice may be narrower than a single toolpath width (twice the slice height). With this setting enabled, toolpaths will be generated anyway. If this setting is disabled, toolpaths will not be generated where they do not fit. If the setting is not available, it is on by default.

Variable Width Fill

Designed to give better fill in small gaps where a nominal width toolpath would not fit.

Off On

Tray Settings

These properties must be the same for all models on a tray. When you select a real printer and not a template printer, the settings from the printer will fill the values here, and a green icon will indicate that the settings match those of the printer. 

Slice Height

The available options for slice height depend on the selected printer. To learn more about slice heights,  read more here

Model Material, Support Material, and Support Tip

Consult stratasys.com for more information on materials available for your printer.

Part Build Style (F123 Series only)

Normal — Acceptable for most part printing.
Draft Mode — Uses model material for the generated supports, except for a thin layer where the supports meet the model. This reduces the number of material swaps per layer, which reduces build time. If you have selected PLA as your material, this option is not available, because with PLA, all supports use model material. 

Purge Part Type (F123 Series only) or Sacrificial Tower Type (Fortus only)

F123 Series printers use a purge part on the tray instead of a purge bucket behind the tray. This reduces head movement per layer, reducing print time. Purging is needed when the printer swaps from printing model to support material in each layer. For Fortus printers, you may want to add a sacrificial tower, even though material is already purged into the purge bucket. The seam quality is often lowest on the first part after the purge, so introducing a sacrificial tower to the tray will make sure the seam quality is consistent for all parts on the tray. This helps especially for Nylon materials, and is required for printing with Nylon 12 CF. 

Often, the upper layers of a print will not use any support material, so purging is not required. This setting adjusts the height of the purge part. In model view, the purge part on the tray will always display as "Full Height" regardless of your setting, but if you go to Slice Preview you can see the actual height. 

Last Swap — The purge part will only be as tall as the last layer of support material
Full Height — The purge part will go all the way to the last layer of model material. 

Note: If you have selected PLA as your material, there is no purge part, since support material is not used. 

System Mode (F123 Series only)

Normal — Acceptable for most part printing.
Brick Mode — Helpful when printing large parts to reduce part curl. This is only when using a slice height of 0.005” with ABS, ASA or PC-ABS.

Model and Support Tip

Some printers require different tips for certain print settings. 

First Layer Material (F123 Series only)

When 0.005" slice height is selected, you can choose whether to use support or model material for the base layer that makes contact with the tray. This slice height uses a lower chamber temperature, and to improve tray adhesion and ensure part quality, model material is the default selection. However, when you want your part to be easy to remove from the tray, you can use support material for the base layer. You can also use this in conjunction with Brick Mode (see above) to raise the chamber temperature.

Print settings for PolyJet printers

Tray Materials

The settings available depend on what materials and profiles are selected. When you select a real PolyJet printer and not a template printer, the loaded materials and the recommended profiles will be. To review the selected materials and profiles, click "Change Materials" to open this panel:

If you are preparing a print with materials other than what's currently loaded, you can use this panel to customize your tray materials. If you have made changes in this list and want to revert back to what is loaded, click "Get printer's loaded materials." 

Because CMYK printing does not cover the full spectrum of colors available in RGB, GrabCAD Print performs some approximation to get the color as close as possible. The Color profiles and Texture profiles options change fine details about this approximation. This is similar to adjusting display modes on your monitor or TV. 

The following profiles are available when you have VeroPureWhite, VeroBlackPlus, VeroCyan, VeroYellow, and VeroMagenta selected:

Natural Texture (default) — Realistic rendering many of VRML models (UV-mapped and non-shell based). This is the profile of choice for thin models.
Vivid Texture — Richer and more vivid rendering of dark colors. Red, green, and blue colors are similar in hue to those seen on a monitor.
Crimson Shells — Red colors are more similar to those seen on a monitor.
Natural Shells (default) — Realistic rendering of thick shell-based models. Out-of-gamut colors are mapped to the closest printable color.

When you have VeroPureWhite, VeroBlackPlus, VeroCyan-V, VeroYellow-V, and VeroMagenta-V loaded, these new profiles are available:

Vivid 1.1 D50 (Absolute) — Colors within the printable gamut are matched exactly, and colors outside the printable gamut use the nearest possible color. 
Vivid 1.1 D50 (Relative) — The "white point" is altered to match the printable gamut white point to reduce discoloration in subtle colors such as skin tones. Colors outside the printable gamut are clipped to the nearest possible color, similar to the absolute profile. 
Vivid 1.1 D50 (Perceptual) — The entire range is compressed to match the printable gamut for smoother transitions between colors within and without the printable gamut. 

To learn more about the difference between absolute, relative, and perceptual translation of colors and images, refer to this article

When you have fewer colors loaded, a 3-color profile will be selected, such as "StratasysCMK" which refers to Cyan, Magenta, and Black. Since this profile has a very small color gamut, colors and textures of your models may be greatly altered. 

Finish

Glossy produces a shiny finish on the top surfaces of the model, and Matte produces a uniform finish on all surfaces. 

Coating

You can add a coating to your model and choose its thickness. The coating thickness does not affect the external dimensions of the object, which remain unchanged. The coating layer replaces part of the main model material.

Color selection

For models without a texture, you can choose a color using a variety of methods:

Select a pure resin: 

Pick a color in the color picker:

The "Actual color" is determined by the selected color profile. Depending on the materials loaded, the opacity and/or Shore-A slider may be available. If Tango+ or Agilus30Clear are loaded, you will notice that the opacity slider moves in relation to the position of the Shore-A slider, as the flexible material is clear.

Pick a Digital Material by first selecting a combination of resins from the dropdown: 

Some Digital Materials will have additional information listed in the tooltip when you hover your mouse over them.

Select a Pantone® color: (Only available when Advanced Slicer is on and all three Vivid materials are loaded)

When you pick a color in the color picker and then switch to the Pantone tab, the nearest Pantone color will be highlighted. Each Pantone color has an accuracy rating shown by the filled in circle next to the name of the color. 

Enter the color manually using the hex code, RGBA, or HSLA values:

Shore-A Level

If Tango+ or Agilus30 is a loaded material, you can use the Shore-A slider in addition to the color picker to determine the amount of flexible material used in the mix. Lower Shore-A level means more is used, resulting in a softer material.

Grid style

This determines how much model material is added in the support. When Tango+ is loaded, "Heavy" is the recommended setting. 

Hollow

You can print a hollow model and determine the thickness. If you are printing a VRML file with texture, be sure to select at least 3mm thickness. 

Additional settings in the Preferences menu

Under File > Preferences > PolyJet you will find some additional settings.

Default Surface Finish

Choose between matte and glossy for the default surface finish on all parts added to PolyJet trays.

Advanced Slicer

Enabling the Advanced Slicer provides the following features:

  • Pantone® validated colors in the color picker.
  • VRML and OBJ models with transparency in the texture will use a clear core.
  • Improved estimations and print accuracy for small features and text. (Enabled by an additional setting)
  • Custom support options which fix the “support shadow” effect on vertical walls that have holes.
  • Custom part priority when assembly components overlap. Right click on the parts of an assembly to assign priority.
  • Full control over part placement on the tray, if you want to position parts farther from the home position of the tray.
Additional settings for the Advanced Slicer

When the Advanced Slicer is enabled, the following additional settings are available:

Print modes

Choosing a print mode is not available from the Print Settings panel, it is a separate window when you hit Print:

High Speed — Models are produced in 27-micron layers, using up to three Model materials. This mode is suitable for producing larger models. Much less time is required to print most trays, compared to the High Quality setting.

High Mix — Models are printed in 27-micron layers, using up to six Model materials. This mode is suitable for producing larger models. Printing models in this mode is faster than in High Quality mode, but not as fast as in High-Speed mode.

High Quality — Models are printed in 14-micron layers, using up to six Model materials. This results in smooth surfaces, suitable for producing fine-detailed and delicate items. Almost twice as much time is required to print most trays, compared to the High Speed setting. This is not available if you are using SUP706 support material and Digital ABS (RGD515, RGD531, and RGD535) materials. 

You must make sure that your printer is set up for your print mode of choice. Please refer to your J750 User Guide for more information on switching Print modes. 

When you hit Estimate, you can compare the results of the various print modes:

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