3D printing inconsistency

Our team got a 3D printer a couple of months ago, and we’ve been having some scaling issues. Our prints are usually about 0.5-1mm off of where they should be and we were wondering if other teams had this issue and could tell us what might fix it. We know we can account for this in CAD, Cura but we don’t think we should have to and are wondering if there is something we can tweak on the printer itself to get a more accurate print without changing the scale of things in CAD and Cura. Our Printer is a Creality 3D CR-10S Pro V2.

Are all dimensions off, or are you just seeing variance on the inside of holes?

You can calibrate a 3D printer by printing a calibration cube and measuring its actual dimensions. You can then adjust the mm/step values for your X, Y, and Z steppers accordingly.

It is common for the interior spaces in a print to be smaller than your CAD design. I usually factor in a small amount of “slop” in these features, and adjust the actual sizes after doing a few test prints.

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Yes, it is mostly the inside of holes.

From my experience this happens with all printers, I adjust for it in CAD. The outer dimensions of your part should be correct but I usually add .01-.02 inches to the diameter of holes in a 3d printed part.

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You can also look at the angular resolution of your models when you export to STL. Your “round” holes are actually made up of straight lines, so if you don’t have much resolution, the sides cross into the interior space. (Think of an octagon instead of a circle.)

I usually just add a small amount to the diameter of small holes, maybe 1mm or less. If that’s too much, take back 0.5mm and try again…

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Flow comp can help as well https://youtu.be/adCOtH1HeXo

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If it’s “mostly” the inside of holes, you should still print a calibration cube and then adjust your mm/step values for X, Y, and Z in your GCode…then print another calibration cube to double-check and make sure they’re good.

It’s easy to do once you know how, and it’s important when printing parts for actual use, rather than knickknacks.

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