To get the cleanest, best looking PLA prints that requiring no finishing the only way to do this is too print a finished item that come straight off the printer look great. Lets face it, rafts are great for bigger pieces, but if you are trying to make pieces small items, the only way to go is raft-less.
I have found that applying UHU glue to the print bed is a good way to go. Simply check in your slicer software the positioning of your 3D print and apply the glue evenly to the bed. I find an old toothbrush is an easy way to do this, and if left in water can be reused latter simply by pulling of the gummed up glue out of the bristles. You can apply the glue onto a glass plate (which does required scrapping it off after) to get a really clean finish. Or apply it to masking tape, which also works well, and makes clean up after easier, simply by peeling of the tape.
Getting the speed setting correct for the first layer of the print is the most important factor. I have been experimenting with faster print speeds in general and have found that, during rafted prints, a base federate of 80 with a first layer federate of 50 is working well. However in a raft-less print, reduce the first layer down to 25 to make sure the quality is good, and also keep the general federate down to 40, and increase it as you feel the print is well underway and looking good. You can do this before hand in ProfTweak (see previous posts) during the slicing phase, or if you have upgraded the firmware to Sailfish (see previous posts) you can adjust this manually on the ‘change print speeds’ setting on the printer. I prefer this as you have more manual control to play with the speed as needed print to print.
Keep the print bed temp low. 50 is fine but i’m finding that with the glue no heat on the bed is really needed. If at the end of a print you are having difficulty removing the item, preheat the bed after print completion to aid removal.
The cookie cutter as seen bellow, being printed face down, required a perfect finish for be sale ready and come out perfectly using a raft-less print
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If you have enjoyed this post please follow on twitter and see the creators website, including the original creation of this cookie cutter (before the raft-less method!) at including the original creation of this cookie cutter (before the raft-less method!) at www.ctdesignengineer.com