‘The Owls Are Not What They Seem’

I made the choice to print some nice owl figurines that I found on Thingyverse. Both because I like them, and because they would be a good test for printing figures with detail, that would not need exterior support, so allowing me to easily view the printing process.

1st Print: His and Hers Owls -By EricJDurwoodll


Bed surface: Glass and masking tape

Extruder temp: 220c

Build plate: 60c

Layer height: 0.3mm

Shells 2

Infill: 10%

Infill perimeter overlap: 0.3

Feedrate: 30mm/s

Raft on

Scaled down to 80%


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The print had many holes throughout. There was a major issue mid print where the extruder stopped so causing gaps/lines through the middle to the point the models can be pulled apart. Other holes and distortions occurred on the face and head.

All a bit of a mess!

I decided to instead go to printing the original owl file (a single owl with no adornments) –

2nd print: Owl Facing left – By Tom Cushwa

I reduced the extruder temp from 220c down to 200c suspecting that the high heat may have been effecting the filament lay.

I also reduced the layer height from 0.3 to 0.2 to see if a could get better detail.


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Yes go ahead and laugh! The print started out well however, with better detail this time, but the print had to be cancelled as the extruder stopped feeding the filament. This occurred as the plastic tubing that the filament fees through came loose. I  started to suspect that the filament feeding incorrectly at various stages of the print was a factor that resulted in the issues seen in the first print.

After short consideration i decided this may be the easiest way to fix the issue of the tubes coming unattached:

2014-03-11 17.24.07

Good old Blue-tack! (in fact I used even more) This really made a difference in the next prints quality, until it lifted off the print bed so was cancelled. Sorry I do not have an image of said print.

At this point I received an e-mail. I  had been asking Wanhao if they could supply me with the G-code settings for the file of the butterfly that comes supplied with the printer (on the SD card, in .x3g format, therefore unreadable). They said they cannot find the g-code file, but instead supplied me with a link to this image, saying the PLA butterfly was printed on these Print-o-matic settings.


They also mentioned that the bed is to be at 60c.

(FYI everybody. The PLA butterfly prints out at 215c and not 210 as listed here. Who are you trying to fool Wanhao?)

I thought I would go with this recommendation (although I did change the layer high to 0.2 as the prints where taking 4+ hours!) but still had issues of the print coming off the bed. After making various adjustments to the bed and extruder heat settings and retrying prints I noticed something subtle…

On the lead in to the raft, and on the first 2-3 lines, the filament was lifting off the bed ever so slightly, being lifted by the print head for too long looking like it was also being stretched.

i therefor  adjusted the  federate to 35mm/s and:

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A close to perfect successful print! Minor issues where a tiny bit of  distortion on the left-wing and right cheek. Also, the lead-out end code does not seem to work and so the print sticks at 99% (thus the frill at the tips of the ‘ears’).

The lead out issue is one I must sort. I also admit that different PLA colors may create varying result and need setting changes.

For now, I suggest the following settings to produce reliable prints using PLA:

Object infill – 15%

Layer Height – 0.2

Number of Shells – 2

Feedrate – 35

Travel Feedrate – 40

Print temp – 215

Bed  (Platform) temp – 65

***********WAIT! these settings are good for use. But the’ lines in the model’ issue turned out to be a mechanical malfunction and not a setting issue. See the post ‘Going forwards with MakerWare. ReplicatorG is a headache (oh yeah and check your printheads)’ For details on my latter finding and backtracking of claims.

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Thanks folks!