Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Duplicator 4S Print Quality - Simplify3D Profile

I am still tuning the Ultimaker 2 for best possible print quality but meanwhile the Wanhao Duplicator 4S is doing quite well.   Better than the Ultimaker 2 (which is close but still not where I want it to be)?  Who would have thunk it? I am sure that I will get there on the Ultimaker but for now thought that I would share these images.

This version of the #3DBenchy was done at 150 microns at a high quality generating speed of 30mm/s.  It may not be totally perfect but I am willing to call it close enough.

Here is a summary of the things that I have done to get the printer to the point of being able to print the above model.



You may be able to print fine details in ABS without a fan but I am happy to use one as I think it makes things more reliable if nothing else.   The trick is to use a highly directed duct such as the one that I am using and is described elsewhere in this blog.

Slicer Settings

Of course!   The first area to focus on is temperature.   The lowest possible where you can still print reliably.  The second area that I spent a lot of time on was bridging.   I did a lot of tests to come up with the amount of filament to extrude without sagging and the speed at which it makes it from end to end without breaking and with adhesion to the ends.  

Finally, speed kills (quality).   The slower you go the better.   I us Simplify3D and I believe the default profile for the Duplicator 4S has speed set to 3600mm/m (or 60mm/s).  This is too fast even for draft work in my experience (strings).   The above print was done at 1800mm/m (or 24mm/s).  

Two notes on the above.  First, your results will vary!  This is what makes 3D printing so much fun (or frustrating).  Printer to printer and filament to filament and sometimes it seems day to day!  The other note is in regards to the left extruder.  If you are new to a dual extruder setup using Simplify3D see this blog entry.

Here are the profile settings if you don't have Simplify3D and don't want to wade through the FFF files.  There are also some notes below as to when I mess with some of these parameters.

Generally this setup works fine.  I do occasionally find a model were the wipe helps.  On some it hurts.

Some models call for two shells and two is usually enough...but occasionally three shells can look better (for example in hiding infill patterns)!

First layer of plastic goes down at 225 then we start dropping to our ultimate goal of 210.  You don't want to go there directly as the firmware will badly undershoot and leave you with no plastic being extruded.

First layers need heat to stick but after that it can result in a print with an elephant foot  (90 degrees should be enough to stck but hopefully not enough to melt).

The fan that I have on this printer is not hooked up to mother board.  For some reason Wanhao only started shipping their motherboards with the fan enabled.  Mine is not so I wired a fan from the power supply via a switch on the bottom of the printer.  In reality I run it 100% of the time unless I am really paying attention to the startup of a print.   That configuration renders the above page largely useless but for the top right corner where it becomes very important.  If you are doing a small print, or a large one with a pointy top, you want things to slow down.  Maybe even more that what I have here!

Decide on a speed here.  1200 to 3000.  I generally do drafts at 3000 but anything in anger at 1200-1800.  Couple this with thinking about the minimum layer time.

Don't usually mess with this page.


  1. Can you share the S3D profile for this print?

  2. I just updated the post and added the two profile files for download.

  3. How does ur settings printing in PLA compare to these?

    1. I never really printed much PLA. I bought the printer to print ABS and spent a lot of time tuning for that plastic. The first couple of times I tried PLA resulted in some issues with the prints adhering to the build platform and I never really went back to it! Ironic in that I never had a problem with PLA sticking on my Prusa and certainly don't now on my Ultimakers. Bottom line is that I don't have a good profile for PLA and have since sold the printer and just have two UM2s now.

  4. how do i download and use the profiles ?

    1. Assuming that you are using Simplify3D....you just save them somewhere and load them into Simplify3D using the "File"-->"Import FFF Profile" option.

    2. Assuming that you are using Simplify3D....you just save them somewhere and load them into Simplify3D using the "File"-->"Import FFF Profile" option.