Surface quality on Cocoon Touch (i3)

I have a Cocoon Touch (latest Advi3++) it runs a flexion extruder and BLTouch auto leveler, but don’t have Z axis braces yet.

I am experiencing quite rough (furry) surface finish (not the bed side of prints) compared to my Prusa MK3S. It has been like this since stock firmware and the first ever print I did. It still produces nice prints, but I wanted to get some advice on possibly improving the surface quality. I mainly use this printer for TPU prints (it’s way better than Prusa).

Z Braces seem to be a little hit an miss according to what I have read, hence why I am seeking advice.

It looks like it might be vibration/harmonics or possibly the extruder itself. Also, it might be a general limitation of the printer controllers and stepper motors and of course I might be expecting too much. :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance,

David.

Hi David,

I print a lot of lithophanes that require very high surface smoothness. I installed z braces a few years ago. For the very low cost of threaded rods, some nuts and 3d printed parts, the printer ‘feels’ a lot stiffer. I do also print with acceleration control and jerk settings in my slicer (Cura) which I believe helps.

I can’t provide a direct comparison between braces and without as it’s so long since I’ve printed without them fitted.

One other benefit that you may not have considered. When I have to lift and carry the printer for maintenance, I often lift it by frame. I have no concerns carrying it this way and have never felt the need to check frame squareness or frame bolt tightness.

Cheers

I agree with @ian.taylor4, z braces are certainly worth it, as are tensioners for the x and y axis and a y stabilizer for the idler pully. Once the mechanical motion is smoothed out, you can start worrying about slicer settings. For a lithopane, i would also look at slowing down the print head way slow (10mm) for roof moves, as well as trying to shifting to the minimum heat you can make work to minimize oozing. Also, i assume you have upgraded the part cooling, but if you haven’t, that will be helpful as well.

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