Perfectly Accurate 3D Prints using Horizontal Expansion

I print a lot of my calibration cubes
that help me dial in 3d printers including big ones like the one back
here then I can take a caliper and I can measure dimensions and see how far off
everything is and when you have that 3d print that you need a perfect fit and
finish there’s actually a setting and cura that you can adjust and get the
perfect dimensions I’ll show you what that setting is and we’ve got a new
filament Friday tool kit which is bigger than the old one and a lot better I’ll
show you all this on today’s filament Friday filament Friday is brought to you by
these patreon supporters in a previous video I made this clamp adapter which
allowed me to take two clamps and make one bigger but occasionally it would
split along the layer line so I printed a second piece to slide over it with
layer lines 90 degrees to that and it made the whole thing stronger but to
slide one print over another you need pretty close exact dimensions and this
really didn’t print out to the exact dimensions I wanted I was able to make
it work but I thought it’s a good example to show how you can adjust your
3d prints and get those perfect accurate dimensions
turns out the slicer will actually focus on the center of the print and then the
wall thickness will vary depending on extrusion layer height things like that
so if you really need that exact dimension there’s a setting in Cura
where you can adjust the horizontal expansion and dial in exactly the
dimension you want so let me show you how to use that in Cura here’s the
connector piece that I talked about in a previous video and here’s the piece that
slides over the top of it and this is what we’re gonna focus on this little
piece I want to get the right size now it slid over tightly so it worked for
the video but the dimensions were still off even though it worked here what if I
wanted exact so here’s I designed a Tinkercad and here’s the two pieces but
this connector is 14 millimeters by 24 millimeters by 10 millimeters tall so
that’s what I expect it to be and then the inside is really where I’m focusing
but I brought it into cura and it shows at 24 by 14 by 10 so it recognizes
that’s the right size now when I actually printed look at I got 24.2 in
one direction and I’m getting 14.4 14.3 in the other direction but it both cases
it’s larger than the actual print now if I go back to Tinkercad and ungroup it
here’s the insert that cuts the inside of this thing and I set it to ten point
five and twenty point five so that’s what the inside dimension should be I
use my magic zero point to a profile in cure 4.1 that gives me a 0.28 layer
height and then I use a wall line count of three so three outer shells when I
measure this look at 20 point two is what the insight is it should be twenty
point five so in this case it’s too small and ten point five becomes ten
point two so I’m off this needs to get bigger that’s smaller so I’ve got twenty
point five and I’m measuring 20 point two so I’m off by zero point three in
both directions really if I did the same thing ten point five minus ten point two
but let’s think this through before we say let’s just make it bigger because if
I made it bigger both inside and outside would get bigger but that means the
inside would get smaller and I want the inside to get bigger so I’ve got to do the
opposite I’ve actually got to shrink this so I need to bring it in at all
sides both side left and right and top and bottom so I want to lose a zero
point three but I need to spread it around so I want 0.15 here 0.15
reduction here 0.15 in the top and bottom so what I’m going to do is go
back to cura and there’s a setting called horizontal expansion and initial
layer horizontal expansion I got this set to a negative 0.15 now if you don’t
see this you click on the gear go up to the search box just type horizontal and
these two will come up check those boxes hit close and then it’ll be in your cura
profile so I’m using the negative number because I want to shrink this not a
positive number and after slicing with that and printing it i’m 20.5 on the
inside I turn it 90 degrees it should be ten
point five and then we have ten point five now let’s check the outer
dimensions when I check the outer dimensions here I get twenty four point
zero pretty good and fourteen point Oh so there I corrected everything both the
inside and outside were adjusted by that horizontal expansion and I didn’t just
do this once I did multiple prints and most of them came in right on or within
point one millimeters so this horizontal expansion is a very handy feature in
Cura with that setting you should now be able to get those perfect size prints
and check out the toolkit I’ll put a link to it in the description below if
you’re not familiar this is our second generation of the filament Friday tool
kit this is a caliper used throughout the video a much better caliper than was
with the original kit this is a print removal tool I got three different
brushes stainless steel brass and a plastic we’ve got side cutters and got a
file for cleaning off your prints needle nose pliers glue stick that I recommend
if you’re printing on glass this is a deburring tool or finishing tool it’s
great for getting the bottoms off of print especially rafts or brims and this
is another improvement we have a magnet going across these blades so they don’t
fall out in the past they would fall out great tool great exacto tool and a nice
thick cutting board with the filament Friday logo very very handy and then you
also get instructions for all the tools you get a filament Friday sticker how
can you beat that and 10% off any future purchases and then you get a much bigger
bag the old bag was a little bit smaller bigger bag so everything fits
all for 39.95 link in the description below if you like what I’m doing here
maybe check out some of the videos popping up if you want to help support
the channel patreon is one way or just buy through the affiliate links it all helps
a lot and if nothing else click on that CHEP logo and subscribe and click the
little bell that way you don’t miss an episode I’ll see you next time right
here at Filament Friday

38 Replies to “Perfectly Accurate 3D Prints using Horizontal Expansion

  1. thanks for the helping hand! and i maybe not be a patreon,
    but i wil buy that toolkit of yours, just to make a contribution for all the awsome and helpfull things you teach everytime you post a video
    greets from belgium!

  2. Previously know as JMAP science, you should move on to Fusion 360. It's so much better.

    My ender 3 has a clearance of 0.6 for free motion, and 0.4 to 0.5 for a tight fit. I biuld those clearances into my designs

  3. the right way to do it is taking those tolerances in mind when designing (with good CAD), horizontal expansion almost always will mess up the shape and you may want different tolerances depending on orientation and shape

  4. Chuck, have you had a chance to try out the current version of Cura? Now that the Creawsome mod settings have been rolled in, it acts differently than before. I tried using your profiles in it and they give different results.

  5. Another awesome video. I have learned so much from you and please keep teaching me. I cannot express my thanks, can't wait for the next video. I'm addicted to you, the channel and 3D printed.

  6. Oof CHEP, sorry to say, but this is gonna bite a lot of people in the ass. Sure making the entire model bigger via a "Scale by Normal" type function will solve the problem on a cube. but this wont work on more complicated models. it'll make some problems even worse.
    From watching your video I can tell you are slightly overextrusing. You should tune your Extrusion modifier (Flow) instead. This is the first thing I do when I start printing with a new spool of filament on my Ender 3 Pro, and I have a tollerance of just 0.1-0.2 at most. Tuning your E-Steps will only get you so far in terms of acurasy.

    Take a 20mm Cube:
    no infill
    No top/bottom layers
    perimiter with = your nozzle size (so incase of a .4 nozzle your perimiter size should be .4)
    and print 3 perimiters at your target print speed

    Now measure the top 3 or so MM of all 4 sides with a digital caliper with 2 numbers after the Dot. they should be close to 3x your nozzle size (incase of 0.4, 1.20)
    if its higher(IE. 1.23), drop your extrusion Mod (Or Flow) by 0.01, if its lower (IE. 1.16) Raise your Extrusion mod (Or Flow) by 0.01. Do this till you are ata tollerance of 0.01 in both directions (IE. 1.19 – 1.21) Now your accuracy should be within 0.2 for EVERY print you do.

    Keep inmind that you have todo this ofr every new filament you have. even if its just a new color PLA because the ingredients used can alter the extrusion Mod (Flow) you need.

    I hope this actually helps.

  7. Are these values always valid, or just for this particular print?
    And why is it this value? Has is something to do with the width of the extruded filament?
    What about the height of the print?

  8. I understand what you demonstrate in this video and the desired goal. The path, though, seems inefficient. A test print (with the consumption of material, time, and energy) is necessary in order to determine correction values. Would it not be much better to ensure that the print process generates the desired result the first time, possibly through a combination of proper design tolerances and calibrated extrusion?

    As always, a huge thanks for what you do for the 3D print community.

  9. The expansion feature is quite handy for changing/fixing dimension errors caused by the Filament. It should be no excuse for avoiding a proper calibration of the x,y,z and e step rate. If the printer should move 10mm and moves 10.2 one should fix the overall step calibration before fiddling with the expansion rate, especially as this is the only way to fix a single dimension.

  10. i have been using this setting since the first month i started 3d printing, it's a must have, everyone was telling it was overextrusion, but if i turned extrusion down, it caused spaces between the lines in the top layers, so it's not, overextrusion, and it's not incorrect e-steps because i always had +0.1mm no matter the size of the piece (wrong e-steps are cumulative)
    so it is really the plastic expanding a bit.

  11. Until a slicer integrates backlash compensation there is always going to be a slight dimensional difference from the CAD model. This adjustment might work well on a 20mm cube but what about when printing at 200mm? Or an inside dimension or hole? Personally I prefer to get my esteps dialed in properly and then design my model with the tolerance built in. For the people who only print things from thingieverse this is just a quick bandaid.

  12. CHEP you are still an inspiration about the details. That horizontal feature can avoid changing the CAD file 🙂

  13. If you're not running a barrage of tests on your 3d printer (and without asking everyone else what they use), then you're wasting your time. You need to test all filament, even down to different colours in some instances. Temp towers, extrusion multiplier tests etc etc This way you will understand your printer in its environment and conditions.

    The misinformation out there, is so often repeated and believed, you end up unable to convince rational people they are looking in the wrong places. Most people still dont realise that the Creality print head and the way it cools things is just wrong. It leaves you without the ability to control all aspects of the part cooling process and you will receive 40 ill informed answers when you cant control stringing etc.

    Test everything! and Chuck is always right 🙂

  14. That caliper is like $8 on Amazon. I own it and find it pretty crappy. I would recommend trying to upgrade a bit it has a pretty wide resolution.

  15. Неплохой набор, но у меня уже все это есть, да и из Америки в Европу будет дорогая доставка.
    Но видео как всегда очень полезное, я усадку компенсировал масштабирование самой модели. Теперь попробую так.

  16. The horizontal expansion is a crappy feature because it adds/removes material on all sides equally. Usually i get good outer dimensions but holes are 0.2 too small. Setting expansion to -0.1 would result in having the outer dimensions be too small.

  17. I am not an expert but this symptom seems to be the result of uncalibrated extrusion flow rate (it extruded too much filament at the wall, reducing the size of the hole). I believe that horizontal expansion is aimed towards other scenarios, at least in the case of using PLA.

  18. Thanks for explaining this!!! I needed this!

    I didn’t need all the tools from your kit but I bought one anyway!

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