Some models are successfully 3D printed by their creators and files are shared for others to print. However, 3D printers, materials and slicer settings are different in every case and therefore the end results may vary. It is quite frustrating when a print fails several hours into 3D printing. Eye-catching models may have a few tricky parts that would need special attention. This is where the concept of a “Local Test File” comes in. Click on picture to zoom
Local Test File. When a designer shares a file, there is a little extra that he or she can do to help makers in achieving good results. By taking 5 minutes to cut out tricky parts and posting these in a separate file, designers give an opportunity to test these in advance. Instead of 3D printing the whole model and discovering problematic areas in the process, smaller prints help to save time, material and to adjust the settings accordingly.
Wood Filament. When printing in wood, it is highly recommended to test your slicer settings using a Local Test File. For example, our Easter Bunny’s ears can produce a lot of stringing and even missing layers if printed in wood filament. The original model takes about 6 hours to complete, but a separate Ears file takes less than an hour.
Opportunity for designers. This concept gives designers a chance to be more flexible with modelling for 3D printing. A rule of thumb for support-free models is not going lower than 45-degree angles. Often, there is a dilemma: to create a nice, natural-looking model or to fiddle a bit with the angles to make it support free. With the help of Local Test Files suspicious overhangs can be tested in a quick print. Designers will be able to add more decorative features and be more creative.
A Local Test File is easy to prepare. It takes a couple of minutes with Meshmixer “Edit – Plain Cut” function. It would be very appreciated if designers could add such test files for their earlier models, which will make the makers’ life easier.
Excessive Retraction. Here is another good example – printing hands. Eight taller fingers require a lot of retraction and the print may fail. Because of the missing layers, the fingers become fragile losing their functionality. To avoid disappointment at the very end of the print, this part can be tested separately and the settings adjusted. Click on picture to zoom to see missing layers
Other cases where Local Test Files could be of great help: parts with hard to remove supports, flat and wide models requiring a lot of filament, interconnecting parts, moving parts, testing out experimental filaments, etc., etc. If you are adding local test files to original models, please share them using hashtag #LocalTestFile
Local Test File Examples: