Despite the profusion of surface-finish and print quality test objects, I really care about the dimensions of a 3D printed object, because I tend to build widgets rather than art objects. These two objects, from walter’s Hole and Column Test Print, produce calibrated holes and columns from 0.20 mm to 10.00 mm in diameter, incrementing by 0.20 mm, that should slip neatly together:
Of course, they didn’t, but they came surprisingly close for a first attempt.
The 0.20 and 0.40 posts simply aren’t there, because they’re too small to print with a 0.35 mm diameter nozzle. The 0.60 through 1.40 mm posts were present, albeit fugly, and posts larger than that looked increasingly better.
Although all the holes were present, in the sense that you could see a disturbance in the top and bottom infill pattern, the first visibly open hole appeared at the 0.80 mm spot… and it was immeasurably small. Some holes had misplaced perimeter strands stretching across the openings, which is probably due to excessive speed from my fiddling around with the numbers.
Measuring them with a digital caliper, with no effort at finding the best orientation, then slapping the data into a Libreoffice spreadsheet, produces an interesting graph:
Above about 3 mm diameter: posts are 0.1 mm too small and holes are 0.3 mm too small. Around 2 mm, posts are too big and holes are way too small. What’s important: above maybe 2.5 mm, the error is essentially constant and does not scale with diameter, so a simple Finagle Constant (or two) can solve (most of) the problem.
Some experiments involving slic3r’s small-perimeter speed seem in order; it was 25 mm/s for these pieces.
More care in measurement would produce better answers, but the real question is whether you can produce holes and columns with known sizes; the answer (as expected) remains “with some care”. That’s not surprising; I expect to have an M2 + PLA version of the small hole diameter Finagle Constant that I’ve been using with Skeinforge + Thing-O-Matic; the correction will certainly fall in the same ballpark.
The slic3r configuration:
; generated by Slic3r 0.9.8 on 2013-04-01 at 16:20:49 ; layer_height = 0.25 ; perimeters = 1 ; top_solid_layers = 3 ; bottom_solid_layers = 3 ; fill_density = 0.10 ; perimeter_speed = 100 ; infill_speed = 300 ; travel_speed = 500 ; scale = 1 ; nozzle_diameter = 0.35 ; filament_diameter = 1.70 ; extrusion_multiplier = 0.9 ; perimeters extrusion width = 0.40mm ; infill extrusion width = 0.40mm ; first layer extrusion width = 0.39mm
The source code comes from the Thingiverse customizer as bare G-Code, so there’s not much point in reproducing it here.