Printing transparent PLA – it’s all how you slice it

Printing with transparent filament can teach a lot about how each item you print really needs its own slicing configuration. Sure, for many things a general slice config can and will work, but to get more perfect prints requires a bit of tweaking. For instance, transparent filament will expose whats under those top and bottom layers, and it might not look good. Let’s look at these earrings I was printing (giving credit here to the designers Thingiverse post,
My first attempt used my most used Slic3r settings which are set at 4 top and bottom layers and 4 perimeters, and 100 percent rectilinear infill. It came out looking hollow on the inside...

My next attempt I used 4 top and bottom layers and 8 perimeters, and 100 percent concentric infill.

Note how much more "solid" it looks? Not perfect, but better. The same thing happens under your non-transparent models, and I would assume that the structure is affected in some way also. I'll need to study that some more. A thing to keep in mind when printing transparent filaments is that the under structure (infill) is often visible especially if not at 100 percent, sometimes that may be wanted, sometimes not. Why it looks different at 100 percent is from a few things, but I think the speed the filament is laid down has a lot to do with it.

Lets try one more test, this is with 4 top and bottom layers and only 1 perimeter, and 100 percent rectilinear infill. 

This is more like it, except that the rectilinear top infill looks a bit choppy. I think that could be sanded smooth, but maybe a single top layer in concentric would look better. I'd give that a try, but I have too many Treble Clef earrrings already.... :-)



Submitted by viswesh on Wed, 2016-02-24 11:16

viswesh's picture

they look really good, you going to add some LED's and light up?