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I am printing minis and other very detailes stuff and I find that 0.04 mm layer height gives the best looking (smoothest) result. However it takes a long time, so I am looking for ways to speed it up. Is there any slicer which offers different layer heights for the outer perimiter? So you can print your model at 0.12 mm or so, but the outer layer gets printer first 3 times at 0.04 mm?

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    $\begingroup$ you can easily smooth the surface of ABS prints, which would be much faster. to answer your question, afaik, each entire plane must be printed as a single height. $\endgroup$ – dandavis Dec 11 '19 at 18:19
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    $\begingroup$ @dandavis Acetone smoothing doesn’t work well for minis (faces and small details completely dissapear). And each plane only has to be printed as the same height to avoid the printer head colliding with previous lines, if you print the perimiter first in smaller heights and then the rest at normal height you don’t have that problem (It would be the same as printing perimiters first) $\endgroup$ – Beacon of Wierd Dec 11 '19 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ @BeaconofWierd I would open a feature request ticket on all Slic3r, Sli3r Prusa Edition and Cura github pages. That feature is not available as we speak in any slicing software I know of. Post a comment with the links to the tickets after you have done it, thanks. $\endgroup$ – FarO Dec 12 '19 at 8:50
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    $\begingroup$ @FarO Oh, apparently this was already a suggested feature Cura basically turned down :( github.com/Ultimaker/Cura/issues/6322 $\endgroup$ – Beacon of Wierd Dec 12 '19 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ @BeaconofWierd and if you read the first reply, it is also for a good reason :( I guess that you have to accept the answer below, it's the only solution to your question $\endgroup$ – FarO Dec 12 '19 at 16:15
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In Ultimaker Cura, unless you print a single perimeter outline and add extra wall infill support you are not going to have different outer perimeter layer heights.

However, Cura is able to reduce the printing time, E.g. you can have fine layers for the wall (all perimeters), and coarse layers for the infill. The option is called "Infill Layer Thickness":

Infill layer thickness

Since the layer height of the infill is not important for visual quality, you can use thicker layers on the infill to reduce the print time. When adjusting this setting, always make sure that it is a multiple of the layer height, otherwise Ultimaker Cura will round it up to a multiple of the layer height. This means that you can, for example, print with an infill thickness of 0.2 mm while the layer height is 0.1 mm. The printer will first print the walls for two layers, and then it will print one thicker infill layer.

Note that this is not a standard option, you need to put Cura in the "Custom" mode and filter/search for the option using the search bar. Below you'll find the upper right corner of the Cura Graphical User Interface where I searched for the option:

Cura infill layer thickness

Note that there are 2 options, one for regular infill of your product and one for infill of the support structures.


An other department at work is working together with a start-up university company to 3D print PEEK molds (from pellets) using 2 nozzles/extruders (to create resin injection parts), one has a large nozzle, the other has a fine nozzle. They use their own developed slicer software to use the fine nozzle for the outer contours and the coarse nozzle for infill and support. It could be that they developed this because it was not available in commercial slicers. For the 2 most common free slicers, Cura and Slic3r, there is no option to have just the outer perimeter of different height than the inner perimeters. If you think of it, it is also pretty difficult to execute, you either get:

enter image description here

(which does not improve the quality of the product, it will make the outside more coarse) or you'll get gaps:

enter image description here

Note that both upper images do not include infill, only 1 outer and 3 inner perimeters. The image below is probably what is possible with Cura, so all perimeters the same; green is infill now:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ @0scar That setting is very useful, however it’s not exactly what I am after. Infill is usually a minority of the print time, the majority is the outer walls (at least for many of my prints). I’m looking for a setting which allows you to adjust only the outer perimiter wall to a shorter height while keeping the other walls right next to the outer wall at an increased height. $\endgroup$ – Beacon of Wierd Dec 12 '19 at 8:14
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    $\begingroup$ @BeaconofWierd set 1 perimeter and 100% concentric infill $\endgroup$ – Trish Dec 12 '19 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish 100% infil will cause the print to take a lot longer than just having all walls at fine detail. It also wastes a lot of plastic. $\endgroup$ – Beacon of Wierd Dec 12 '19 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ @0scar oh, so there’s a start up working on this :D maybe we will see it in slicers next year then :) $\endgroup$ – Beacon of Wierd Dec 12 '19 at 14:53
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Not what you want but may still be helpful.

PrusaSlicer allows the layer height to be varied along the Z-axis so that you can have more detail in bands where it is needed, and less where it is not.

Since infill is not your time consumer, you may not find the "combine infill every n layers" helpful.

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    $\begingroup$ Isn't this called adaptive layering or something? I think Cura has a similar feature. $\endgroup$ – Lux Claridge Dec 12 '19 at 16:05

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