Musings and Experiments on the Art and Science of 3D Printing


emmett's amazing Knotted Orbit print

By SublimeLayers Saturday, April 15, 2017
A member of the UltiBots delta printer Facebook group posted a challenge two days ago to see if anyone could print emmett's Knotted Orbit. I decided to take the challenge "just because". This particular model was not designed to be printed on an FDM 3D printer but with an understanding of how to configure a slicer to deal with the many curves of small radiuses and lots of supporting structure, it can (almost) be done. I say "almost" because this print really is an exercise in support, support removal and cleaning up the print.

I chose Atomic Aqua Gemstone PLA filament as I love its color and translucency. I sliced the model for .1mm layers, 3 perimeters, 3 shells, and 20% grid infill using Slic3r Prusa Edition and its new improved supports. Here are some mid-print photos.


I used every post processing trick I know including my secret weapon, Otter Butter (a product I manufacture for fly fishing but use for all sorts of things). Here are the results along with a tray full of broken off support.

Printed on an UltBot D300VS delta printer. 22hrs 59min 14 sec

7 comments to ''emmett's amazing Knotted Orbit print"

  1. That is an amazing print. I like the look of that filament, I have heard nothing but good things about atomic filament.

  2. Thanks. Yes the print turned out fantastic. I used my Otter Butter product to polish it after the post processing to remove the support. Atomic has my thumbs up for quality and some of the colors are really nice.

  3. Awesome print result !
    Do you mind sharing a few of your post processing tricks ? :)

  4. Thanks Chris. I am actually preparing a blog post on post processing but a couple of tips here. First it starts with the slicing. Most slicers have parameters to control support structure. The critical elements are the interface between the support and the part. I used KISSlicer on this one because it has a really "usable' interface that minimizes contact. The next piece is making sure you have a clean part surface. This is why I did .1mm layers, 3 perimeters and 3 shells to ensure that there are no gaps in any of the tightly curved areas. Those gaps bind strongly to the support and are a bear to remove. Now to the post processing...

    I start with a pair of curved jaw needle nose pliers. These allow you to get into tight areas and right up to the part. Once mistake a lot of people make is grating the support too far away from where it contacts the part. I nibble away at the support until I'm within 6mm of the part then grab the support with the tips of the piers pressing right against the part and then one smooth "SNAP" motion to cleanly break it. I also have a pair of jeweler's flat nosed pliers that are about 1/4" wide so I can snap longer straight sections cleanly. I'll post photos of this in the new blog post. Next, once all the support is snapped off, I use MANY new X-acto knife (#1) blades to do the final trimming. I use a combination of cutting and scraping. Many areas come out better if lightly scraped rather than cut. Once all that is done, I rub/polish the part with a piece of suede leather and then finish with my Otter Butter wax material. It hides blemishes and adds a nice sheen to the part (and protects it).

    1. Great advice! Otter Butter never occurred to me ;D
      I’m definitely gonna read your blog post about post processing! It does sound like a lot of work, but the results definitely speak for themself.
      Did you use Kisslicer or the Prusa Slic3r ? What settings do you use for the interface layer between supports and 3d model ?

  5. On this one I used Slic3r Prusa Edition as I am trying to really dig and and learn it inside and out.

    On the Support material tab:

    Overhang threshold: "40" °
    Enforce support for the first "0" layers

    no raft

    Contact Z distance: "0.1" mm
    Pattern: rectilinear
    no sheath
    Pattern spacing "1.5" mm
    Pattern angle "0"°
    Interface layers "2"
    Support on build plate only unchecked
    XY separation between an object ".3" mm
    Don't support bridges checked
    Synchronize with object layers unchecked

  6. Are you a simplify3d user? Woudl love your profile for the d300vs+.

    Awesome print