The goal of almost all 3D prints is to get a great-looking real-world replication of the 3D model on the computer. Getting a great-looking result can often be difficult and require some calibration of settings and trial and error. One of the issues you may encounter is a visible gap between your Infill and the outer wall of a flat surface. Not only does this look really bad, but it can also lead to structural issues.
Tips to Troubleshoot Gaps Between the Infill and Outer Wall
The main cause of a gap between the infill and the outer wall is a misconfiguration of the infill overlap. This setting allows you to configure how far the infill is supposed to overlap with the outer wall. The value of the infill overlap setting is set as a percentage. That is a percentage of how far into the outer wall the infill should overlap.
A setting of 0% means the slicing software is telling the printer to make sure there is no overlap, which is generally the cause of the gap between the infill and outer wall. Generally, you want this setting to be somewhere around the 15-30% mark. Just make sure not to set it above 50%, as this can result in the infill being visible through the outer wall.
Tip: Make sure to print the infill before the outer wall. This makes it much less likely for the infill to show through.
Gaps between infill and the outer wall used to be much more of an issue than they are now. This is thanks to improvements in printer and filament quality and thanks to better slicing software. Still, some modern materials have properties that make this issue more likely again.
Some advanced materials such as carbon fiber-infused filaments tend to be less forgiving when it comes to spreading. To counter this, try increasing the print head temperature by 5-10 degrees.
The print speed can be a cause of many issues if it is set too high. While you can use a high print speed if your printer is very well calibrated, reducing the print speed can often help to reduce the number of issues you’re seeing.
If you still need to print quickly, most slicing software will allow you to separately configure the print speed for the top layer, allowing you only to slow down the affected location.
Given that gaps between the infill and the outer wall only happen on flat surfaces, they tend to happen at the top and the end of builds. This can be especially annoying as if the issue is too bad; you may want to scrap the whole thing and start again. Depending on the model’s size, it can be an expensive decision.
These tips can help you prevent and troubleshoot these gaps and end up with better print quality. If you’ve got any other tips for dealing with this issue, feel free to share them down below.