While the primary job of slicer software is to take the settings and the model you provide and produce an output that allows the printer to print your model with these settings, there is no denying that slicer software is constantly evolving and offering us more.
From quality-of-life improvements to settings that directly change and improve how your 3D printed model will turn out, it’s possible to find many different options in slicer software that make 3D printing much more convenient and complete.
Today, we will be taking a close look at the print thin walls setting in Cura in particular, which is a feature that can directly provide a significant improvement to the printing process in some specific scenarios.
So, what is the print thin walls feature in Cura?
The print thin walls feature in Cura is a setting that allows the 3D printer to print the thin walls that it otherwise would ignore by default, as the printer nozzle is physically not capable of printing parts that are thinner than itself.
Moving forward, we will go into more detail about the print thin walls feature, how you can activate it, and when you should use it for your prints.
What Is Print Thin Walls in Cura?
The print thin walls feature is without a doubt a simple yet effective solution that makes the printing process much smoother when thin walls are involved.
In a nutshell, the print thin walls feature in Cura makes it possible for the printer to print walls horizontally thinner than the size of the nozzle.
While the printer ignores these thin walls by default due to the nozzle physically not being capable of printing thinner parts than its own width, enabling this feature will ensure that these walls will also be part of the final product.
Perhaps the best thing about the print thin walls feature is that it does not require you to configure any extra parameters and works out of the box as soon as you activate it, making printing the thinner walls that the printer would otherwise ignore a breeze.
How to Activate the Print Thin Walls Feature in Cura?
As activating the print thin walls feature is like modifying any other print setting in Cura, you are most likely already familiar with the steps.
For those who aren’t, here is a step-by-step guide for activating the print thin walls feature in Cura:
- Find the Prepare tab in the Cura window (located at the top region) and click on it.
- Bring the Print Settings menu up by clicking the pane rightmost pane between the panes below the Prepare, Preview, and Monitor tabs.
- If you see the Custom button in the Print Settings menu, click it to switch the settings to Custom mode.
- Click the icon (three lines) located next to the search bar, and choose the All option from the dropdown menu to make all settings visible.
- Type “thin walls” into the search input.
- Check the Print Thin Walls checkbox to activate the feature.
To deactivate the feature, you can follow the same steps and uncheck the box instead, which will immediately revert the modification you have made and cause your printer to ignore the thin walls once again.
When Should You Use Print Thin Walls in Cura?
While it looks like the print thin walls feature is something you can keep active at all times, this isn’t exactly the case.
For the most part, we recommend using the print thin walls feature in Cura for models where the thickness of the thin walls doesn’t need to be too accurate.
Due to the reason behind the printer ignoring thinner parts than its nozzle size being physical limitations, forcing the printer to do something that it cannot do through the print thin walls feature can sometimes cause over-extrusion.
While this setting produces satisfactory results in most scenarios, it’s vital to consider that the parts printed with this can be over-extruded to a certain level.
How to Make Cura Print Thinner Walls?
Making Cura print thinner walls is a simple process as the slicer allows you to input the exact wall thickness you desire before starting the printing process.
Here are the steps you can follow to navigate to the wall thickness setting and set the value to a smaller number to make the walls thinner:
- Click the Prepare tab on the top side of the Cura window.
- Click the pane on the right between the panes located right below to display Print Settings.
- Click the Custom button to switch the Print Settings to Custom mode.
- Click the three lines icon next to the search input to make all things visible.
- Type “wall thickness” into the search input.
- Fill in the desired wall thickness.
In some cases, the wall thickness input can be grayed out and won’t allow you to input a value.
As the wall thickness value is essentially the multiplication of the line width and the wall line count values, inputting a custom value for the wall line count parameter causes the wall thickness input to be disabled.
To re-activate the wall thickness input, you can always reset the wall line count parameter by pressing the restore button.
If your model contains walls thinner than the printer’s nozzle, you will need to enable the print thin walls setting for these walls to be recognized and printed by the printer, as the printer, by default, cannot print parts that are thinner than the nozzle.
The print thin walls feature in Cura is definitely a fantastic innovation that will directly improve the 3D printing process for models that contain thin walls.
To quickly recap, the print thin walls feature allows the printer to print the walls thinner than the nozzle size, which the printer would otherwise ignore by default.
While the printer technically cannot print a part that is thinner than the nozzle size due to physical limitations, Cura’s print thin walls feature allows you to print these parts without any hassle or requirement for extra configuration.
Mike started his 3D printing journey with the Anet A8 when it first came out back in 2017, and has been obsessed with 3D printers ever since. Nowadays, he primarily uses his Ender 3 to print functional parts that make his life more convenient whenever possible.