3D printer head

How does G-code influence the quality of the 3D-printed part?

In 3D printing, G-code is the programming language for controlling 3D printers. The G-code (Geometric Code) instructions tell the printer exactly how to move the print head and extrude the filament. As a result, the quality of the G-code has a significant impact on the quality of the 3D-printed part.

If the G-code is poorly written or has errors, it can lead to issues such as under-extrusion, over-extrusion, layer shifting, and other problems that can negatively affect the quality of the final print. To ensure high-quality prints, it is important to use a G-code that is properly calibrated and tuned to your specific printer and material.

Why is it important to choose the right 3D printing software?

The 3D printing software, also known as a slicer, is responsible for translating the 3D model into G-code format that can be understood by the 3D printer. More precisely, it converts the file .stl to .gcode. STL (STereoLithography) file is a file format that is used to represent 3D models. Is the most common file format used in 3D printing, as it is supported by a wide range of 3D printing software. The slicer will read the information in the STL file (.stl), and then using its slicing algorithms, it will convert it into a set of instructions that the 3D printer can understand, which is known as G-code (.gcode).

A good 3D printing software will have a number of features that can help to ensure high-quality prints. Here are five examples:

How to change the G-code to get great print results?

In general, it can be useful to have a basic understanding of G-Codes, to help you understand how your 3D printer works, troubleshoot issues, and maintain your machine.
But normally the 3D printing software takes care of generating the G-code and there is no need for you to touch it directly. Typically you set the printer profile the first time – which will define a great part of how the .gcode file will be written – and you rarely change it afterward. Changing the G-code neither should be needed for a good quality print result nor it is recommended for users. It is very prone to error. If you mistype something it can even crash the hardware. We prefer to get the use case and turn it into settings, that are more configurable and user-friendly.

You change the G-code indirectly, through a number of settings in the slicing software such as adjusting the layer height, infill, and support structures. These settings will appear in the .gcode file as a series of commands that the printer will use to control the various aspects of the print.
For example, the layer height setting will appear in the G-code as a command that tells the printer how high to move the print bed between each layer. The infill pattern setting will appear as a series of commands that dictate the pattern in which the printer should lay down the infill material.

Accurate time management and G-codes

Time management of the 3D print job will appear in the G-code as a series of commands that control the speed at which the printer moves and the amount of time it spends on certain tasks. For example, the .gcode file might include commands that set the speed at which the extruder moves, or the speed at which the print bed moves. The .gcode file might also include commands that tell the printer to pause for a certain amount of time between layers or to slow down when printing certain features of the model. 

Planning a production time is essential for scheduling reasons, maximizing throughput, and customer care. Knowing the print time in advance is significant. REALvision Pro has the most accurate printing time estimation. It provides the actual print time based on calculation and not on assumptions.

How to customize the G-code?

If you really want to, you can adjust the G-code directly at the following points:

  • At the start of the print job (Starting G-code)
  • When changing layer (Layer change G-code)
  • When changing tool (Tool change G-code)
  • At the finish of the print job (Ending Custom G-code) 

The customization option of the starting G-code is divided into three sections in REALvision Pro:

  • Pre-heating custom G-code: commands that will be called at the very beginning of the printing, before heat up and initial moving: e.g. bed leveling: some sensors are influenced by the temperature, so bed leveling has to happen in cold temperatures.
  • Auto-generated G-code: it is based on your printing settings. These commands include starting the heaters, starting fans, going to heat-up position etc.
  • Pre-print Custom G-code: here you can enter custom G-Code commands, that will be called before the print starts, but after the autogenerated G-Code.

The layer change custom G-code will be called at every layer change in the print.
The tool change custom G-code will be called after a tool change. And the ending custom G-code contains commands that will be executed after end-of-print repositioning, but before heaters and fans are turned off.

The slicer is the chef

To sum up, the G-code is like a recipe for how to make a meal, The slicer is the chef. There are so many recipes out there and they are very similar. But the recipe itself is not really interesting for you. The result is. You get the lasagne but is it one at a Bocuse d’Or standard or one tasting like the freezer? You need to choose the right chef to do the job. It is not about the G-code, it is about the settings. The settings and printing strategy will determine the result. 

A good 3D printing software provides all the settings that are needed for a good print result without the need for the users to touch the G-code directly. By utilizing the features and options provided by the software, users are able to control the various factors that affect print quality and ultimately produce higher-quality 3D printed parts. 

In REALvision Pro you are able to tweak more than 150 settings to finetune your results.
If you’re not having the quality you want, besides checking your G-code, checking some specific slicer settings like the layer height, infill, and speed could be a good place to start troubleshooting the issue. Check out this troubleshooting page to find solutions for 3D printing quality issues such as oozing, layer separation, rough surfaces, shift in layers, warping, melted points, under- and over-extrusion, printing in mid-air and more.

A software program to fit your needs

If you want to change the infill without doing 3D modeling, consider adding REALvision Pro to your 3D printer kit. We promise you easy-to-use 3D slicing software in the high-end printing industry. Suppose you are:

  • A picky hobbyist with a cheap desktop 3D printer.
  • Running a 3D printing service with flawless 3d prints.
  • 3D printing metal parts for aerospace.
  • Customizable prosthetics, implants, or casts in ABS plastic (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene).
  • Rapid prototyping 3D models from design software.
  • Need help with calibration or material profiles.
  • Finding the best 3D printer for your application.
  • Exploring manufacturing processes and technology to obtain zero-waste.

In that case, we have a software plan fitting your needs.