William Keeter, DMI/NASA
Profile Description:A creative with a BFA from the University of South Carolina. Originally, worked for a web start-up and then a few state agencies as an artist, designer and interface developer. Since 2007, I've supported NASA Headquarters as a multimedia producer creating both digital and print material. Currently, I'm the manager of the HQ printing and design office.
Personally, for the last decade, I've been part of several Builder and Maker communities. Including the original RepRap forum that started the home 3d printing movement. With my own hobby focused on protecting and preserving old electronics, mostly arcade motherboards, from 1980s and 90s. Using FDM and SLA printers along with CO2 and Diode lasers I design and make custom plastic enclosures to protect these old electronics. Everything is designed in Adobe Illustrator and then modeled in CAD uses the maker focused software packages from both AutoCAD and Solidworks.
If you're new to 3d printing (FDM in this case) there's a few common things that will help your prints. First bed adhesion is key. Spend the extra time and make sure your bed is level and dial in the Z height. Plus avoid drafty rooms and think about a simple enclosure for your machine. Keeping your printed part at a uniformed temperature will save many medium or large prints.
Second, look at your extrusion settings in your slicing software. By default, most package will tell you to print at 100%. Which in my experience leads to over extruding plastic out of your printers hotend. Which leads to a loss of detail. My machines are set to 92 to 94% extrusion.
For printing my models, I generally set my layer height to 0.2mm with a perimeter of 3. While the infill is set to 15 to 20%.