Quick update on SLICER settings:

It is best to change the general settings for printing with clay a little different compared to plastics.

The reason is the need to counter the latency in the clay. In Plastics the speed of the extrusion can be dynamically altered during printing. With clay this gives mixed results.. A solution is to override width and extrusion speeds calculations and set fixed ratios. This is done by coupling the layer height and the width with a fixed value.

Go to 'Print Settings'  Layers and Perimeters + Advanced tabs in slic3r. Here you can give the layer width as a percentage calculated from the layer height. By setting all values equal you will override any dynamical width calculation of slic3r and get good extrusion results.

For Infill you can choose the figure you like. It's best not to put it higher than 70% as the clay will start to overlap and deform adjacent lines.

The filament diameter is set to 3, this is a general number and gives good results most of the time. If you have to increase flow a lot you could decrease the width or set a multiplier.

Extruder retraction is something you need to avoid, but also need to set. You need the extruder to go up before moving around the print bed and only come down when printing. You also need extra clay expelled before you start a new line.

Start with the example settings and adjust the extra length on restart depending on the clay you use. Do not use fast op down motion as the clay needs time to deform and detach from the clay in the nozzle. If the speed is too high you will pull clay away from the print.

This pulling of printed clay can happen at any setting with the first few printed layers when printing on a plaster surface. to counter this spray some water at the start/end point of a printed line. The moisture makes the clay stick a bit to the surface and softens the clay locally so it breaks away when the nozzle moves up. In general this is only needed when the contours you are printing are big and the printed clay has enough time to release enough water to the plaster.
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2016-04-19
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