Printing Material - Settings and How To Build

Selecting Materials

What Material is best

SoarKraft designs can be printed in many different materials, but do not require anything special other than proper settings. Printing thin wall sections will take special settings, and test prints are recommended. Start with a tail fin.

PLA - Easy - cheap - stiff - great for slope

PETG - retraction setting are key - great colors - better for hot weather / sun - strong but flexible.

Foaming Light Weight PLA - increased printed difficulty - able to get 50% weight reduction but has variable density - flexible / feels like foam - expensive per roll / but makes 2x when printing.

Low Density PLA - light weight already (~65%) - prints with similar settings and ease of PLA - strong but flexible - new

Prusa Slicer configuration settings coming soon.

Links to Materials

These are known and tested 3D printing materials, they are available in many colors. They are easy to get and reasonably priced, but use what you want.

Bed Adhesion

We print most all of our material on blue painters tape. Because warping is a huge problem, any lifting can ruin a part. With a bed temperature of 60C for PLA and 85C for PETG, we get great parts every time... almost too good as they are hard to get off. A little rubbing alcohol and some heat (warm the print bed to 60C if cool) and tape gives way releasing the part.

Slicer and g-code for STL

Each machine needs its own instructions to print a part. There are several programs available for free and paid. We have used all three.

Cura - Free - but slow and over complicated. version 4.11-4.13 still produces the best parts.

PrusaSlicer - Free - faster - easy to use, great part handling features... however not as good of skins as Cura 4.11-4.13.

Simplify3D - Paid - easy and works for all. Similar results to PrusaSlicer

We use all three. Prusa for fuselage parts and Cura for tail and wing panels... Simplify3D for both as it does PETG best.

Suggested settings for Cura and Simplify3D for both PLA and PETG are included with the instructions for each file set. These settings will get most printers to make good parts, however there are always was to make them better by tweaking these setting to perfectly suit your printer, material, environment (room temp and humidity), and even specific part geometries.

Building

Here are videos on how to build an airframe. Remember that this is a guide and not the only way to build, make it however you want and fly it... Living Hinges also explained and how-to-make... enjoy

Printer materials, settings and How to build the SoarKraft airframes