Cura Profiles — 1/150 Comparison Prints

With the imminent release of NORTHAG I've become interested in printing some 1980s BAOR stuff in 1/150 scale. I thought I would do a comparison test to see what sort of printing time to quality trade-offs I could afford to make. I don't require diorama-quality models for my wargaming pieces, but I do like them to look decent at least.

The test-bed model I chose is a Chieftain tank, modeled by a chap who goes by the Thingiverse moniker of Captain_Ahab_62. It was modeled in 1/100 scale, but intended to be printed scaled down to 1/285; I've scaled it down to 1/150.

All of them were sliced in Cura 4.1 and printed on my Creality Ender 3 in eSun PLA+. All were printed on a raft, using tree supports with support roofs enabled. All are shown straight off the printer, without any cleanup at all.

This is printed with the FDG Minis profile I've got into the habit of using for my 15mm stuff.
The layer height is 0.08mm, print time was 8 hours 22 minutes.

This one uses Cura's built-in "Extra Fine" profile.
Layer height is 0.06mm, print time was 5 hours 57 minutes.

This one also uses a built-in Cura "Fine" profile.
Layer height is 0.1mm, print time was 3 hours 31 minutes.
The higher speed of the built-in Cura profiles appears to have given me a bit of ringing in vertical surfaces, but I doubt that that would be very apparent under a coat of paint, and the advantage in print times over that of the FDG profile is substantial. The Fine profile renders adequate results for playing pieces, and it is quite quick, but the Extra Fine profile is markedly superior, and still fast enough that I could get three tanks off the printer in a day's run, so unless there's a matter of great urgency, that's probably what I'll use.


  1. Nice print. What size nozzle did you use for the print? Using Cura 4 with the FDG miniature program I got good result. But I printed on a 45 degree angle. Removing the grid supports was the hardest part. Great Blog!

    1. I use a 0.4mm nozzle exclusively. I'd like to try a 0.3 or even a 0.2mm nozzle, but changing nozzles is a bit of a hassle, and unless I get a second printer I think I'm unlikely to bother since I'm getting decent results with my current setup.


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