How to slow down a print for perfect quality

Using X1C and manual feeding FlashForge Flexible PLA. Trying to print the airless basketball and it looks like ■■■■. I got the filament flowing now (had to go up from 220 to 255c), but the print looks like it is just rough. Someone mentioned to slow down the print so I adjusted the Max Volumetric Speed down from 21 mm3/s to 5 mm3/s. This made the print go from 1 day to 2 days to print as some others were saying slower is better. It seems to be slower but it still seems to be fast ob the smaller areas thus jerking fast when it goes over them. Am I missing anything as I would rather have slow and neat than fast and sloppy. Here are my setting from Bambu Studio.

Im using a .4 nozzle and a modify profile that was part of the basketball print file I got from MakerWorld.

Also note that I dried this filament for 8 hours before using it.

BTW, the X1C does a great job on PLA and PLA+. Prints are clean and prefect, so am I thinking right then it must be something about the speed. People have used this filament for the basketball and it looks better than mine of sure.

You’re doing most of the right things… almost! You’re troubleshooting technique can use some help though. :wink:

The first thing I might suggest is to NOT print an entire model after you’ve had one dissatisfactory print. In fact, before committing to any print that is either greater than one hour long or $2 in filament, I always clone the model and, using the cut tool, run test prints to verify that my settings are producing what I want.

By cutting down to smaller sections of the model, you want to maintain the orientation. This is important since gravity will impact filament droop. For that, unfortunately for a model like this, it means turning on supports to hold the model section in the same orientation as the full model. Once you’ve got a good testable section, clone it multiple times and then experiment with settings on each clone. This will save you a ton of time and filament because you can print multiple samples on a single pass. Think about it; if you had four experiments, that’s 15 minutes saved right off the bat, given that each print has a minimum of 5 minutes setup, leveling, and purging overhead. If you had 10 samples, that’s 45 minutes saved.

Examples I did from a recent print.

Ironically while I was reading your post, I had a print going on in the printer using the technique I referred to above. In my example, I was trying to do a quick print for a lamp knob I had just snapped off my desk lamp. Here’s an example of the overhead you save if you use this technique in testing.

I create a knob in CAD and wanted to test that the hole is correctly sized. So after I imported the object,

  1. I used the cut tool to cut my cloned model and make a 5mm height version and then further cut the diameter using a cylinder primitive with a 15mm radius as an assembly.
  2. After creating a centered assembly I then used the Boolean intersection tool to cut this into a 15mm by 5mm disk with my original hole in the middle.
  3. Then finally I cloned the new smaller model, into 4 units and changed the inner hole diameter using hole compensation on each sample.


Despite setting my hole to the measured diameter in CAD, I hadn’t yet dialed in X-Y hole compensation on this particular filament profile. This is why I was forced to use X-Y hole compensation to correct for filament shrinkage, resulting in a significant discrepancy from the actual measurement. In this case, the hole was off by 0.4mm. Here are the print-time savings.

Full model print 17m 5s – 3.13g of filament

4 Hole Samples printed simultaneously 12m 44s – 2.49g of filament

You can see that if I had tried to do this experiment 4 times with the original model, it would have cost me more than an hour of trial and error.


To answer your original question, yes, you can go into the slicer and change the profile under the speed section. This would be the way to really dial in the optimum settings for your model. While that is a worthy effort for a model you plan on reprinting many times, it is likely not worth your time for a single model print.

Silent Mode(50%) speed – Quick way of determining of speed is your solution

I wasn’t sure from your post if you were referring to “Silent Mode,” but if not, here’s how to get into it. After you start your print, you go into the slicer and click on the speed icon and select “silent mode.” This will cut all print movements by 50 percent, thus doubling print time, but the advantage is that it’s quick and “one click.” You’ll want to be watchful, though, that the effect takes place, as the slicer software is very, very, and I mean very buggy. Often your click will not register if the printer is warming up or conducting some other function. It’s maddening, but keep an eye on your print speed. You can also do this from the front panel, which I often prefer because the confirmation feedback is faster, albeit not immediate if the printer is bed leveling.

Note: that if you changed speeds in your speed settings in your profile, it will cut those by 50% too. It’s an additive affect globally.


Now, if you find out that speed fixes your problem, then it might be worth going into the speed settings and fine-tuning individual speed parameters. However, if going into silent mode did not have an impact, then you saved yourself a lot of tuning time, and now you know the solution lies elsewhere, not with speed. Again, using samples will greatly speed up your trial and error.


I don’t do much in flex but I know your pain…
For me the solution was to first find the fastest SLOW speed that still produced a good surface finish.
Then I lowered this by about 5%.
Sadly this only helped for prints with a continuous outline.
For anything like your ball, with holes in the wall, the finish was just terrible.
One problem is the getting the retraction honed in.
If it works for SMALL gaps it does not always mean you get the same good results for larger gaps and vice versa.
Another major obstacle can be the pressure in the melting chamber.
You need the retraction to work but for tiny bits like your it means a constant jumping back and forth, like a pump but no continuous and even pressure.
No big deal with normal filament…

What helped me most was to tune the movement speeds once the rest was sorted as good as possible.
A slow print speed with fast movements when not extruding won’t work often with flex filaments.
The ‘delay’ from being so flexible needs to be accounted for.
I found that travel speed greater then 20% over the printing speed cause issues…
That is within reason though!
If you normal speed is around 80mm/s but most of the print is with overhangs or small areas where the speed goes down to 50 or less a travel speed of 100mm/s is still fine.

If the nozzle drags the model around while printing you will ALWAYS have a problem with those tiny structures between gaps…

Wow, what a great response. I am going to implement some of your ideas and see where it leads.