Transparently curious about ironing

I’m trying to get good transparency with PLA.
Any settings to recommend? It’s only a few layers that I need (6), but glassy would be good!
So far I have managed to get a pretty good print by using aligned rectilinear / 100% infill for each layer, and keeping top and bottom to 1 shell layer (to prevent change in pattern direction).
I modified the wall overlap to 60% but not sure if that helps.
I increased the number of wall loops to improve strength.

The current settings is 0.4 nozzle with 0.16 layer height.

Doing the above improved quality of transparency over monotonic a huge amount. In the photo, the same print shows the difference (aligned rectilinear on the left, monotonic on the right - the left looks really good from this angle!).
It would be really, really cool if I could select the angle of monotonic for each layer - at the moment it is set to be perpendicular (great for strength, not so good for glassiness).

The main obstruction to glassiness in the print comes from the ridges on the top of the print, which are easily seen in this next image.

The ridges have increased due to the additive nature of the rectilinear.

I can still experiment – but what I am looking for is to smooth down those ridges.
(1) Would ironing help (this would be just on the top shell - layer 6)?
(2) Is the infill / wall overlap setting doing anything for transparency or is it not relevant here?
(3) Any other thoughts? Should I increase or decrease the layer height, change the filament temperature, slow down the print?

This raises a few feature requests:

  • Being able to modify the angle of variation on successive monotonic (or other relevant) layers; This would allow for a greater variation of material properties.
  • Being able to change the x-axis (or y-axis) pattern offset of each print layer by half the width of the prior layer. This would allow for subsequent layers to be placed in between the ‘gaps’ of prior layers. I get that this may change the effective layer-height.
  • Being able to change the layer height per (named) layer(s).
  • Being able to choose ironing on named layers.

Here are the print settings I used. The window is 6 layers - including top and bottom.

The filament is Sokana PLA Transparent

Update #1

I tried aligning the 'aligned rectilinear' to 60 degrees instead of 45, and it substantially weakens the bond to the hexagons - this would be something to consider when printing for glassiness.

Ironing had no beneficial effect whatsoever, dammit - just made the plate smoother, but far more foggy.

Here is the Mandrill Test image showing the variations of transparency. The middle one is reflected by the settings below. You can see that the walls fell off the ironed one (aligning to 60º was a bad idea)

My next test is to try slowing the print down. Sparse infill, Internal Solid, and Top Surface have all been reduced to 100mm/s


I downloaded this blog post from somewhere (can’t remember)…

How to print GLASS! The first thing to understand is a very slow speed is necessary, so patience is a must.

The key is three different factors.

20mm/s speed
0.1000mm layer height
No top or bottom layers, along with one single direction for infill
By following the three keys above you can create a very translucent print. Several factors in positioning the printed object and direction the filament is laid down will give vearing results.

The Best filament to use believe it or not is: OVERTURE CLEAR PETG. It even beat out Formfutura HD Glass.


This is for everyone not using simplify3D

Nozzle Diameter: 0.40 mm
Extrusion Multiplier: 1.01
Extrusion Width: 0.50 mm
Retraction Distance: 3.05 mm
Retraction Speed: 30.00 mm/s
Coasting Distance: 1.00 mm
Wipe Distance: 3.00 mm

Primary Layer Height: 0.1000 mm
Top Solid Layers: 0
Bottom Solid Layers: 0
Outline/Perimeter Shells: 2

Interior Fill Percentage: 100%
Outline Overlap 35%
Infill Extrusion Width: 103%

Internal Infill Angle Offset: -45

Hot End: 265c
Hot Bed: 70c

NO! This will cloud the print.

Default Printing Speed: 20.0 mm/s
Outline Underspeed: 50%
Solid Infill Underspeed: 30%
Support Structure Underspeed: 80%
X/Y Axis Movement Speed: 150.0 mm/s
Z Axis Movement Speed: 20.0 mm/s


Pretty good results i would say. What speed and filament do you use?

I used this guide with the Extrudr NX1 Clear and my results were not good.
I tried to find better settings somewhere between these settings and the ones from Extrudr.
One thing that worked for me was the reduction of the speed, but i never got compareable results to @konchog


@Christian, thanks for the praise, but I feel unworthy of it, as it was really just pure luck.

The filament I used was “SOKANA PLA Transparent” - really cheap stuff from amazon Sokana PLA - bought it at the same time I bought my printer, having no idea about how hard transparent is!

It seems to be a bit thick (even though it’s marketed as 1.75) - I need to find my micrometer for that, and it always breaks when the printer tries to pull it out - so I have to manually pull out the 60cm or so. (There may be a way of dealing with this - but it’s definitely fragile stuff - it snaps off quite easy).

I have done nothing about speed reduction.
If I can find a way to share my current project, I will. But here is a screen shot of the settings used for the clear above.

Thanks for your Information. Maybe i will try to get better setting with yours as basic. Additionally i will contact extrudr if they have working settings or some tips for their PLA. I let you know if i have new informations.

Have a look here:

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    "filament_settings_id": [
        "Extrudr PLA NX1"
    "from": "User",
    "inherits": "Bambu PLA Basic @BBL P1P",
    "is_custom_defined": "0",
    "name": "Extrudr PLA NX1",
    "nozzle_temperature": [
    "nozzle_temperature_initial_layer": [
    "version": ""

Nice to know how to add a profile - but one can manually change the temperature easily enough for a filament :wink:

Update #2

The model I'm using is on Thingiverse at [Hexagonal tile with Clip](

So, I am pretty sure that I won’t easily get much better than my final effort.
Be warned this is still very much like frosted glass except for stuff which is really close to the pane.

There is no difference in the filament used. All are using the 0.4 hardened nozzle.

slow : sparse/internal solid infill and top surface set to 100mm/s

Top Row, Left to Right (0.16 Optimal)
[1] This is a default monotonic print
[2] This is a quick print with the settings mentioned above.
[3] This is the same print but using ironing on all the top layers.
[4] This has the same settings as above, but going slow

Bottom Row, Left to Right (0.08 Extra Fine) - all prints are slow
[5] linewidth 0.45; top shell layers: 2 /bottom shell layers 2.
[6] linewidth 0.40; top shell layers: 2 /bottom shell layers 2.
[7] linewidth 0.60; top shell layers: 1 /bottom shell layers 1.
[8] A miracle! The filament is now completely invisible!!

The lighting isn’t great, but 5 and 6 are definitely duller - thanks to the two crosshatched layers that they have. 6 was noticeable worse than 5, not that you can see it here - so I increased the linewidth to 0.6

So, the final result is … not too shabby.
The settings are as below (all other settings are defaults).


I’m going to try that out. Thanks alot.

Unfortunately, I will have to use an alternative filament…

I think probably from one of the printables links in this thread here. Tons of good info.

How to print transparent

Nice, dude. This turned out really well. Thanks for posting all your settings too.


It’s just generic stuff. I got some of the same by ‘Embro’ also.

Hi Matt, I’m not going to lie - I had a look at lots of these things beforehand - but the ‘printables’ thing was for PETG, and much of the advice regarding Cangoo’s good post was about using PETG.

I am using transparent PLA. I guess there’s a chance that they came to the same thing - but hey.

I think he cheated on the last picture (8) and just used the AMS to print the monkey in colors directly :rofl:


For sure, I was responding to @highrise955 about where he downloaded that post from. I edited my response so it’s a little more clear.

Your transparent PLA turned out amazing though, much better than the couple of times I tried with transparent PETG.


Sorry to commment on a post this old but I didn’t see any mention of temperature or cooling in your settings, could you expand upon that some? I have been printing very slowly to get transparentish print under 20mm/s

I tried slow printing - it definitely helps, to a point. Temperature - I raised it somewhat, in order to improve interstitial flow - but it did not seem to make a huge difference.

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@konchog this is great investigations!!
I’m brand new to the world of 3d printing but have done a bit on 3d content creation for VR and AR applications and 3D photogrammetry.
I’m trying to print a medical model with 4 colours using the bambu X1, white for bone, blue for veins and red for arteries and then i want to do a transparency filament for flesh. model will be solid so uses a lot of filament but wondering if you’d have advise for the transparency filament that might work.

I’ve seen the 3d prints using the Super Resin printers but i’m looking to do something similar but a homemade based version of this.

sorry it wouldn’t let me upload a photo or put in a link

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ok - so all filament based 3D printing will cause some opacity - for large solids you will not get glass!

I think the best option, if you want a glassy object for your anatomy, is to use the printer to print a multi-piece mould - and then pour clear resin into the mould. Your release agent (and the mould itself) will leave a surface pattern - so it will still have a surface texture - but it will be far more satisfactory, even though it is a multiple step process (print the mould then pour the resin). If you print the mould with PLA then make sure it is quite hollow as you need a little flex to release the model. Do not try to use a two-part mould - and model them ensuring that they are proper booleans of each other. (add your pegs as a part of the model!) Use a fine layer of beeswax (or soft wax) to get flush fit, and use (a small amount!) of release agent! make sure the final mould stands upright (and clamps easy) with no air gaps that do not have air sprues - then you can pour from the top. I would go for some easier test models first and get used to the process!

moulds allow for all sorts of materials - such as soft silicon, plaster, or even very low-temp. metal.

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Sounds good thank you

Hi! I just wanted to make sure, did you modify the cooling settings?