Can you make a 3D print smaller?

When it comes to the world of 3D printing, ensuring precise measurements and true-to-size printing is crucial. I’ve noticed that some tech enthusiasts sometimes struggle with their 3D outputs, either too minuscule or too large, deviating from the desired scale. Thus, I’m here to guide you with my passion for technology on rectifying these glitches.


If you find that your 3D creations are not aligning with your intended size, you might want to fiddle with your extruder’s steps per millimeter, and don’t forget the X, Y, & Z axes. And oh, if your outputs seem a bit undersized, it’s wise to magnify your design slightly, accounting for the sneaky material shrinkage. Another pro-tip? Tweak your printing velocity a bit. Dive in with me as we journey deeper into resolving these intricacies.

Wondering Why Your 3D Outputs Aren’t True to Size? Too Petite or Too Grand?
The Road to Correcting 3D Outputs That Don’t Match the Model Size:
– Tweak Your XYZ & E Movement Intervals
– Refine Slicer Preferences
– Diminish Printing Velocity
– Opt for Exclusive Slicing Tolerance
– Switch Off the Combing Mode
– Apply Negative Lateral Expansion
– Refresh Your Firmware & Start Fresh with Cura Preferences
– Upscale Models to Offset Contraction
– Adjust Dimensions of Models Originating From Design Apps
– Double-Check All Your Connection Points

Curious About the Mismatch in 3D Printing Size?
Several culprits could be at play:
– Inaccurate calibration of steps per mm
– Not harnessing the power of the best slicer preferences
– Glitches in firmware storing data
– Sneaky material shrinkage
– Exporting design docs that modify the model dimensions

The Fix for Undersized or Oversized 3D Prints:
Calibrate Your XYZ & E Movements: A prime solution is refining the X & Y movement intervals. If using your 3D device’s default firmware, there could be a mismatch in pulley teeth settings. For instance, an inbuilt 16-tooth pulley may be misinterpreted as 20-tooth in the software. So, recalibrating is key.

Alter Slicer Preferences: Achieving impeccable size accuracy could boil down to your slicer’s settings. Discovering options like ‘Outer Before Inner Walls’ in Cura or ‘Perimeters first’ in PrusaSlicer can be game-changers. Also, for better precision, you might consider slowing down your printing speed to around 30-40mm/s.

Revamp Your Firmware & Reset Cura: Sometimes, a simple firmware refresh or resetting Cura can work wonders, especially if saved settings are causing the deviations.

Factor in Material Shrinkage: Thermoplastics, upon cooling, might contract a tad, altering your 3D print’s dimensions. A smart move? Upscale your design by a smidge (around 1%) to counteract this.

Re-adjust Models from Design Tools: Design tools and slicers might not always see eye to eye. Ensuring consistent units, especially in millimeters, is paramount. And after importing, feel free to resize in your slicer.

Lastly, Secure Those Connections:
A loose wire or an unconnected axis might be your silent saboteur. So, always ensure every connection is snug and secure.