Mastering 3D Print Quality: Linear Advance in Cura & Klipper

For all my fellow tech enthusiasts and 3D printing fans, have you ever thought: There must be a way to enhance the performance of my 3D printer? You’re in for a treat! You might not know this yet, but there’s a fantastic feature called Linear Advance that can boost your print quality substantially. So, gear up! Here’s an in-depth guide on the magic behind Linear Advance and the steps to implement it across various platforms.


What’s the Buzz about Linear Advance? And Is It a Game-Changer?

Let’s dive deep! Linear Advance is this ingenious algorithm in your firmware designed to counteract the pressure buildup in your nozzle during extrusion and retractions. Think of it as the unsung hero that ensures that whether your nozzle is zipping around, taking a break, or moving at a turtle’s pace, the pressure remains optimal. And yes, you can tap into this magic via a plugin on Cura or with a firmware tweak. The key here is to dial in the correct K-value, the cornerstone that defines the Linear Advance’s influence on your print.

Some seasoned users swear by the positive outcomes of Linear Advance – sharper edges, silkier top layers, and even speed boosts without compromising the details. The caveat? You’ll need to fine-tune it depending on your filament and model. Remember, while Linear Advance is stellar, it isn’t a magic wand. Ensure your printer is in tiptop condition first.

Unraveling the Linear Advance Secrets in Marlin

Known as the go-to firmware for most 3D printers, here’s how you can rock Linear Advance in Marlin:
– Update and Reflash the Firmware
– Tweak the K-Value

1. Update and Reflash the Firmware

To utilize Linear Advance in Marlin, a bit of firmware finessing is required. Upload your current Marlin firmware to a firmware editor, locate the #define LIN ADVANCE under “Configuration adv.h”, and un-comment it.

Many turn to GitHub for various Marlin versions and then edit using VS Code, a favored firmware editor by many.

2. Modulate the K-Value

Before the magic begins, get that K-value right! Based on users’ feedback, values between 0.45 – 0.55 work wonders for different PLA brands, while 0.6 – 0.65 is the sweet spot for PETG. Pro tip: Observe the extruder retracting slightly at the end of each line – that’s Linear Advance doing its thing!

Breathing Linear Advance Life into Cura

For those dedicated to Cura, a household name in the 3D printing arena, here’s how you infuse Linear Advance into your prints:
– Integrate the Linear Advance Settings Plugin
– Implement G-Code

1. Incorporate the Linear Advance Settings Plugin

Hop onto the Ultimaker Marketplace, grab the Linear Advance settings plugin, and sync up with Cura. Navigate to Print Settings, and in the search box, punch in “linear advance.” Then, input the desired K-factor value.

2. Spice Up with G-Code

You can also bring Linear Advance to life by tweaking the G-code Start Scripts in Cura. Just pop in the Linear Advance G-Code (M900) followed by your K-factor.

Linear Advance in Klipper: The Pressure Advance Twist

In the world of Klipper firmware, Linear Advance goes by a dapper new name: Pressure Advance. To ace this feature in Klipper:
– Run a Test Print
– Pinpoint the Ideal Pressure Advance Value
– Calculate the Pressure Advance Figure
– Lodge the Value into Klipper

This process involves printing test models, determining optimal values, and making necessary adjustments. The result? Exceptional prints that are testimony to the prowess of Pressure Advance.

Harnessing Linear Advance in Ender 3

Ender 3 owners, here’s a heads-up: Depending on your motherboard version, you might need a slight upgrade. But once that’s sorted, activating Linear Advance is a breeze via Marlin, Cura, or Klipper.

Linear Advance in Direct Drive Systems

Direct drive users, while Bowden setups tend to reap the most benefits from Linear Advance, don’t feel left out! There are nuances to implement Linear Advance effectively for your system, with many emphasizing the significance of the K-value.

Top Picks for Linear Advance Test Prints