Articles, Blog

Cura Fuzzy Skin and Ironing on 3D Prints

February 12, 2020

I like to print on a glass bed that way
I get a smooth surface on the bottom or flip it over and get a smooth surface on
the top of my 3d prints. But if you’re doing lettering you really want that
lettering on the top. So can you get a smooth surface on top? Cura has a way to do that. There’s also a way to get a textured finish. I’ll show you both of
these features and how to use them on today’s Filament Friday. This week’s
episode is brought to you by these patreon supporters. To show you how to
smooth the top of a print I’m just going to use my CHEP cube with the letter Z on
top but before we get there there’s another feature I wanted to show you
that I didn’t mention. And that’s the concentric pattern on the bottom. I love
this on my prints especially circles. You’ll get concentric squares on a
square item, concentric circles on a round item. And it really comes out
cool-looking on the bottom. It’s a nice feature and it’s real easy to set up. You
go over to the settings and you set bottom pattern initial layer. You may
have to enable it separately, but it gives you lines, concentric and zigzag. I
really like the concentric and I love watching to go down like here on the
first layer. Beyond that first layer then, I just use
zigzag after the initial layer of concentric. Then it prints zigzag on top
of that and goes all the way up. And I just set that at the top and bottom pattern
of zigzag. You can go concentric or even lines all the way up.
I like the zigzag so now let’s scroll this all the way up to the top. You’ll
see the top surface, and you’ll see it’s kind of fuzzy. If I go down one layer
you’ll see the zigzag like I set the top and bottom to be. But if I go up that one
extra layer, it gets kind of a fuzzy look to it. And you can see it on the Z as
well because that’s a top layer. In fact it’s easier to see on the Z, so let me
scroll down to the Z layer. If I bring it down and bring it back up to layer 203 then one more layer, you see the fuzziness on the Z. It’s very clear
that is ironing. If you enable ironing on your print it’ll smooth out the top and
you can choose concentric or zigzag. I found there really wasn’t a big
difference. I mostly use the default settings. But the ironing line spacing
you increase that if you’ve got a bigger print. Next is the ironing flow. It
actually extrudes a little bit of plastic ten percent of the flow. I really
didn’t see a major difference when I adjusted that. Final one is the offset.
It’s just the offset from the edge of where the ironing will actually start. If
you don’t see these settings then you can enable them by going up to the gear
and then in the set visibility just type ironing. You’ll see all the options.
There’s a speed, acceleration and jerk I didn’t use but all the other ones I did
And here’s a simulation running in Cura. It finishes doing the zigzag and then it
starts to do the ironing. It’s actually like melting a little bit of plastic, I
believe, but then it’s adding a little bit of plastic to melt in. And it’s just
gonna go across the whole top of the print like this and then when it’s done
here’s the result. What you don’t see is any of the zigzag movement. Here, look
at the original. You can see the zigzag on the Z and also on the top surface.
And here they are side-by-side. All the zigzag is melted out. Even the inset to
the Z, and the Z looks crisper when I do this. So I really love this feature. I
don’t use it all the time. Bigger prints don’t seem to come out as good as
smaller prints. But I love this feature. The next feature is texture and here’s a
previous Filament Friday project I made. This handle for my paper cutter.
I wanted it rough. To get a little bit rougher surface, I printed it at a
higher layer height. That way it’s not as smooth and it gave me a good grip. I’ve
been pretty happy with this handle. It fits really nicely on the arm. You can
see it’s got a cut out. A rectangular cutout so it slides right over the
existing arm. But recently one of my patreon supporters Bill Karkula
asked me if there was a way to do a textured finish. In the experimental
section of Cura there is. It’s called fuzzy skin. If you don’t have this, click
on the gear. Type fuzzy in the search box. There’s four settings. You check those
and hit close then it should show up. What surprised me the most is it really
doesn’t take much more time to do this. So I click on fuzzy skin. I’m going to
use the default settings. You can change the look and feel a little bit with
these. But it was three hours and 28 minutes to print it before and after
slicing it with this fuzzy skin, it’s gonna take three hours and 37 minutes.
So like 9 minutes more. The Cura layer view does a really good job of
representing this as well. So when you adjust those settings, you get a good
idea of how this thing is going to look. You’ll see that this is very close to
the final print. It won’t put a fuzzy skin on the top or the bottom of the
print. It’s only on the sides and that’s a problem here because, I have the inside
was smooth to slide over the arm of the cutter. So I really should oversize this
a bit if I want to use this. And there’s no way to remove that only from the
inside, at least not that I could find. But because my design is rounded at the
top all that was considered a side so when I go all the way to the top you can
see it’s fuzzy skin all the way to the top. Except a small patch. Now on the
bottom where it’s printed on the bed it’s smooth and you can see the
concentric pattern, but everywhere else it’s pretty much fuzzy skin or textured
finish. I really like it. So here they are. The original on top.
Definitely not a good print on purpose. And on the bottom is the textured and
you really can’t tell it’s 3d printed. I mean you can’t even look at the bottom.
But I love the way it turned out. Really speckled. It feels good in the hand. It’s
got a nice grip. This is a very useful technique in Cura. I think these are
very handy features. Being able to smooth out the top of a 3d print or textured.
That can be very handy for some practical prints. So these are two
features in Cura I think everyone should know about. So that’s it for this
one. If you like what I’m doing here, maybe check out some of these videos
that are popping up. If you want to help support the channel,
patreon is one way to do it or just buy through the affiliate links in the
description below. It helps a lot. And if nothing else click on that CHEP logo
over there and subscribe. I’ll see you next time right here at
Filament Friday.


  • Reply CHEP March 3, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    Support blocker does work to smooth out the inside. Thanks to passmoj and Shadow the wiseman for helping me get past the mistake I was making. Here a video explaining the steps.

  • Reply MrE March 7, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Another couple of gems in the way of tips, Chuck. already put to good use on a couple of prints and they work great. Thank you!

  • Reply SpiVvy-FPV March 7, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    you can use the plugin "support blocker" and make it the size of the inside and then use "per model setting" (selecting the support blocker) and turn on/off fuzzy skin for that

  • Reply KGI Weld March 8, 2019 at 1:42 am

    I have a question… Can altitude affect printing with PETG??? Such as hot end temp and bed temp…

  • Reply Cyberdrive Automotive March 8, 2019 at 8:03 am

    This vid earned my sub, I wish I learned this a while ago

  • Reply axised001 March 8, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    concentric patterns are very bad when it comes to delamination / layer adhesion

  • Reply charbel dagher March 9, 2019 at 11:35 am

    when i open cura i dont have this slider to see inside the object how i can get it ?

  • Reply ffxme March 9, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    You can probably use per model settings to get the inside of the handle to be smooth

  • Reply Guat Agel March 10, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Nice, thank you!

  • Reply MJ W March 10, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Very informative, thanks. Interestingly the developers of cura said they cannot be sure ironing will not wear the printer adversely as the head is actually dragging over the surface rather than hovering above it. I have not used it much as I don't like the idea of the nozzle making contact with the model to remelt the top layer. So really user be aware. But it clearly works, the surface finish is much better !

  • Reply Tony Nameless March 11, 2019 at 2:50 am

    jeez man those features are years old.
    3 things i hate about CURA. Cant preview print knowing what nozzle is doing. It would help to see where it retracts and where it doesnt.
    And it has no good retraction settings. It only retracts based on travel distance.
    I would like to have NO retraction during infill and ALWAYS retract when switching perimeters.
    3rd problem is the killer. When you have multiple perimeters to print, it will not complete one and move to another. It will print each perimeter little one pass at the time jumping back and forth.

  • Reply Oasisfan March 11, 2019 at 6:19 am

    good video

  • Reply Martin Dolan March 12, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Had an idea that might make it non fuzzy inside. Add a full 0.1mm layer across the bottom of your handle in the design program. Then the inside part is now technically a "void" instead of an "outside"
    Then when you put it in cura it might only fuzz up the outside and not the internal void where the handle attaches. The 0.1 layer will be thin enough to just poke your finger through and file off the rough edge.

    Let me know how it goes. I'd test it myself but I'm in hospital for the next week or so. Having 3d printer and maker withdrawals while I'm here, that's why I'm getting my fix watching your videos haha

  • Reply Dewayne Taylor March 12, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Can you use support blocker to make model fuzzy in certain spots?

  • Reply St0RM33 March 14, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Very nice video, i've subscribed. I am a bit familiar with 3D printing but still i don't have my own but i am planning on buying one soon. I have a flexible budget and would like to make small to medium automotive parts with 0.1mm precision, mainly for prototyping and reverse engineering. Is there is a master list website with all available 3d printers so i can compare? Also not sure with what technology to go with. What do you recommend? Kind regards

  • Reply gageparker March 16, 2019 at 3:02 am

    plasti-dip that fuzzy skin handle you printed, I bet it would look like a manufactured piece of equipment at that point.

  • Reply Jérémy MOEBS March 16, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    and a new sub right here

  • Reply no1fixer March 17, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Hi chuck,thanks for a great video,the iron feature works amazing,I've had no use for the fuzzy feature yet,but the iron feature worked so well on my giant Lego mansion shirt,you've got me as a sub,thanks again

  • Reply Arch Graphic March 21, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    Again .. great video ..

  • Reply Spartacusse March 22, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    Going back to the Marvin video, couldn't you have placed a Support Blocker and disabled Fuzzy Skin only on the inside?

  • Reply François Cauneau March 24, 2019 at 11:21 am

    This definitively a reference channel on 3D printing : we find here in a few minutes what should take hours to seek anywhere else !!

  • Reply Silvers Rayleigh March 26, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Good video, no fluff !

  • Reply Ynze Selders March 27, 2019 at 5:16 am

    Didn't know this. Will definitely try.
    I really hate the shiny finish of my glass bed, I don't understand why everyone likes it so much, I tend to sand it so it looks more like the rest of the print.

  • Reply Sérgio Duarte March 28, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Really good video, straight to the point.

  • Reply dirk walther March 29, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Thank you for the fantastic video! 🙂 Should i buy Simplify or is Cura good enough now – whats your reading? Have Cura the useful feature, that i can compensate the outer perimeter, wich the nozle drives – for example, that (Lego)-bricks fit (almost) perfectly to one another? You show this feature in a Simplify-video, some time ago. In german professional machines, like STL (SLA) and SLS, thats called "Konturkompensation". Best greetings from Germany! 🙂

  • Reply Dylan Gelinas March 31, 2019 at 4:50 am

    Great idea, putting some parchment paper over the top surface and pressing on an iron would certainly do the trick.

  • Reply Washington State Picker April 1, 2019 at 3:00 am

    I will use fuzzy to design knife handles!

  • Reply Kvamsidhar Vamsi April 3, 2019 at 5:15 am

    Hello ,in this video you r showing top and bottom surface with smooth surface ,but i need smooth surface on walls of 3d model can you post a video on this

  • Reply eaglewitharifle April 5, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    A horizontal expansion could help making the handle fit the blade too

  • Reply Steve Siegelin April 5, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    Hey thanks for the pointers I knew about the ironing but I didn't know about the bumpy skin or fuzzy skin

  • Reply Daan Otto April 8, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Great and to the point video!

    I often use Cura’s fuzzy skin option when working with lighting (lamp shades, diffusers for neopixels, etc.). It diffuses the light much better than a regular ‘smooth’ finish does.

  • Reply underourrock April 10, 2019 at 1:03 am

    I've seen these features in Cura and didn't spend the time to play with them. Thank you for taking the time to show them off. I'll definitely be using the ironing after seeing the results and I may use the fuzzy skin.

  • Reply Cedimat BioIngenieria April 11, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    Very Nice, very interesting featue

  • Reply Jose Miranda April 12, 2019 at 3:56 am

    Does the fuzzy setting affect the inner rectangular hole? I guess that would affect the dimension…

  • Reply Val April 15, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Could you use a settings-modifier mesh to disable fuzzy skin on the inside?

  • Reply underourrock April 16, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Can you do a ironing video for PETG and dial that in? I really like your comparative / iterative approach to making improvements. I tried ironing PETG using what I saw on PLA and the results were not very good. I figured it might not work well for PETG, but maybe there are some tweaks in speed / depth / flow rate and I'm really not sure where to begin to try and make improvements.

  • Reply Beltrán Pérez May 2, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    3:32 I won't say anything just watch that

  • Reply Ξανδρος Peaches May 3, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    What would happen if you did fuzzy skin with PLA, then smoothed it with alcohol?

  • Reply Diogo Dias May 3, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    interesting, I had already seen the ironing in action and I knew about the fuzzy skin option too, but it's the first time I'm seeing the result for that, looks good. I don't really have any objects I'd want to use it on, but at least I know it works if I ever need it

  • Reply Shay May 3, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Very informative, thanks! Is there a way to to make only the top layer (of a flat surface print) fuzzy?

  • Reply Jason Brooks May 4, 2019 at 6:02 am

    Harbor freight blast box.. best way to get a texture on a surface is with a sand blaster.

  • Reply AverageJoe8686 May 4, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    WOW! Thank you this make some of my things much better. Thanks for the show.

  • Reply Tyrone Ward May 5, 2019 at 2:59 am

    The "list" of patron supporters is fucking disgusting. It's just a big block of text. How can I find my name is that?

  • Reply Joe Clinton May 5, 2019 at 11:21 am

    You can use fuzzy print then smooth it with acetone. Because of the fuzzy print you will lose less detail.

  • Reply Anuj Kapoor May 6, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    You are on Fire with these awesome tricks. Please keep them coming. Really looking forward to trying this setting.

  • Reply MrTurbo458 May 7, 2019 at 4:01 am

    Thanks for the tips! I'll give it a shot!

  • Reply hans May 7, 2019 at 5:28 am

    I thought you were going to take an actual iron to the piece. Maybe with a sheet of wax paper in between.

  • Reply Ivan Poon May 23, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    PETG ironing may not be applicable, am I correct?

  • Reply Joshua Jaffe June 4, 2019 at 2:03 am

    I'm working on a pretty big topo map and am wondering if anyone knows how well this IRONING feature would work for that. Didn't want to waste the time and filament, if not…

  • Reply Modelmen Life June 18, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Круто! Спасибо!

  • Reply Savonyé Dubay Bear June 19, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    “I love watching it go down right here, like on the bottom layer.” – as the printer is laying down a fat swazzy

  • Reply wrxsubaru02 June 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    How do you remove the melted nozzle spots @ 3:22?

  • Reply topcat1tanks June 24, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Holly poop! It added 19 hours to a 13 hour print with ironing. No thanks.

  • Reply Lain Powers June 29, 2019 at 1:01 am

    I just subscribe and I have to ask, I been working on making a 6 sided dice and the button side never comes out right.

    Is there any tricks or tips that I could do in order to fix it?

  • Reply Nekotico July 4, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    ohh, the more i know about cure, the more sad i become cuz it wont install on any pc i have lmao…..i want some F please…

  • Reply iobotic July 7, 2019 at 12:14 am


  • Reply Hit Mush July 16, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    for the fuzzy skin, did you try "remove supports" function of cura, to change the how th inside is printed?

  • Reply Sajiv Shah July 22, 2019 at 2:10 am

    what versino of cura is this?

  • Reply chico River July 23, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Never use cura. Did anyone know if cura Will work with Prusa MK3S or if cura Is better than slicer pe?

  • Reply Desert INTJ July 25, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Thanks for the videos. Got my Ender 3 on Sunday and learning a lot this week. For the ironing you have the line spacing at .1 mm. Will that setting benefit from going to the .12 magic number too?

  • Reply Oki_Dingo August 1, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Your nozzle is set too low in your ironing comparison. That’s why the one on the left looks so bad.

  • Reply 3DPrintVix August 2, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Very good explanation! Thanks dude.

  • Reply MaNwE MeLoDy A.M August 2, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    this is super f….ing coool!

    Bottom pattern initial layer
    Who knew?


  • Reply stephenspencer2121 August 8, 2019 at 4:54 am

    What type Cura was you using? Nice shows very informative. Trying to see if the 4.0, 4.1 or 4.2.1 has these setting or are you using 3.6.

  • Reply bill September 3, 2019 at 6:46 am

    Simplify 3d crashes and does not slice on the 4.1 update. Anyone know how to fix??

  • Reply Emil Nicolaie Perhinschi September 9, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    that was actually useful

    thank you

  • Reply Ebram B September 16, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Great video! Can you recommend a setting for printing curvy shapes with a lot of patterns, holes and details? so, no solid shape!

  • Reply Juan Fonseca September 29, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    on a guillotine handle it's not much of a use having textured grip because your hand already is limited by the guillotine arm, i.e. your hand only pushes down, as opposed to a knife in which u push-pull on an linear axis

  • Reply buchstabensuppenfa October 4, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Nice ive learned something even though i have no 3D Printer
    Is it possible to print threads?

  • Reply Dirt Nerds October 15, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    when i use my Cura windows machine it does not show the menus that you show, I will install it on my mac tonight

  • Reply Tony Nameless October 27, 2019 at 7:02 am

    I want PLA smooth on the sides.
    Is there a print pattern for that lol ?

  • Reply Tony Nameless October 27, 2019 at 7:04 am

    Someone stole this video from filament Friday or you changed channel name or channel name does not match what you say ?
    Not very smart either way.

  • Reply Jo Vi November 1, 2019 at 2:33 am

    Thank You!

  • Reply fedeyoutub November 11, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    omg, thanks, fantastic feature,. why is hidden?!?

  • Reply Josparky72 November 28, 2019 at 4:35 am

    Thanks for this video I love the concentric now that's all I use. Makes my prints flow and look so much better. Thanks Chep for all you do to help the community.

  • Reply Luca Colombo December 1, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    WOW! Thanks for this outstanding tip! 🙂 If I chage the ironing pattern it will look different ?

  • Reply Trevor Brent December 3, 2019 at 3:59 am

    I just started 3d printing a few weeks ago and this by far are the best settings!!!! I have a MK3S that does really good prints but this will make it look even better!

  • Reply Mihai Lazar December 6, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    I used to be a full Slic3r master race guy, didn't want to consider anything else, but THIS … may actually get me to try Cura for once

  • Reply somerandomguy98 December 6, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    How could you make a print smooth halfway and fuzzy on the other half?

  • Reply pepe6666 December 7, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    o boy o boy i didn't know cura had ironing support. i'm gonna get into this shit.

  • Reply Eric Cosmo December 16, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    That looks more like an "N" to me

  • Reply anthony velotta December 17, 2019 at 5:34 am

    Hi sorry I had kind of a general question. How do you get Cura to show the printer head and have the play/print option that moves it around. Is that a plug-in. Also I find your view seams so much more detailed then mine is that something I am missing. Anyway love you episodes and I am totally bondage watching them as I get my printer on Christmas. Can’t wait

  • Reply China Town December 19, 2019 at 7:24 am

    Не знал про "fuzzy" настройку, спасибо

  • Reply tonytober January 2, 2020 at 7:43 am

    Ironing makes the top of my print show the infill pattern on the surface. What's the issue?

  • Reply Jaden Erickson January 5, 2020 at 5:34 am

    Life hack: get a crappy printer and fuzzy skin is always enabled!

  • Reply Donald Dallaire January 13, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Hi There! Any suggestion on how to make the bottom lay smooth? I'm printing cookie cutters and Id like to see the initial bottom layer as smooth as possible. Thanks!

  • Reply jaj252 January 15, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    What cura version are u using. I have to have that option of watching the previous. Mine does not do this at all

  • Reply Smith Family Designs January 19, 2020 at 2:50 am

    To get a fuzzy skin on outside, but smooth on inside walls.
    Use the Support blocker feature in Cura.
    – Turn on fuzzy skin for the object.
    – Add support blocker, scale, and move to center of handle
    – Turn off fuzzy skin for support blocker (uncheck "infill only")

  • Reply bryan gorski January 21, 2020 at 12:32 am

    Excellent job as always 😁

  • Reply drip drop January 22, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    what nozzle are you using? the left cube just looks like over-extrusion or way to hot

  • Reply 0nLyCh4oS January 24, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    my prints have a fuzzy skin like that by default 😀

  • Reply Thaddeus Warman January 25, 2020 at 2:46 am

    My prints star falling part and are soft like the plastic hasn’t fused to the other plastic

  • Reply Coffeediction January 25, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    Couldnt they add the feature to ignore fuzzy area like with the tool we have for supports?

  • Reply Proraptor January 29, 2020 at 3:13 am

    Would be good for pistol and rifle grips. Hmm

  • Reply Willy Chung January 29, 2020 at 5:21 am

    I wish prusaslicer has these two features too.

  • Reply sieferswe January 31, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Gotta stop watching 3D printing channels. My wallet isn't up to the task atm. But great tips 👍

  • Reply Clint Young February 2, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    One of my designs is about to get such a boost thanks to you. 😉
    Thank you bruh.

  • Reply jack mini February 3, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Which the 3d printer and software this features enabled for?

  • Reply David Martin February 4, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    That handle looks great! I can't wait to try this on some prints.

  • Reply joris hurk February 6, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    I’ve been using simplify3d for the past 5 years, recently tried cura, im amazed by the amount of settings that can be tweaked

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