Drooloop flowers

Contributed by
Mark G. Peeters

Want to print something for your mother, but she already has 2 Yoda heads, does not need another set of planetary gears, and as much as you wanted to give her a steampunk D20 you actually do know better? Well, look no further and print her something fit for the one who 3D printed you: a bouquet of beautiful, delicate Drooloop flowers!

Drooloop flowers
Drooloop flowers

Drooloop

'Drooloop' is a word I made up to describe the droop + loop printing style I have been having a lot of fun with. They print really fast (about 25-30 minutes for a set of 4), so you can make a whole bouquet in a few hours, then hot glue stems on the flowers while you print a neat vase of your choice. Each print job is different since there's a slight element of randomness. The randomness is because we are deliberately 'printing in the air' to create the drooloops that make these flowers look so amazing.

Drooloop flowers in vase
Drooloop flowers in vase

I have uploaded gcode files for ten different flower shapes that you can download and print right away. The files print 4 flowers at a time, and I even adjusted the fan control so you’ll get nice symmetrical flowers like the ones you see in my pictures. Just try to match the filament diameter you are using (+-0.05mm) to the name of the gcode files. I have found the gcode files will work with a range of diameters, since the majority of the printing is just the drooloops.

There are two crucial things you need to make sure they work:

  1. Make sure your bed is level, so you get a good first layer stick since some of these flower have a very small surface area on the bed.
  2. Print the petals hot enough so that the drooloop sags nicely.

And that's all there is to it! Happy printing!

Single drooloop flower
Single drooloop flower print

Advanced instructions

For those who love to tinker and want to make their own unique flowers, I have also provided all my source files, detailed instructions, and a video tutorial on how I modify the gcode by hand to obtain a more symmetrical flower shape. This gcode fan tweaking is optional- don’t feel you need to do that much work.

These slicer settings worked with all the models I have uploaded and any you make with the openSCAD file, as long as you are careful the advanced section of the file.

ALL UNITS millimeters (mm)

layer_height = 0.2

wall_thickness = 0.8

solid_layer_thickness = 0.6

fill_density = 0

support = None

platform_adhesion = None

solid_top = False (extra NOTE about solid_top: This is probably not your default setting....I use this so it will be hollow on top....for the pipe stem cleaner. I did not print the top, so this setting is kinda important to duplicate my results)

solid_bottom = True

Note about slicer settings

For a good clean drooloop you want the petals to print with no in-fill. I like a simple drooloop to be formed by the nozzle leaving the center and coming back in a straight line and extruding the whole time - no retractions, or crazy in-fill motions. Look at your nozzle paths before you print to check this.

You can control the nozzle path and get these results by choosing model dimensions and slicer settings that complement each other. For example make the petal width equal to the wall thickness, so even if you are asking for in-fill none will be generated.

I also want a nice thick drooloop so I never print finer than 0.2mm layer height. If you want to use different settings look at the advance setting area when generating your model.

Symmetrical flowers

For more symmetrical flowers, turn the fan off once the petals start printing. If you don't turn off the fan it will be fine, but your flowers may have a wind-blown effect since the petals drift in the direction of the fan. If you want, you can turn off the fan by watching the printer and turning off the fan from the menu.

But my favorite method - since I prefer to only constantly monitor my printers while the first layers are going down - is to quickly and simply modify the gcode file with a simple text editor. This way I can print a bunch and know it will always work. Using a basic text editor, open the gcode text file and make these changes:

Turn off the fans on the layer just before the petals start to print. I usually add a comment to the layer name like "mark turned off fans" and then add right below that:

M106 S0

M107

This is kinda over kill, but i do it like that anyway. You can get the layer number needed by simple math:

p_start_height / p_height = layer# petals start

You can also use the layer viewer in Cura.

Search DOWN through the rest of the print looking for "M106" and just "comment out" those lines by adding a semicolon to the start of them...

so when you see:

M106 S58

you make it say:

;M106 S58

Make sure your changes are made only in the 'petal printing area' of the gcode, since a full-document search and replace may turn off the fan before you want it to.

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