When the print head changes direction, the printer must accelerate and decelerate the print head. When calibrated correctly, the printer is able to do this quickly and without causing the printer to shake too much, without drastically slowing down the print process.
If I set it too high, my printer shakes violently, especially during infill. If I set it too low, print times are doubled or tripled.
What process can I follow to determine (or how can I calculate) the fastest acceleration value my printer can use without causing problems in my print?
I'd prefer a process I can follow over a formula I can plug values into, especially if the formula includes magic numbers.
Most printers use between 2000 and 5000 mm/s2.... extrusion moves are usually 2000 (on average, between different printers), travel is normally seen at 3000-5000, though for most lower end or duel direct drive extruder (heavy) printers, this value should be lower (some as low as 500-1000, some as high as 2000 for travel). Heavier extruders need lower values, as well a slower jerk values, to avoid the motors skipping. The jerk setting being set lower can actually be beneficial, as this makes for smoother extrusion after a corner or a hole (some people will see ripples near these areas as it accelerates out of the direction change - lower values make these ripples smaller, but slightly increase print time).
I've just modified mine with a prototype carriage design that I'm working on. It's added about 100 grams to the stock weight. It was finely tuned before, so this extra weight set it over that pillow of 20-30% in the setting, and makes the X and Y skip as it jerks around the plate; especially in high resolution models, particularly high resolution circles with 200 faces on the vertical axis, because the printer tries to jerk after each node - normally that isn't an issue, but in heavy designs, the jerk setting needs to be lowered. I had my jerk at 20 for XY, and its now at 4, after having tested and failed 8 and 15 values. The acceleration was at 2000 for both extrusion and travel (some firmwares don't allow separate values for travel and extrusion moves, but if yours does, it's best to have travel value about double the print moves - when your travel is twice the speed of extrusion moves - so use that 1-1 formula in relation to speed, scale it for each desired speed set in the slicer). Mine has been tested at 2000, 1500, 1000, and 800, failing all of them, with jerk setting of 5. Now testing 500 for acceleration, and beginning to get a little confused as to why this is happening.
Now I'm having second thoughts... After going as low as 800 from 2000, and still getting skipping (seemingly worse) am I getting this backwards here? Do I need a higher value if the motor is skipping on quick moves? My understanding is that lower is better for those problems, but perhaps I've confused myself.