You started 3D printing, but you realize it takes much longer than you thought. It’s something that most people worry about, so they’re looking for ways to increase print speed of their 3D printer without decreasing the print quality.
I’ve looked at different ways to do this, which I will clarify in this book.
How do you make the 3D printer faster without losing quality?
You can speed up 3D printing time without losing consistency by carefully and gradually changing the settings in the slicer. The best settings to change to achieve this are the fill pattern, fill density, wall thickness, print speed, and the attempt to print multiple items in a single print.
It’s pretty basic, but many people don’t know these techniques. Until they have further experience in the 3D printing environment.
Keep reading to learn how everyone in the 3D printing world achieves optimum printing times without losing quality with their prints.
Increasing the feed rate (the rate at which material extrudes) or decreasing the amount of extrusion altogether are the two most common ways to reduce printing time.
Other variables come into play, which I will go through on a deeper level.1
How to Speed Up 3D Printing With A Quality Reduction 1. Print Speed in Slicer
Frankly, print speed doesn’t have a significant impact on print timing. However, it does pay off in the end. The speed settings of the slicer may help more depending on the size of the print, so larger pieces benefit from faster printing times.
The benefit of this is that you can match the speed and quality of the prints. You should gradually increase the printing speed and see if it impacts the quality of your 3D prints; in many cases, there would be some room for improvement.
It’s a good idea to change the speed settings for particular parts of the object, such as infill, perimeters, and support content, to optimize your printer’s capabilities.
In most cases, the infill speed is high. However, the perimeter and support material speed is medium, and the small/external perimeter and bridges/gaps speed are low.
The 3D printers will generally have instructions for how fast they will go, but you could still take additional steps to make it quicker.
PRO 3D’s video below goes into great detail about various practical settings. In addition, he has his collection of settings that he uses, which you can replicate to see how it works for you.
prove print speed. This can be done by tightening screws, tubes, and belts.
Print quality suffers as a result of vibrations.
It’s all about how fast your printer can move things without compromising quality, mainly when dealing with sharp corners and overhangs. You could have more space to increase the 3D printing speed without problems depending on the product’s design.
Another option is to increase the inner wall speed to fit the overall print speed instead of half the value set in Cura by default. This will save you a lot of time while also allowing you to print in high quality.
How to Speed Up 3D Printing With A Quality Reduction 2. Infill Density
As you can imagine, an infill density of 0% indicates your print will be hollow on the inside. In contrast, a thickness of 100% means your 3D print will be solid.
Using a hollow print means you’ll spend less time printing because the printer will have to travel less to finish the job. So how you save time here is a good density balance for your printing needs.
If you’re printing a functional print to hold up something on the wall, you do not want to compromise infill density and strength to save time.
However, a high infill density isn’t needed if you’re printing a decorative print primarily for aesthetic purposes. It’s up to you to determine how much density to use on the 3D prints, but this setting will help you save time.
According to numerous tests, the most cost-effective infill density range would be between 20% and 35% while maintaining good power. (Like a cubic infill pattern, even 10% works exceptionally well.) Also, some infill patterns can provide incredible power with low infill density.
When you go beyond these values, the exchange between the material used, time spent, and strength gains decrease faster, so depending on the aim, it’s generally best to stick with these infills.
Another thing to remember is when you use higher infill densities, such as between 80 to 100 percent, you don’t get anything in exchange for the amount of material you use. Therefore, you should stop using such high infill densities in most situations if you have a compelling reason.
How to Speed Up 3D Printing With A Quality Reduction 3. Infill Pattern
When it comes to infill patterns, you have various options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
You can choose a faster-printing infill pattern, which will save you a lot of time with increasing printing speed.
The ‘lines’ pattern (also known as rectilinear) is the best infill pattern for speed because of its simplicity and lower number of movements than other patterns. Depending on your model, this pattern will save you up to 20% on printing time.
You’d generally have to choose between strength and pace, so while there are more robust patterns, they’ll take much longer to print than the ‘lines’ pattern.
Again, balance the required print intensity and the speed you want to print it. The grid pattern or triangles are well-balanced infill patterns with a good combination of power and don’t take too long to print.
With the power of its fundamental strength, the honeycomb pattern will be the infill pattern. It is pretty detailed and makes your print head move and turn much more than other patterns.
Another suggestion is to use Gyroid infill, a three-dimensional infill that provides excellent strength in all directions without requiring a high infill density.
The Gyroid pattern also has many other advantages, including its strength, speed, and top layer support, which helps minimize bad top surfaces.
The perfect way to add strength to the hallowed parts is to increase the extrusion width and add perimeters or walls to the models.
It has been shown in several studies that an increase in the number of walls or the thickness of the walls has a more significant effect than increasing infill density.
How to Speed Up 3D Printing With A Quality Reduction 4. Wall Thickness/Shells
Before adjusting these settings, you should know the relationship between wall thickness and infill density. Suppose you have a nice balance between these two settings. In that case, the 3D model will maintain its structural capabilities, and the print will be successful.
If you have low infill density and low wall thickness settings. Your prints would be more likely to fail due to low strength.
You can only change these settings if you make items where strength isn’t needed, such as prototypes and display models.
Reducing the number of shells/perimeters in the prints in the settings would undoubtedly reduce printing times. You’ll want to experiment with these configurations to see what numbers offer you the most power while maintaining the cost as low as possible.
For most 3D prints, a wall line count of two and a wall thickness equal to the double nozzle diameter (usually 0.8mm) should work.
How to Speed Up 3D Printing With A Quality Reduction 5. Jerk & Acceleration
Jerk settings determine how quickly your print head will shift from a standstill. It’s also the speed at which the printer can start printing without considering acceleration. Instead of moving too fast, you want the print head to move smoothly.
Acceleration is how fast the print head gets to its highest level. But decreasing acceleration means the printer won’t reach the maximum speed for smaller prints.
A higher jerk value may minimize your printing time. Still, it has other effects, such as adding more mechanical stress to the printer. And if you set it too high, you will have poor quality prints due to vibrations. Therefore, you should achieve a good balance, so it does not impact consistency.
The goal here is to find the best settings. You can achieve this by determining an acceleration/jerk value that is both too high(H) and too low(L) and then calculating the middle(M) value.
Try printing at this middle-value speed, and if M is too high, replace it with M as your new H value; if it’s too low, replace it with M as your new L value, and then find a new middle. Repeat the process until you’ve found the best configuration for each one.
Since several variables can influence acceleration over time, it is more of a range than a precise amount.
To test the jerk settings, print the vibration test cube and check the corners, sides, and letters on the cube to see if the vibrations are apparent on each axis.
The Y-axis vibrations will be visible on the X side of the cube, and the X-axis vibrations will be seen on the Y side.
Check the link below for a detailed explanation.
Increase Print Speed Without Losing Quality
6. Dynamic/Adaptive/Variable Layers Height
The height of a layer can be changed automatically based on its angle. It’s an adaptive, variable, or dynamic layer height and a fantastic slicer feature. Instead of using the conventional layering process, it will speed up and save significant printing time.
It works by determining which areas have major curves and variations and printing thinner or thicker layers in those areas. Curved surfaces will be printed with thinner layers to maintain a smooth appearance. Ultimaker and Prusa companies created videos showing their slicers’ excellent ability to save you printing time.
How to Speed Up 3D Printing With A Quality Reduction 7. Print Multiple Objects at The Same Time
Another way to cut down on printing time is to use all of the space on your printer bed instead of printing one at a time.
Using your slicer’s center and organizing purpose is an excellent way to accomplish this. It can make a big difference in printing speed and saves you time by avoiding the need to restart and reheat your printer.
You won’t be able to do this for prints that take up more than half of the print area. But if you’re printing tiny prints, you should be able to multiply the model onto your print bed several times.
You can play with the orientation according to the layout of your prints. So that you can make maximum use of your print space. Make use of your print bed’s height, for example.
When it comes to small printers, you cannot do this with bigger printers, but ultimately it should be much more effective.
How to Speed Up 3D Printing With A Quality Reduction 8. Support Removal or Reduction
In terms of saving printing time, this one is pretty self-explanatory. Since the more support material the printer extrudes, the longer the prints can take, printing items that don’t need support is a good idea. However, it is not possible with all designs.
You can use several methods to create objects that don’t need much support or don’t need it at all.
Many designs are created with the intention of not requiring any support. It’s a cost-effective method of 3D printing that doesn’t lose efficiency or power.
When you account for those 45° overhang angles, using the correct orientation for your models will help dramatically reduce supports. However, adjusting the direction of your model and then using custom supports to keep it up where it’s required is a great process.
You can 3D print overhangs well over 45°; with proper tuning, you can even go up to 70°, so try to change your temperature and speed settings as best.
Some people see speed changes in their 3D printing when separating objects and printing them on the same print. This is related to the printing of several items in one part.
In certain instances, if you split the model in the proper position and orient it correctly, you will avoid the need for support. However, you’ll have to glue the bits together, adding to the post-processing time.
How to Speed Up 3D Printing With A Quality Reduction 9. Larger Nozzle
Using a larger nozzle is a simple way to print objects faster. But the consistency can suffer from visible lines and rougher surfaces. This is a straightforward way to boost the print speed and feed rate.
While printing with a 0.2mm nozzle, you’re putting delicate layers down every time you go above the printing surface. So a 1mm height would take 5 extrusion movements across the area with a 0.2mm layer height setting. However, it will only take two with 0.5mm. So you can see how the nozzle size significantly impacts printing times.
There is a relation between nozzle size and layer height. Accordingly, the general rule is that the layer height should be no more than 75% of the nozzle’s diameter. So, for example, with a 0.4mm nozzle, the layer height will be 0.3mm.
Increasing print speed though lowering quality does not have to be a drawback. Depending on your model and design requirements, you can use different nozzle sizes to your benefit.
A print with thin layers is more likely to affect the final object’s firmness. So if you want more consistency, use a larger nozzle and raise the layer height for a more solid base.
How to Speed Up 3D Printing With A Quality Reduction 10. Layer Height
The layer height in 3D printing determines the resolution or accuracy of your printed items. The lower the layer height, the better the quality of your prints, but it will take longer to print. Adjusting the size of the layers without changing your nozzle will also save time.
If you print one object at a 0.2mm layer height and then the same object at a 0.1mm layer height, you’ve essentially doubled the printing time. Since prototypes and practical prints that aren’t seen often don’t need high quality, it makes sense to use a higher layer height.
You can quickly increase your nozzle diameter to about 75%-80% of its original size and still print your models without sacrificing efficiency. However, suppose you’re printing something that will be shown. In that case, you’ll want it to be aesthetically pleasing, smooth, and high-quality, so thinner layer heights are preferable.
You can find excellent layer height with practical experience, providing outstanding quality and reasonable print time. Still, it depends on your choice and the use of the prints.
Use either one or a combination of these approaches. You should be able to save a significant amount of time on your 3D printing project. These methods can likely save you hundreds of 3D printing hours over a year, so study them thoroughly and use them whenever possible.