How Fast Are 3D Printers?

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In today’s want it now era

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How to Get Started with a 3D Printer

3D printing speed is a major concern. Back in the good old days when there was not a lot of technology to speed up manufacturing, people learned how to be patient and do a quality job building their products.

In comparison, with speed all the rage, quality takes a back seat to how fast it can be produced. 3D printers try to accommodate that demand and work as fast as they are able to make sure you get both quality and timely completion.

To see how fast 3D printers work, just continue to read our article. It gives you the speed of these printers and tips on how to make a 3D printer go faster.

How fast are 3D printers?

The speed of the 3D printer depends on the model, how well it has been made and what parts were used to create a good top speed. Like anything else, the faster the 3D printer works, the lower the quality of the print.

Right now, and technology may be working to change this, there are 3 basic speeds a 3D printer can print at:

  1. Top quality- 40 to 50 mm per second.
  2. Next quality level- 80 to 100 mms per second.
  3. Lowest quality level- 150 mms per second and above.

With the highest speeds you may see the filament slip some and cause other problems. If you want the best quality, then you have to return to the good old days, go slower and be patient.

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What can be done to speed up the printer?

While the printer may only go at those speeds, there are other ways to speed up the process and make sure your project is done in a timely manner. Here are some tips to speed up your printing time:

TipDescription
Change the nozzleGo with a larger nozzle opening. The larger the nozzle opening the better the quality but you lose a little in the details. 0.6 to 1 mm are fused for faster printing
Print smallerIf it can be adjusted, print smaller objects. The smaller the object the faster the print time
Watch your orientationX/y axis print faster than the z axis so make a few adjustments to build up your speed
Keep it simpleThe more complex your object the longer the print time. If you can keep your designs nice and simple if you are in a hurry
Change the filamentEach filament style has its own flow rate. Look for those materials that flow smoothly and quickly
Alter the densityIf possible, change to a part density design as these do not take as long to print as full density objects
Change the print resolution settingThe finer and smoother the print resolution the slower the print goes
Powder bed systemsThe type of laser and if you are using plastic or metal will either slow down or speed up the print. Make the right corrections if the design and purpose allow

The fastest printers currently

Not every printer will print according to the speeds given above. There are exceptions to the rule like anything else. Then not every printer, as you will see, has their speed measured in the same way.

Here is a little chart to help you see the difference and potential speeds you can get, if you have the money to buy those devices:

PrinterTypeSpeedComments
Uniz SLASH Plus UDPDesktop720 mm per hourUses liquid resin and is one of the fastest on sale today
DeltaWASP 2040 Turbo 2Consumer500 mm per secondVery fast, expensive and can build taller objects
BAAMIndustrial80 pounds per hourBuilds larger objects and is about the fastest industrial printer available
HP MultiJet FusionIndustrial170 cubic inches per hour or 244 cubic inches per hourSpeed depends on the model you buy but both can build prototypes at  home giving you plastic models 10 times faster than a competitor
Massivit 1800IndustrialUp to almost 14 inches per hourIts specialty is signage and making them clear, bright and large. Easy to use
Anycubic I3 Mega SDesktopBetween 45 and 60 mms per secondFast and versatile helping the home builder produce professional like results

Different objects and different printers

Equals different build speeds. Complexity of the print object is another major influence in 3D printer speed. Different styles of printers also play a role in how fast or slow an object will be built.

For example, a complex object measuring 51 mm in diameter will be printed at different times depending on the printer format.

  1. Clip–6 1/2 minutes.
  2. Polyjet– 3 hours.
  3. SLS– 3 1/2 hours.
  4. SLA– 11 1/2 hours.

The type of 3D printer you own will print as fast as it is capable but sadly, not everyone can afford those printers that take very little time to build their objects.

Another example to show that it is the model and style of the 3D printer that affects the speed of the print is as follows:

ModelPrinter50mm per sec speed100 mm per second speed
3D BenchyUltimaker 2 2 hours & 9 minutes1 hour & 55 minutes
3D BenchyPrintrbot Plus V22 hours & 13 minutes1 hour & 51 minutes
Tablet standUltimaker 26 hours & 23 minutes4 hours & 46 minutes
Tablet standPrintrbot Plus V26 hours & 27 minutes4 hours & 45 minutes

Times will vary depending on the complexity and other factors of the print.

Some final words

The best piece of advice that can be given is that, like the good old days, you will need to have patience. 3D printing is not instantaneous as you can see. The 3D printer will only go as fast as technology will allow for those models.

That means you have to plan your deadlines appropriately so you are not losing quality while trying to print at the right speed. Haste makes waste and that is evidence in 3D printing.

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