How Long Does It Take A 3D Printer to Print?

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How Long Does It Take A 3D Printer to Print?

It is natural that you always want things fast, especially when printing. If you have 3D projects, you need quality printers that can produce quality results. Meanwhile, do you wonder how long it takes a 3D printer to print? This article will give you an answer.

Printing Time for 3D Objects 

The following examples are the estimated printing time for 3D objects:

  • Small toys can last about 1 to 5 hours, or depending on its complexity.
  • A cell phone case can last around 20 minutes.
  • A 2×4 Lego can be printed for 4 minutes.
  • A baseball with infill can take 2 hours to print.

Factors That Can Affect the Printing Time of 3D Objects 

There are also some factors that can affect the printing time with a 3D printer. 

The Part Size of 3D object 

Volume 

The volume of the 3D object can also be a factor in its printing time. The bigger the part of the object, the longer it will print. It is estimated that small parts can take 5 minutes to print while bigger parts can last up to 200 hours.

Height 

The height of the object is a dimension that can determine the printing time with your 3D printer. 

Footprint 

The object’s footprint occupies the build surface. If the footprint is bigger, the print head will travel more to complete the layers. 

Part Geometry 

The printing process will be quicker if the parts of the 3D object come with simple cross-sectional layers. The geometry of the 3d object is a determining factor in how long the 3D printer works. 

Quantity 

It is obvious that the quantity of the 3D object is a major factor in how long your 3D printer operates. If you need more copies of a specific project, you must wait for long hours. The higher the number of copies of the object, the longer time it will print. So, you need patience in waiting to complete the printing procedure of your 3D printing projects.  

Layer height 

The height of the layer can affect the printing time. If the object comes with a shorter layer, there is a high chance of producing a smoother and detailed surface finish. 

3D printing technology 

Printing technology is another thing considered for the printing time. The paintbrush has FDM, stereolithography, and selective laser sintering. Another technology in 3D printing is the paint roller. Here, the print head can travel back and forth in the build tray. This is usually used for Multijet, Polyjet as well as Colorjet 3D printers. You must choose the printing technology that best suits your 3D project.        

Post processing 

The post processing is also a big factor in the printing time of your 3D printer. Post processing immediately comes after the printing procedure. It can include ultimate cleaning, support removal process as well as rinsing and drying of the 3D object parts.

Different technologies have various post processing. Some last for 20 minutes, while the larger parts can take a few hours. You must be careful to ensure that the parts of the 3D printed object will not be damaged. Thus, the design and materials used can make it more fragile. 

3D Printer Speed Settings 

There are also various 3D printer speed settings that can be factors for the printing time. You must remember that the slower setting of the 3D printer can bring better quality. The speed of the printer can be measured in millimeters per second. Depending on the model you use, it can have around 40 mm per second up to 150 mm per second. 

The speed settings of your 3D printer can be categorized in the following groups:

  • First grouping – 40 to 50 millimeter per second
  • Second grouping – 80 to 100 millimeter per second
  • Third and fastest grouping – 150 millimeters per second and above 

You can set the speed of your printer in the slicing software. It is the basic preparation for the 3D printing procedure. If you choose the speed, your software calculates the print duration down to the second. You must test which speed works best for your 3D printer. You must also get the best speed for the designs and materials of your 3D project. Make sure to have a speed setting that will not sacrifice the good quality of the print. 

3D “Printing” Types and Speed 

  • FDM or Fused Deposition Modeling – this is the basic type of printing. A temperature-controlled head is used for extruding thermoplastic materials layer by layer in a build platform. FDM prints can also give you quick printing. It is more affordable and can provide less quality print than SLA. 
  • SLA or Stereoligraphy Apparatus – this printing utilizes a photochemical procedure to link materials. Light is used in solidifying a liquid resin. It can print quicker compared to the FDM. However, it needs more post-production work to produce a clean final print. With this printing type, you can print the whole layers at a time. The speed of this 3D printing is based on the height of your desired finish. 

3D “Printer” Types and Speed 

The type of your 3D printer is also a determinant for the printing time. 

Delta printer 

It is a fast 3D printer because of the fluidity of its movement. It is built for faster printing. The Delta printer can have 3 ½ hours of printing. 

Cartesian printer

It utilizes the X, Y and Z axis for plotting points to move the extruder on a specific position.  The printing time with this 3D printer can take about 4 hours. With this printer, you can expect better quality prints because of its detail and precision. 

Conclusion

To sum it up, the printing time of your 3D printer will depend on the factors mentioned above. So, make sure to choose the best speed setting that will function well with your 3D printer. It is also a good idea to choose wisely the materials and designs you use for printing 3D objects. It can give you more satisfying quality prints.   

About the Author Dan

Just a random guy who likes to build things. Providing tool knowledge, appliance/device testing tips, and DIY project info in an easy-to read & non-intimidating style.