Understanding 3D Printing Time - Factors that Impact Print Speed

Understanding 3D Printing Time – Factors that Impact Print Speed

3D printing is a technology that has been around for over three decades and has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its availability and affordability. 3D printing works by creating a digital model of an object, slicing it into layers, and outputting those layers one by one to build the final 3D object. While 3D printing has numerous advantages, including the ability to create complex geometries that traditional manufacturing methods can’t, one major concern for users is the time it takes to complete a print. The printing time can vary depending on several factors, including the size and complexity of the object, resolution, infill percentage, printing material, and printing technology. This article delves into these factors and provides a better understanding of how long a 3D print takes and how to estimate the printing time accurately.

Factors Affecting 3D Printing Time

The following factors can affect the time it takes to complete a 3D print:

  • The size and complexity of the object – smaller and simpler objects take less time to print while larger and more complex objects take longer.
  • The printing resolution – higher resolution prints take more time to complete than lower resolution prints.
  • The infill percentage – a higher infill percentage results in a stronger final product, but also increases the printing time.
  • The printing material – different materials vary in printing time, with some requiring higher printing temperatures that can increase printing time
  • The printing technology used – different printing technologies have different printing speeds, with some being faster than others.

There are a few tools and websites available to help estimate 3D printing time based on the factors above. For instance, the website 3DPrintCalc allows users to input the size, resolution, and infill percentage for their 3D object and provides an estimated printing time, along with an estimate of the material needed and cost. Some 3D printer software like Cura can also provide printing time estimates based on various settings. Using these tools can help save time and money and make 3D printing more efficient.

What affects 3D printing time?

The time taken for 3D printing a part depends on its size, height, complexity, and the type of printing technology used. The duration can range from as little as 30 minutes to multiple days. Larger and more complex parts take longer to print.

Printing resolution and infill percentage are two of the significant factors that impact the time it takes to complete a 3D print.

When it comes to printing resolution, higher resolutions result in more detailed and accurate final products. However, they also take more time to print. Comparatively, lower resolutions prints might not be as accurate but can be completed faster.

The infill percentage is the amount of material that is used to fill the inside portion of a 3D print. This percentage has a significant impact on printing time because it affects the internal structure of the 3D print. In general, higher infill percentages result in stronger final products, but those also take more time to print.

Here’s a quick summary of how resolution and infill percentage can impact printing time:

Printing Resolution Infill Percentage Printing Time
Low Low Fast
Low High Slower
High Low Slower
High High Slowest

Interesting fact: According to recent studies, the printing time of an object can be reduced by up to 90% by choosing the lowest possible infill percentage while still retaining the structural integrity of the object.

In general, finding the right balance between resolution and infill percentage can help you optimize your printing time based on your needs and preferences. Some 3D printing software, such as Simplify3D, allows for detailed control over both resolution and infill percentage, giving users complete control over their printing time.

How does infill percentage relate to print time?

Infill percentage relates to print time because the higher the infill percentage, the longer it will take to print the model. This is because more material needs to be deposited in order to fill the inside of the model. Conversely, a lower infill percentage will result in a faster print time as less material is needed to fill the inside of the model. It’s important to find the right balance between infill percentage and print time to achieve both strength and efficiency in your prints. Relevant websites that offer information on optimizing infill percentage include Simplify3D, Ultimaker, and Prusa Printers.

How long does a 3D print take? The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the size of the object, the complexity of the design, and the technology used to print it. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to estimate the printing time.

One of the most significant factors affecting printing time is the layer height. The layer height is the thickness of each layer printed, and it is usually measured in microns. The thinner the layer height, the longer the printing time. For example, a layer height of 0.1mm will take twice as long to print as a layer height of 0.2mm.

Another factor that affects printing time is the print speed. This speed can vary depending on factors such as the type of printer used and the material being printed. The speed of the printer is usually measured in mm/s. Some printers, such as the Ultimaker 2+, have adjustable printing speeds that allow you to print faster or slower, depending on your preferences.

The type of material used for 3D printing and the printing temperature also can impact the printing time. Some materials like ABS can take longer to print than others like PLA. Materials with higher melting points require higher print temperatures, leading to a longer printing time. In addition, excessive heat can cause warping and other quality issues that could increase the printing time. On the other hand, cold temperature environments can result in longer printing times as the printer struggles to maintain the required temperature for the material.

Understanding how different materials affect printing time can help you reduce the printing time without sacrificing print quality. Additionally, tweaking the printing temperature using software-specific capabilities can help you achieve optimum printing time and quality.

It is important to keep in mind that 3D printing time can fluctuate depending on the complexity of the object being printed. For instance, an intricately designed object will take longer to print than a simple one. Finally, the size of the object being printed will also impact printing time.

In conclusion, estimating how long a 3D print takes can be challenging, but by understanding the factors that affect printing time, you can get a general idea of how long it will take. By adjusting the layer height, print speed, and printing temperature, you can manipulate printing time to achieve the best balance of quality and speed.

What is the effect of print temperature?

According to the results, it is found that the print temperature has a significant effect on the tensile properties of the printed specimens. The specimens printed at a higher temperature (240°C) have better ultimate tensile strength (36.97 MPa) compared to those printed at a lower temperature (180°C) with a 17.47 MPa tensile strength. No relevant website or product available for this context.


In conclusion, the time it takes to complete a 3D print can vary greatly depending on several factors like the size and complexity of the object, the printing technology used, the printing resolution, the infill percentage, and the printing materials and temperature. Each of these factors plays a vital role in determining the final printing time. Therefore, it’s essential to consider each of these factors carefully before embarking on a 3D printing project to get an accurate estimate of the printing time.

Thankfully, with 3D printing slicer software and other cutting-edge tools available today, it’s easier than ever to get an accurate estimation of printing time, optimize printing time and quality, and reduce the costs of 3D printing. Furthermore, you can join 3D printing communities, visit helpful forums and YouTube video tutorials, and consult product-specific guides and reviews to get additional help and insights on optimizing printing time. With the right tools, knowledge, and support, you can create stunning 3D prints in less time than you would think!