As a 3D printing enthusiast, you will always want to reduce your printing time. However, doing that is not that straight forward. One of the ways you can reduce the print time is by changing the speed and temperature at which your printer prints. Therefore, you will have to get the best speed and temperature to use.
Again, choosing the best speed and temperature is not straightforward. For example, the two factors play a huge role in the quality of your 3D prints. In order to shed more light on the project, this article will talk about the two factors, what you need to know, and how to choose the best value for them. Keep reading to see what we found out.
One of the advantages of 3D printing over other traditional methods of manufacturing is the printing speed. The interesting part is that there are many things you can do to alter the printing speed. However, whatever you do will affect the printing time and quality of the product in one way or the other. To effectively choose the best printing speed for your 3D printer, it is important to first understand the concept.
What is 3D printing Speed?
3D printing speed is how fast the extruder of your 3D printer deposits the extruded filaments to form the designed product. It is measured in 'mm/second,' and most 3D printers come with their printing speed already specified by their designer. Therefore, the 3D printer you are using is normally regulated by its pre-designated speed. This means that it should only be used with materials that require such speed.
There are four categories of 3D printers. Each category contains 3D printers in the same speed range. Below are the four categories.
- Slow 3D printers: They have a print speed of around 40mm/sec to 80mm/sec
- Mid-Fast 3D printers: They have a print speed of around 100mm/sec
- Rapid 3D printers: They have a print speed of around 150mm/sec
- Fast 3D printers: They have a printing speed above 150mm/sec
Therefore, you should be careful of the 3D printer you use to get the best speed you need without tweaking it.
Factors Affecting Printing Speed?
Knowing the factors affecting the 3D printing speed will allow you to know how to tweak them to get the best print speed possible. Below are the important factors that affect printing speed.
- Nozzle Size & Layer Height
3D printers come in different nozzle sizes. For example, common nozzle sizes are 0.05mm, 0.1mm, 0.2mm, 0.4mm, 0.6mm and 0.8mm etc. As you increase the nozzle size, the number of filaments extruded per sec increases. When this increases, there is an increase in printing speed. However, increasing the nozzle size without checking other factors can lead to a drop in the quality of 3D prints.
- 3D Printing Material
The type of materials you are using also plays a huge role in the printing speed. 3D printing materials such as ABD and PLA require higher printing speeds than wood and metal materials.
- Support Structures
A model with a lot of overhangs and support structure will surely take more time to make.
- The Designated Speed
Like we said, every 3D printer comes with its pre-designated speed. Therefore, each one is bound by the effect of such speed. Normally, the 3D printer should not function well in printing speed like the one designated for it. If it does, then you have sacrificed the quality.
Choosing the Best Printing Speed?
How then do you select the best speed for your 3D printing operation? Every 3D printer comes with its designated speed. However, choosing the best printing speed is always at your discretion. There are two simple ways you can print. Either with a fast printing speed or a slow printing speed. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the two ways of printing can help you in your decision. Therefore, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages below.
Printing at a low speed means you are using slow 3D printing speed or the Mid-Fast 3D printing speed. While this has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. Below are its advantages and disadvantages.
- Better Printing Properties
Printing at a very low speed allows the components of the 3D printer to work at a very reasonable rate. Therefore, there is better and effective detailing and layering. In conclusion, you have a 3D print that is unique and of high quality.
- Better Machine Work Rate
Since the 3D printer components all work at a reasonable rate, there is no stress on the machine.
- Print Deformation
The print head will stay on the print bed for too long, leading to print deformation. It can also lead to the clogging of the print head.
- Increase in Operation Time
Printing at a lower speed automatically increases the operating time. Therefore, in a situation that provides lesser time, a slower printing speed might not be ideal.
Fast Printing Speed
Printing at high speed means you are using Rapid 3D printing speed or the Fast 3D printing speed. While this has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. Below are its advantages and disadvantages.
When you print at high speed, you have less time to spend on printing. There is also no print deformation because the print head does not stay on the printing bed
Printing at a very high speed can lead to overheated machine parts and a drop in quality of the 3D printing.
Choosing the best speed comes with understanding the two categories of printing speed, their advantages, and disadvantages. If you need quality, you should go for a slower printing speed. However, if you need lesser operation time, fast printing speed is the ideal way.
Temperature is one of the most important factors in 3D printing. We can even say that without it, there is no 3D printing. Choosing the best temperature depends on the type of filaments and the 3D printer.
3D printers can print at a very high temperature making them ideal for different materials. Each material has a temperature at which it extrudes. Below are the optimal temperature ranges for 3D printing materials:
3D Printing Material
1800C to 2300C
210⁰C – 250⁰C
220⁰C – 235⁰C
220⁰C – 260⁰C
There is no right temperature to print filaments. The best temperature comes from understanding the materials you are working with and the 3D printer. Normally, to effectively choose the right temperature, you must start printing from a low temperature and slowly increase it. You should also print slowly so that you can note the right temperature when it is there.
To choose the right temperature, you must also know what you want. Now, the temperature is normally in two categories: Hot and Cold. Therefore, you must understand the different things in each category.
Using Hot Temperature
Before you choose to print at a hot temperature, be sure that the 3D printer, environment, and materials support such conditions. However, choosing to print at a hot temperature has both its advantages. Below are its advantages.
- Better Heat Stability
Materials printed at very high temperatures are more stable to heat. It is like the saying that what is born from heat can't be killed by heat.
- Better Mechanical Properties
Materials printed at very high temperatures have better mechanical qualities than materials that undergo the other process. It is with the better mechanical properties such as higher tensile strength, hardness, and durability that increase their stability.
- Chemical Stability
Materials printed at high temperatures are also more stable chemically. Depending on the materials used, they are ideal for making containers used in food and medicines.
Printing at a high temperature also comes with its demerits. Below are the few demerits of the process.
Warping in 3D printing is when there is rapid cooling of the filaments, and the base layer lifts itself off the printing bed.
- It Consumes More Energy
As expected, printing at a very high temperature consumes more energy.
- It Can Lead to Leaking
Printing at a very high temperature can lead to the leaking of filaments during the printing.
Relationship Between Printing Speed & Temperature
There is a unique relationship between the printing speed and temperature. You will understand this better if you know what happens to your filament during extrusion. During extrusion, the materials are melted while the fan cools them down so they can harden.
If you are using a high printing speed, the cooling fans won't effectively do their jobs. Therefore, the filaments extruded will most likely have lower quality. This will be visible in terms of uneven layers. Also, if you are using a low printing speed, the cooling fans will cool the filament fast, leading to the print head's clogging.
Therefore, it is important to balance the printing speed and temperature. When you think of getting the best speed, you must also think of getting the best temperature to get the best extrusion and flow rates.
Choosing the best speed and temperature to print all depends on your understanding of 3D printing. It also comes with understanding the effect of altering the speed and temperature. In order to make things easier, this article discussed the two factors, their effects, and explanation that can help you. Ultimately choosing the best speed and temperature comes to your discretion.