Unlocking the Mystery: What Slows Down 3D Printing Speed?

Alright, Carolina here, a technology enthusiast with a passion for sharing my excitement about all the intriguing devices and advancements that I’ve come to love! Dive in with me as we explore the thrilling world of 3D printing speeds. Ready? Let’s go!


I often ponder, Why can’t we simply crank up our 3D printers to the highest speeds?. Many brave souls have ventured there, only to witness a decline in the quality of their prints. It’s time we delve deeper into understanding what exactly restricts the speed of 3D printing in this segment.

Why isn’t my 3D printer as fast as The Flash? Well, numerous elements influence the speed at which your printer can operate, from firmware configurations, the solidity of its structure, the consistency of the material flow, and the specific material in use, to the printing method itself. Boosting speed might be tempting, but remember: beyond a point, you’ll be trading precision for pace.

To shed more light, the typical speed recommended for most FDM 3D printers is 60mm/s, established after countless experiments and evaluations. Exceed this, and you may start to notice blemishes like blobs, zits, or even more pronounced warping. Thankfully, with some savvy tweaks, these imperfections can be minimized.

So, what truly hampers 3D printing speeds?

  • Layer Love: The heart of 3D printing is laying down each layer impeccably. Speed up too much, and these layers might not bond well. Reasons could range from inadequate cooling or materials that just don’t get along. Experiment with various filaments to discover those with superior bonding traits.
  • Faster Filament Heating: With speedier filament extrusion, it’s essential to elevate the heating rate to achieve the perfect printing temperature. Push this too much, and you might clog your nozzle. Luckily, top-tier extruders like the Hemera can assist in determining the right temperature for brisker extrusion.
  • Cooling Crusade: Speeding up heating necessitates ramping up cooling! Materials like PLA demand adept cooling to avoid flaws. Think stronger fans or even an upgrade. For me, Noctua fans are a dream with their robust performance and whisper-quiet operations.
  • Component Coordination: A 3D printer is an orchestra of parts working in harmony. From the frame, belts, to the extruder, each component must keep pace. Sometimes, it’s not about how swiftly the nozzle moves but about other parts lagging, like a misbehaving belt or too much frame vibration. Solutions? Reinforce your printer’s frame, consider high-quality belts, or upgrade the extruder for a superior printing experience.
  • Weighty Matters: A bulky printer can introduce artifacts in prints when combined with high speeds. A strategy here might be adopting a Bowden setup over a direct drive to lighten the load.
  • Firmware Finesse: Ensure your printer’s firmware settings align with your printer’s capabilities. Fine-tuning these settings can drastically impact print quality and speed, especially for intricate designs.
  • Extrusion Excellence: Enhancing the flow rate of material extrusion is achievable by increasing nozzle size or choosing quick-cooling materials. Combining a high-flow hotend like the Volcano with an elite extruder can overcome common challenges, allowing detailed models to print swiftly.
  • Model Complexity: Detailed models demand precision and may need slower speeds. Adjusting settings and understanding the model’s intricacies can optimize print time without compromising quality.
  • Printing Process Potential: FDM has its limits. Exploring other methods, like SLA, can provide increased speed and precision. I’m eagerly awaiting the day when these technologies truly challenge traditional manufacturing in terms of speed!

Stay curious, techies!