How Fast can a 3D Printer Print?

You might have heard people talking about how fast their 3D printer prints. How do you define speed in the context of 3D printing? The simple and short answer would be how quickly your 3D printer can print your model layer by layer.

When we talk about 3D printing speed, we mainly measure it in millimeters per second (mm/s). It is the rate at which the 3D printer’s nozzle moves while extruding molten filament to create an object layer by layer

How fast can a 3D printer print?

The speed of your printer really depends on the model you own. For example, CoreXY printers like the Bambu Lab X1 Carbon or Creality K1 can go up to 600mm/s. But if you’ve got a bed slinger model like the Ender 3 Pro or Prusa MK3, you’re looking at a max speed of about 100mm/s. And don’t forget, factors like layer height, nozzle size, and the firmware plays a major role on how fast you can print.

5 Factors that Affect Printing Speed

Layer Height

Layer height is one of the major factors for print speed. A smaller layer height means more layers, which equals better quality but also more time spent printing. On the other hand, a larger layer height will speed things up but you’ll lose some detail. So, you’ve got to decide what’s more important for your project.

For complex objects with intricate details, a smaller layer height is good. For simpler shapes, like a basic box or cylinder, a higher layer height will get the job done faster without losing much in terms of quality.

Nozzle Size

Think of the nozzle as the tip of a pen for your 3D printer. A smaller nozzle will give you finer details but will print more slowly. A larger nozzle, on the other hand, will reduce the printing time but you’ll miss out on some of those fine details in your print . So, the nozzle size you choose will affect both your print speed and quality.

Printer Design

The design of your 3D printer plays a big role in how fast it can print. CoreXY printers are generally faster than bed slinger printers. In CoreXY models, the bed only moves up and down, reducing vibrations and allowing for higher speeds. Bed slinger models can get shaky at high speeds, so you’ll need to limit the speed to keep things smooth.

These are some of the popular 3D printers in the market:

NameTypeSpeed (mm/s)Price ($)
Bambulab X1CoreXY5001199
Bambulab P1SCoreXY500699
Creality K1 MaxCoreXY600899
Creality Ender 3 ProBed Slinger120209
Anycubic Kobra 2Bed Slinger250229
Creality Ender 3 S1Bed Slinger150246

Please note that prices may change over time and vary by region.

Firmware 

Just like hardware, software also plays a significant role in your 3D printer’s speed. Many new models come with their own firmware, but a lot of printers still works on Marlin firmware. There’s also another firmware option like Klipper, that’s becoming popular for its ability to increase printing speed. So, if you’re looking to increase your 3D printer’s performance, consider upgrading the firmware to the latest or better one.

Print Settings

Your slicer software, whether it’s Cura, PrusaSlicer, etc. It gives you control over a bunch of settings, including print speed. Usually, the default speed setting is set on the slower side to make sure of print quality. But if you want to, you can increase the print speed in the software.

For example, if you’re printing a simple object like a coaster, you can increase the speed without losing much detail.

How Fast 3D Printer Can Go

Well, there’s no single answer. It completely depends on the 3D printer type and condition.

If you’re using a bed slinger model like the Ender 3, Prusa Mk3, or Anycubic Kobra, you can get printing  speeds of around 100mm/s. But if you’ve got a CoreXY model like the Bambu Lab X1 Carbon or Creality K1, you can get upto 600mm/s in printing speed without losing much in quality. So, your printer’s type plays a very important role in how fast you can print.

The balance between Speed and Quality

In  3D printing, whether you have a bed slinger or CoreXY, finding the right balance between speed and quality is important because high speed can give less quality print while on the other hand nobody wants slow printing so itt takes practice and experimentation and a lot of failed prints to find good speed to quality ratio. You can start with the default settings of your 3D printer and then slowly tweak the print speed to see how it affects your prints.

Conclusion

3D printer speed depends on various factors like the 3D printer’s type, nozzle size, print setting, firmware, layer height, etc. While faster printing might be attractive, but it is important to find the right balance between speed and quality to get high quality prints

FAQ

 1. How fast can a 3D printer print?

  • The speed of a 3D printer depends on several factors, including the 3D printer design, firmware, print settings, nozzle size, and layer height.

2. How fast can an Ender 3 Pro 3D printer print?

  • The Ender 3 Pro is a popular 3D printer and can print up to 100mm/s.

3. Why shouldn’t you always print at maximum speed?

  • Printing too fast can reduce your print quality and also lead to issues like layer shift, uneven extrusion, and reduced surface quality.

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