The Best 3D Printing Speed Settings For Every Filament

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Written by: Tom Bardwell

October 26, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Print speed basics : Print speed affects print time and quality, and depends on filament, printer, and model.
  • Slicer settings : Adjust print speed and other settings like outer wall speed, infill speed, and retraction speed for optimal results.
  • Filament-specific speeds : PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, and Nylon have different recommended print speeds based on their properties.
  • Test prints : Use test prints to find the best balance between speed and quality for your printer and filament.

Print speed is one of the most important settings when 3D printing. It affects both print speeds and the quality of printed parts, and therefore the likelihood of errors and failures. The best speed settings requires striking a balance between speed and quality.

As with most aspects of 3D printing, print speed differs depending on the material. PLA and, say TPU, require a very different approach, so unfortunately there’s no universal ‘best’ print speed for all filament types. 

Here is a table of the optimal print speeds for the most popular FDM filaments:

To further complicate matters, different 3D printers have their own hardware and quirks, and this even extends to different brands of the same type of filament, given that formulations and additives can drastically alter the speed requirements. 

The type and size of parts also affect print times and the ideal print speed, as do slicer settings such as:

  • Infill density
  • Layer height
  • Support structures

A lot of factors play into finding the best print speed settings. In this guide, we’ll explain what we consider to be the best settings for the most popular filament types, including PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, and more.

The idea is to give you a solid starting point, and from there, you can tweak and experiment to zero in on the optimum speed for your printer, filament, and specific project.

What Is Speed in 3D Printing, and Why Is It Important?

Your 3D print speed determines how fast the printhead assembly motors on a 3D printer move as the extruder deposits material to create a 3D print . This should NOT be confused with travel time, which is the rate at which the printhead moves when it isn’t depositing filament. Print speed is measured in mm/s.

More specifically, the speed affects how fast the printhead travels along the X and Y axes of the print bed, and how fast the extruder motor feeds filament into the printhead. 

Print speed is not to be confused with printing time , which is how long the 3D part or model takes overall. The distinction is important because a fast print speed can still lead to a long print time, especially for larger and more complex prints.

Print speed is important because it not only affects print times – faster speeds can reduce print times by hours in some cases – but also impacts the overall quality of a print (details, features, surface finish) and, therefore, the success of the print. Too fast or too slow, and print errors and failures can arise.

Benefits of Correct 3D Print Speed

  • Reduce instances of ringing, ghosting , and stringing
  • Improves first and subsequent layer adhesion
  • Reduces under-extrusion and clogging
  • Better overall print quality
  • Fewer errors and print failures

How Fast Is Too Fast in 3D Printing?

To determine what speed is too fast, you’ll need to identify the speed where issues like under-extrusion, ringing, ghosting, and insufficient inter-layer adhesion start to occur. 

Quality is subjective, so what may be acceptable to someone may not be to someone else. So, using test prints is a great way to find your personal balance on quality and print time for your projects and filament.

Best 3D Printing Speed Settings

To hone in on the best print settings, we have to look at individual slicer settings , specifically those that relate to speed. 

There’s no universal best print speed, so we recommend taking the following as guidance rather than gospel. Experiment and test print to find settings that work for your printer and filament.

Print Speed Settings

To begin, check your filament spool to see the manufacturer’s recommendations. These offer a solid starting point to work forward from. Otherwise, check out our table above for what is considered the typical best speeds for each filament.

From here, make small adjustments to print speed, either up or down in small increments, until you find a happy medium between print quality and print time that you’re satisfied with. 

As with so many aspects of 3D printing, experimentation and fine-tuning is the key to finding the optimal print speed. Don’t hesitate to dedicate a few hours to print test and calibration models to zero in on the ideal print speed for your filament and project.

You can further fine-tune the overall print speed setting by adjusting the following settings:

  • Outer Wall Speed – the speed the printer prints outer walls (sometimes called the outer shell). Ideally, you’ll want a slower speed for these as they form the finish of a model, and therefore benefit from extra print times to improve the print’s surface finish.
  • Inner Wall Speed – sets how fast the inner walls of the model are deposited (sometimes called inner shell). These are not usually visible, so there’s no need to worry too much about the quality of the finish for inner walls.
  • Infill Speed – determines how fast infills are printed. Infills are the inner parts of a model, between the inner and outer walls. Here, it’s all about balance, aesthetics aren’t important, but print too fast and you’ll reduce the print’s structural integrity.
  • Top and Bottom Layer Speed – sets out how fast the top and bottom layers of the model are printed, which can help with first-layer adhesion and the overall surface quality of the final layer. Here, slower speeds are recommended to ensure that first layer adheres properly, setting you up for the rest of the print, and you always want the top layer to have a good surface finish.
  • Skirt, Support, Brim, Raft speed – determines how fast supports and adhesion aids like skirts and rafts print. These tie into first-layer adhesion, so taking a bit more time to deposit a solid initial set of layers helps with the rest of the print.

Travel Speed Settings

Travel speed determines how fast the printhead moves across the build surface when it isn’t depositing filament. 

A faster travel speed tends to shorten print time, but runs the risk of introducing print errors such as ringing, layer shifting (where layers don’t line up properly, creating a stair-like effect), and ghosting that can affect the overall quality of a print. 

Use test prints and make small adjustments until you find the sweet spot between print time and quality. Start somewhere between 80 and 100 mm/s and work your way up/down progressively.

Retraction Speed Settings

Retraction speed sets how fast the printer retracts filament back into the hot end as it moves or travels across the build surface. The aim is to avoid stray filament landing on the print when it isn’t required, causing stringing and reducing finish quality. 

Again, balance is key. If retraction is too slow or two shallow, unsightly blobs and wisps of filament can appear, while upping speeds too far can cause similar effects. 

Turn to a test print , and make small adjustments as you go until you eliminate all instances of stringing and blobbing. The perfect starting point really depends on the characteristics of your printer and the filament, but starting around 30 mm/s should set you on the right path.

Factors that Affect 3D Printing Speed

  • First-layer adhesion – Printing too fast can cause issues for the printer when laying down the first layer. It can also affect bonds between layers, leading to issues like ghosting, shifting, and ringing. This is often caused by insufficient cooling – the material doesn’t have time to cool properly before the next layer is deposited.
  • Nozzle size – Larger nozzle sizes can deposit more material faster. We explain more in our nozzle size 3D printing guide .
  • Hot End Temperature – Faster printing requires the hot end to work harder to keep up with the temperature requirements of melting more filament faster. High temperatures can, however, lead to blockages and clogging if too much melted filament is fed through the nozzle at once, forcing it back up into the print head mechanism. It then solidifies, blocking the filament pathway.
  • Your printer’s hardware – if your printer is not designed to work at high speeds, it will struggle to keep up, whether that’s the motors, the belt, or the frame simply not being designed to handle the vibrations caused by such rapid movement.
  • Type of model – The more detail, the more a model or part benefits from slower speeds, and more pronounced retraction settings. Essentially, your expectations for the overall quality of the print have a big say in the right print speed.
  • Material types – less demanding filaments like PLA can handle higher speeds with a small impact on overall quality, while more challenging materials like TPU and PETG only thrive at slower speeds.

Best 3D Printing Speeds For Every Filament

  • Best PLA Print Speed : 50 – 80 mm/s
  • Retraction Speed – 6 mm at 25 mm/s. Watch out for stringing and adjust downward to avoid it.

PLA Filament

For a good balance between speed and print quality, we recommend 50-80 mm/s for most printers for PLA. 

For parts where finish and detail aren’t all that important, feel free to crank up the speed to reduce print times. Or, if your printer handles high print speeds, adjust it accordingly. 

For detailed prints, stick to the lower end of the recommended print speeds. 

For larger prints where aesthetics aren’t all that important, don’t hesitate to push speeds at around 80 mm/s. A good quality FDM printer should be able to handle these speeds and produce a decent-quality model without too many blemishes and errors.

  • Best ABS Print Speed: 40 – 60 mm/s
  • Retraction Speed – 6 mm at 40 mm/s. Adjust lower to reduce stringing if needed.

ABS Filament

Typically, a good print speed for ABS is around 40-60 mm/s, though you can reduce the speed if the print quality isn’t good enough. 

For the best results, print ABS inside an enclosure. Without one, ABS is extremely susceptible to warping – the filament needs a controlled thermal environment to truly thrive.

  • Best PETG Print Speed : 20 – 40 mm/s
  • Retraction Speed – We recommend 4 mm at 25 mm/s. Stringing is generally an issue with PETG, so adjust as needed – shorter retraction distance and higher retraction speed tends to work well for most printers.

PETG Filament

We recommend starting at around 40 mm/s, then reducing print speed in small increments until you find a balance between quality and print times. 

Note that overall, PETG tends to shine at slower print speeds, so dropping as low as 20 mm/s is recommended for the best results.

  • Best Nylon Print Speed : 25-50 mm/s
  • Bed Temperature : 55-65°C

Nylon Filament

For printing Nylon on an FDM printer, aim for somewhere between 25 and 50 mm/s. Any faster and it’s likely the print will struggle to keep up with the high extrusion temperatures required to print Nylon. 

As with ABS, Nylon is highly prone to warping, so ensure you are printing in an enclosed chamber and using a heated bed for the best results.

  • Best TPU Print Speed : 25-30 mm/s
  • Retraction Speed – 3 mm at 20 mm/s. TPU fares best with a shorter retraction distance to avoid introducing too much movement into the filament path potentially causing bending and clogging.

TPU Filament

TPU is a fairly tricky filament to print, especially compared to PLA. 

It much slower print settings, around 25 to 30 mm/s, though dropping down as low as 10 mm/s for the first layer to promote solid first-layer adhesion is a common step to ensure TPU prints don’t fail.

What Is a Good 3D Printing Speed?

There is no universal good 3D printing speed as it depends on the model, filament, and the printer itself. The key is finding the right speed for all these factors. As a general rule though, most standard FDM filaments (PLA, ABS, PETG, etc) tend to perform well at speeds between 20 mm/s and 60 mm/s, though this is a generalization. 

For this reason, we recommend tests to figure out the best print speed for your combo of printer and filament, especially those geared towards calibrating print speeds. They include multiple instances of the same model printed at progressively faster speeds, allowing you to visually inspect the results and select the optimal speed based on the quality produced.

However, if you want a 3D printer capable of printing at higher speeds without losing quality, then some printers are better suited for this than others. The best delta 3D printers print faster than standard Cartesian printers due to their build and bowden extruders – they can often print more than twice as fast. For more information, we have also written an article on the fastest 3D printers .

If you’re one of the 1000s worldwide with an Ender 3, you can read out guide to the best speed settings for Ender 3 here.

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Tom Bardwell

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3D Printing Speeds: 10 Speed Settings Tips To Print Faster

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Beginners usually find themselves experimenting with printing speed because they aren’t sure how to choose the correct setting for their project.

However, aside from delaying production, poor printing speeds could also lead to imperfections and flawed outputs.

Thus, it’s something you should be sure of whenever you do your 3D object, especially if it’s for rapid prototyping .

If you need to learn more about setting your printing speeds, you are just on the right page. By the end of this article, you will know how to determine the perfect speed to produce a quality 3D printed object. Also, I will give you several tips if you want to print faster.

So, let’s get started!

What Is 3D Printing Speed?

what is travel speed in 3d printing

3D printing speed is the main speed setting when you are 3D printing.

It refers to how fast your 3D printer’s motor moves, including the X- and Y-axis control and the extruder motor. It is usually measured in seconds (unit of time) and kg, mm or cm3 (unit of manufactured material).

You can download a print speed test model to test your printer’s speed. The test model comes with instructions on adjusting the correct settings because the model linked will essentially print the same shape at gradually increasing speeds, allowing you to see for yourself the optimal setting to achieve a flawless output.

There are many factors when we talk about printing speeds like retraction speed, travel speed and more.

Retraction speed is the speed at which the extruder motor drives back the filament. A good retraction speed is between 1200-6000 mm/min (20-100 mm/s) where retraction performs best. When the retraction speed is too fast, the drive gear may grind away pieces of the filament.

Travel speed is the moving speed of the print head during non-printing status. It refers to the movement of the print head without squeezing the printing material out from the nozzle.

When travel speed is too slow, it could lead to stringing issues on the 3D printed object. A good travel speed for a 3D printer is 100 millimeters per second. But the optimum travel speed might differ for each 3D printer.

Here’s why you should aim for the accurate speed:

When the print speed is too slow, it could cause deformation due to the nozzle sitting on the plastic for too long. And when the speed is too fast, it results in ringing, which is caused by overly excessive vibrations.

Also, when you go too fast, the extruder might not be able to keep up and end extruding less filament than it should.

Hitting the sweet spot will enable the 3D printer to work fast, accurately, and flawlessly without sacrificing the quality of the output.

Print speeds and quality go hand-in-hand; that’s why it’s very important to use the right speed to achieve the desired results.

Overall, you will get a better quality output if you use a lower speed than a higher speed. However, that is only true when your 3D printer is not operating at its optimal conditions.

Also, some would argue that printing speed doesn’t impact print quality. That’s because other factors directly impact the print quality, which is as follows:

Type of 3D printer

The type of 3D printer will also affect the quality of the 3D prints without being influenced by the print speed.

A high-quality 3D printer can be set in a high-speed setting and achieve first-class quality 3D prints.

However, if you use a 3D printer of lower quality with the same speed, you won’t get the same high-quality results.

Type Of 3D Printing Material

The speed will be faster when using a high-quality support material because you do not need to keep unclogging the nozzle.

Also, you do not need to deal with support material getting stuck.

When you are done printing, you will remove the material without reducing the print quality.

How Fast Is A 3D Printer?

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Regardless of whether you are using a slow 3D printer or the fastest 3D printers , several factors directly affect how fast your printer could finish a certain project.

Let’s get into more details below.

Resolution of the 3D printed part

Part of the process before 3D printing is slicing the model into layers on a 3D slicer such as Cura or Repetier-Host.

The more layers, the thinner each layer and the longer it will take to print. For instance, a part printed with 50-micron layers will have twice as many layers as the same part printed with 100-micron layers and take twice as long at the same speed.

Quality of print

Theoretically, you could run a budget 3D printer at its maximum speed — make it work at extremely high speed.

However, do not expect it to yield a result the same as on your slicer. Instead, it will probably result in a mess because the speed was too fast.

Some 3D printers, especially fast 3D printers, can handle high-speed 3D printing, but others don’t, especially budget 3D printers with limited capacity.

3D printing technology

The technology used is another factor that affects the speed. Resin 3D printers are faster than FDM 3D printers.

Yes, that’s true; even expensive FDM printers are slower than low-cost LCD 3D printers.

Aside from resin technologies used in SLA, DLP and LCD 3D printers, the fastest 3D printing technologies include Multi Jet Fusion.

Here’s an overview of the different printing speeds of the different 3D printing technology.

Materials or type of filaments use

what is travel speed in 3d printing

However, the filaments mentioned above have different complexity.

Some are easier to print than others because they put less demand on the printer and make it print faster.

Model’s complexity

The 3D object you are about to print could also affect the speed of your machine. Printing a simple box will be easier for a 3D printer to finish than an intricate 3D printed jewelry piece.

Printing a larger object that’s not complex could make the printer work at a faster print speed without significant loss of quality because there are no intricate details needed.

However, the more complex or intricate the model, the more slow the speed is to ensure that it could follow the design as it is.

Infill settings

This factor affects the amount of materials extruded — depending on the level of the infill percentage; it could be between 10% to 100%. Infill settings affect the 3D printing space depending on the complexity.

The more complex the pattern, the longer it will take to finish printing. The effect of infills on printing speeds is through density.

A heavy density infill could promote the strength of the model. However, it also means that 3D printing will take more time or the printing speed is slower.

Size of print

Obviously, the larger the object to 3D print, the longer it will take for the 3D printer to finish. A full-size vase printed using an FDM printer could take 12 hours or more. But a small statue could only take under an hour.

It is true, provided that the two models are not very complex and have a significant difference in their sizes.

Nozzle size

For FDM 3D printers, the nozzle size matters in speed and performance. Smaller nozzles are great for working on models with intricate details.

Larger nozzles are not the best when printing objects with intricate details, but they can print faster.

How Fast Can The Fastest 3D Printer Print

There are a lot of fast 3D printers on the market today and the fastest FDM 3D printer — WASP 2040 PRO Turbo — could work as fast as 500mm/s.

Some said it could even print faster than that. Another great thing about it is that it is extremely accurate. However, DLP/SLA printers will always work faster than the fastest FDM 3D printer.

What Is A Good 3D Printing Speed

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Here’s the recommended setting:

For slow 3D printers, it’s best to use 40 mm per second to 80mm per second. Mid-speed printers work best with 100mm per second. If you want to print faster, you can go 150mm per second. Fast-speed 3D printers can work beyond 150mm per second.

But you should note that there is no general print speed that works for all. There are many things that you need to consider to get the best print speed for your 3D desktop printer.

Here are some factors to consider:

Model’s outer wall. You should ask yourself, “how fast do you want the exterior of your model to be printed?” If your priority is surface quality, you better reduce the speed or opt for lower print speed settings.

Interior walls. For the interior, it is recommended that you use the same print speed in printing the overall model. The 3D printer speed needs to reduce the print time without lowering the 3D print strength.

Infill printing speed. For this, you also need to reduce printing time without compromising stability.

Bottom and top layers. For the last speed setting, you have to consider the top and bottom layers, and the best option is to go for a slightly lower print speed for better surface quality.

Print Speed Settings for PLA, ABS & More

what is travel speed in 3d printing

But after a bit of trial and error, you will surely be able to find what works best for your 3D printer’s software and hardware.

The different 3D printing materials have different recommended print settings.

Here’s the good print speed for PLA, ABS, and more, so you will know how to get started when using them. You can refer to the following section for that.

What is a good 3D printing speed for PLA? When using PLA, you can start in the 40-60 mm/s range. It will give a good balance of print quality and speed.

However, depending on your 3D printer type, stability and set-up, you can increase the speed up to 100 mm/s. Some achieved great results at a higher speed, but the quality of your printer matters too.

A good print speed for ABS is typically similar to PLA between 40-60 mm/s. However, you can increase if you have an enclosure around your printer.

You can print ABS filament at a speed of 60 mm/s and keep the first layer speed to 70% of that and see if it will work for you. It works well for adhesion in some cases, ensuring that enough plastic is extruded out of the nozzle for proper and safe adhesion.

For PETG filament , a good print speed starts in the range of 50-6- mm/s. The filament could rise to string issues, so some will usually opt for 40 mm/s, and according to them, they find good results. PETG is a blend of ABS and PLA; that’s why the recommended print speed is not too far from the two’s recommended settings.

If you are using TPU, you can start with a speed between 15 mm/s to 30 mm/s. The filament is soft and should be printed much slower than the average filament. But if you are using a Direct Drive extrusion system, you can increase the speed to about 40 mm/s.

You can go a bit higher from the recommended speed of 15 – 30 mm/s and experiment. But then again, always remember that this is best printed at a low speed.

A good 3D print speed for nylon is between 30 mm/s to 60 mm/s, but most print with 40 mm/s for great quality and great details. You can also go higher, like 70 mm/s, because it is still sustainable if you increase the nozzle temperature side by side.

10 Tips to Get the Best Print Speed Calculation

what is travel speed in 3d printing

In addition, it reduces problems such as warping or curling.

Yes, speed is very important because it has to do with your 3D printed model’s quality, accuracy and strength. With the right print setting, you can strike a perfect balance to achieve the three.

Here are some tips to increase print speed from 3D printerly. However, you should note that some of them might affect the quality of your print.

1. Increase print speed in slicer settings

Find the balance of your print speed in the slicer settings. It will be very helpful, especially if you depend on how big the print is because the size of the object is relatively related to printing time. Again, experiment to find the perfect balance of speed and quality, and in time, you will find it.

2. Adjust acceleration and jerk settings

Jerk settings refer to how fast the print head moves from a still position. When setting this, you want its movement to be smooth and fast at the same time.

You can test jerk settings by printing the vibration test cube and seeing whether the vibrations are visible on each axis by inspecting the corners, edges and letters on the cube.

Acceleration settings are how the print head gets to its top speed. A low acceleration means that the printer won’t get its top speed with smaller prints. Acceleration depends on several factors and is not the same in all of your 3D printing projects.

According to AK Eric, who did the test, comparing low jerk values (10) to high ones (40) on a 60 mm/sec speed made no difference in print speed. However, the lower value had better quality.

Increasing the speed at 120 mm/sec decreased printing time by 25% but at the expense of the quality. So, you can use the print speed settings to get what you want, but you might have to choose between speed and quality.

3. Infill pattern

For this, you can choose an infill pattern that prints faster than the others to save much time on increasing the print speed. The best has to be the “lines” pattern due to its simplicity and lower number of movements compared to other patterns. Depending on your model, the infill pattern can save you up to 25% of printing time.

The infill pattern is the strength of your model. It’s the honeycomb pattern. The more detailed it is, the more time it will take, because it will include more turns and movements to follow the pattern. If you want to print fast, you can adjust the infill pattern not to be that high.

4. Infill density

Density is what’s inside your print. An infill density of 0% means that the inside of the model is hallow. On the other hand, a 100% density infill means the inside will be solid. The density could depend on the purpose of the model.

For example, if you want a functional print, you should not sacrifice infill density to achieve the strength of the model. However, if it’s for aesthetics, it’s up to you to go all out for the density or skip it and focus on speed to reduce the print time.

5. Wall Thickness/shells

There is a relationship between the wall thickness or shells and density, so you should consider the other when adjusting either one. The good thing is getting a good ratio will help you achieve a great structure.

The thicker the wall, the longer the print till will be. To speed up the printing time, you can decrease the number of shells or perimeters of your prints in the settings.

You can play around with the print speed settings to find the perfect number, so you can maintain the strength while keeping it low to speed up the printing time.

6. Dynamic layer height/adaptive layer settings

what is travel speed in 3d printing

It can improve the print speed and save you a decent amount of time compared to using the traditional layer method.

For example, 3D printing a chess piece without the adaptive layers setting takes 2 hours and 13 minutes.

However, using this featured in the speed settings could reduce the printing time by up to 30% down to 1 hour and 33 minutes.

7. Print multiple objects

To speed up the process, you can utilize all the space in the printer bed rather than doing one print at a time. To make it possible, use the center and arrange function in the slicer.

It will make a significant difference in the printing speed. However, this method might not apply to big prints.

Printing small objects will allow you to copy and paste the design multiple times on the print bed and print them all together simultaneously to speed up the entire process. Those who have tried this approach agreed that printing multiple objects could increase the speed.

8. Remove support

If your 3D object doesn’t need support, the printing time will be shorter. You can eliminate the need for support in many cases when you split the model in the right place and orient them properly.

So use the best orientation for your model, and you’ll definitely reduce the printing time. It is perfect if you want to increase printing speed.

9. Use a large nozzle when practical

Another great way to speed up the printing time is to use a large nozzle. However, doing so might not apply to all models and could reduce your print quality.

Using a large nozzle might not work when you are printing intricate models. But if your 3D objects are not as complex or intricate, go for a large nozzle to increase the printing speed.

There are many sizes of nozzles to choose from. Choose one that is most appropriate for your model.

• 4x 0.2mm nozzles • 4x 0.3mm nozzles • 36x 0.4mm nozzles • 4x 0.5mm nozzles • 4x 0.6mm nozzles • 4x 0.8mm nozzles • 4x 1mm nozzles • 10 cleaning needles

10. Increase layer height

The lower the layer height, the better the quality of your prints, but the longer the 3D printing time takes. If quality is not the top priority, you can increase the layer height and improve the printing speed.

You have to familiarize your printer and explore its print speed settings to get the optimal speed and enjoy quality outputs without the unnecessary long wait.

There are many ways to increase print speeds like using a large nozzle and reducing layer thickness, but always consider the results because when the printer works too fast, it might not achieve the quality you desire.

Also, always remember that the different 3D printing technologies offer different 3D printing speeds. SLA printers will always work faster, even when compared to the fastest FDM 3D printer.

The printing speed will affect the quality of your 3D printed object, so always make sure to strike the right balance, so you will achieve the strength, quality, and look you desire for your 3D project.

If you wish to learn more about 3D printing, better check our 3d printing home page .

  • 3dprinterly.com/best-print-speed-settings-for-3d-printing/
  • 3dprinterly.com/8-ways-how-to-speed-up-your-3d-printer-without-losing-quality/
  • 3dsourced.com/3d-printers/fastest-3d-printer/
  • rigid.ink/blogs/news/3d-printing-basics-how-to-get-the-best-results-with-pla-filament
  • the3dprinterbee.com/3d-printer-speed/
  • 3dsolved.com/3d-printing-speed-vs-quality/
  • m3dzone.com/3d-printing-speed/
  • all3dp.com/2/3d-printing-speed-optimal-settings/
  • all3dp.com/3d-printing-speed/
  • dyzedesign.com/2018/07/3d-print-speed-calculation-find-optimal-speed/
  • thingiverse.com/thing:277394


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3D Print Speed Settings: Balancing Quality and Efficiency

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Marcello De Lio

Last Updated:

May 20, 2024

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Close up of a 3D printer using fast 3D print speed settings to create an object on a textured build plate

Your 3D print speed settings are critical to balancing quality and efficiency.

Each 3D printer is unique, and so are the materials used. You must be prepared to tweak your settings for different filament types to get the best results.

You’ll want to consider your material, printer hardware, print temperature, and model details.

Table of Contents

3D Print Speed At A Glance

3d printer printing a small yellow model

3D print speed is one of the most critical factors as it directly influences your print quality and print time. 3D print speed refers to the rate at which a 3D printer deposits material to create a three-dimensional object. It’s the speed at which the print head moves along the x and y-axis.

Print speed is measured in millimeters per second (mm/s). The ideal speed varies depending on the printer model, filament material, print temperature, and the complexity of the printed object.

You can use a 3D print speed test to see how your printer performs at different speeds.

It’s important to remember that different materials and print temperatures change the optimal print speed. It’s a good idea to run the print test at different print temperatures to help you find the best combination.

Your printer’s hardware is the most significant factor determining your 3D printer’s speed.

Due to hardware limitations, most Cartesian printers, or bed slingers, have lower speeds of 40-60 mm/s. Cheaper components like roller v-wheels and slower stepper motors limit the printer’s maximum speed.

However, CoreXY 3D printers can print at higher speeds of up to 600 mm/s with 20,000 mm/s 2 .

Printer manufacturers set recommended speeds and slicer profiles for their printers. The default slicer settings require fine-tuning, but they provide an excellent starting point for you to work with.

It’s essential to balance these factors when finding an optimal print speed.

Advanced Speed Tuning

A Core XY printer printing in blue PLA filament

When you adjust your 3D printer’s speed settings, there’s more to consider than the print speed. While 3D print speed is critical, you should consider several other speed settings.

Travel Speed

Travel speed refers to the speed at which the printer head moves when not extruding filament. Your travel speed tells you printhead how fast to move over open spaces and between parts of your print.

You should set a high travel speed to reduce print time and the risk of stringing between distant points. I recommend a 150-200 mm/s travel speed for most bed slingers like the Ender 3 and 500 mm/s for CoreXY 3D printers like the Bambu Lab Carbon X1.

A high travel speed prevents the filament from oozing out of the extruder during non-printer movements. Fast speeds minimize stringing and reduce unwanted extrusion.

It’s essential not to set the travel speed too high as it can result in ringing or layer shifting .

If you’re unsure where to start, set a travel speed of 100mm/s and increase in 10mm/s increments.

Retraction Speed

Retraction speed controls how quickly the filament is pulled back during travel moves to prevent dripping. You’ll want to find a balance that minimizes stringing without causing excessive wear on the extruder.

Depending on your extruder and filament type, I recommend retraction speeds between 30-60 mm/s.

Setting the retraction speed too slow leads to zits and blobs. If you set the retraction speed too high, the gears can grind the filament, creating different print issues.

Here are our retraction speed recommendations for different filament materials:

  • PLA:  40-60 mm/s
  • PETG:  25-45 mm/s
  • ABS:  40-60 mm/s
  • TPU:  15-30 mm/s

Infill Speed

You can set a faster infill speed than your outer shell speed because it’s less visible, and minor issues won’t affect the appearance or quality of your 3D model.

Acceleration and Jerk Control

Acceleration and jerk settings significantly impact print quality and efficiency. They control the speed at which your hot end changes directions, and acceleration determines the rate at which a printer reaches its desired speed.

High acceleration reduces printing time but at the risk of introducing vibrations or artifacts. Jerk settings dictate how quickly a printer can start or stop moving. Excessively high jerk settings create flaws like ringing.

A lower acceleration and a moderate jerk setting are best for creating precise prints without negatively impacting print times.

First Layer Speed

Close up of the print head of an anycubic Kobra 2 printing the first layer of a 3D object

The first layer speed impacts adhesion and layer lines. You want to set a slower first layer speed, around 20-30 mm/s, to ensure excellent bed adhesion and a smooth foundation for subsequent layers. Your first layer speeds should be around 50% of your regular print speed.

Don’t rush the initial layers, as it sets the stage for the rest of your print.

Number of Slow Layers

It’s not just the first layer that requires a slower print speed. This print setting tells your printer how many slow layers to print before ramping up to the full print speed. It’s an essential setting to build the foundation for your print.

I recommend setting five to six slow layers to ensure your 3D print adheres to the build plate.

Support Structure Speed

Support structures don’t need the same attention to detail as the print itself, so setting a faster speed can save time on your printing without affecting the quality of your 3D print. I usually set the support structure speed to 50% faster than my regular print speed. So, if I’m printing at 60 mm/s, I use a support structure speed of 90 mm/s.

Relationship Between Temperature and Print Speed

A 3D printed temperature tower printed in color changing pla filament

Your 3D print speed and temperature are closely linked. At the core of their relationship is the principle that the faster you print, the more heat is required to sufficiently melt the filament to bond properly with the previous layers.

3D printing filament requires adequate time and heat to melt properly before extruding through the nozzle. Print speed influences the melt time in the hot end: faster speeds shorten the amount of time filament has to melt, while slower speeds extend it. Imbalances in the speed-temperature ratio can cause extrusion problems.

Filament becomes more fluid at higher temperatures, which is needed to ensure a fast filament flow rate at fast printing speeds. You should increase the print head temperature when increasing print speeds to ensure the nozzle deposits enough filament.

Here are three reasons to increase the print temperature at higher speeds:

  • Heat Transfer Efficiency: The filament spends less time in the heated nozzle at faster speeds, reducing the time to reach the optimal melting point. Higher temperatures compensate for this quick passage by ensuring the filament melts quickly enough to maintain a smooth and consistent flow.
  • Material Bonding: Proper bonding between layers is essential for the structural integrity of the print. At higher speeds, if the extruded filament is not hot enough, it won’t adhere well to the previous layer, leading to weak points and insufficient layer adhesion.
  • Print Quality: Fast printing at low temperatures can lead to under-extrusion, where insufficient filament is deposited. This results in prints that are brittle and have a poor surface finish. Increasing the temperature ensures that the filament is fluid enough for a consistent extrusion, enhancing the print’s overall quality.

Hardware Influences on 3D Printing Speed

An Anycubic Kobra 3D printer creating a 3D printed object at a fast print speed using tri extrusion filament on a textured build plate

Your 3D printer’s hardware significantly affects the upper limits of print speed. The printer’s nozzle size, extruder type, and design directly affect how quickly you can produce prints without sacrificing quality.

Differences Between 3D Printer Types

Your printer’s architecture is the most significant factor determining your 3D printer speed.

Delta, CoreXY, and Cartesian 3D printers are three of the most common printer architectures. Each type of printer offers unique characteristics that significantly influence print speed.

Delta Printers

The build plate on a delta 3d printer printing an object in yellow pla

Delta printers are known for their distinctive triangular structure, which utilizes three arms connected to a single print head. Delta 3D printers have a stable build plate and move at incredible speeds. Printers like the FLSun S1 print at 1200 mm/s with an acceleration of 40,000mm/s².

This design allows for high-speed printing due to several factors:

  • Lightweight Print Head: Delta printers have a stationary motor setup, unlike Cartesian printers, where the motor often moves with the print head. The print head is lightweight, allowing for faster movement and less inertia.
  • Parallel Kinematics: Delta printers operate on parallel kinematics, where all three arms move simultaneously to position the print head. This allows for exceptionally smooth and rapid movements, especially in vertical directions, making Delta printers exceptionally fast.
  • Efficiency in Printing Tall Objects: The design of Delta printers makes them particularly efficient at printing tall, slender objects. Their ability to quickly move up and down translates into faster print times for objects that fit within their cylindrical print volume.

However, delta printers have a few downsides.

Delta 3D printers have decreased accuracy on prints with larger horizontal areas. Because of the vertical arms, these printers are very tall but only have half the print size as the total printer height. Delta printers also have smaller build volumes than other printer architectures.

CoreXY Printers

Bambu Lab P1P Core XY 3D printer on a wooden table with a plant in the background 4 3

CoreXY printers offer a unique combination of speed, precision, and compact design. These printers are becoming increasingly popular as they offer fast print speeds and excellent print quality, even at larger build volumes.

The CoreXY architecture is characterized by:

  • Belt-Driven System: CoreXY printers utilize a complex system of belts that control the movement of the print head along the X and Y axes. This design allows for rapid movements with minimal vibrations, as the motors are stationary, reducing the moving mass.
  • High Speed with Precision: The CoreXY configuration can print at high speeds without sacrificing precision. The belt system enables quick and smooth acceleration and deceleration, which is critical for maintaining print quality at high speeds.
  • Stable Print Bed: The print bed only moves along the Z axis. CoreXY printers can achieve high quality at fast speeds because the object remains stable at fast print speeds.

CoreXY printers are well-suited for detailed prints where speed and precision are essential. However, the complexity of their belt system can make maintenance and setup more challenging than with simpler designs.

Cartesian Printers

Front view of the anycubic kobra 2 3d printer with a spool of purple tricolor filament

Cartesian printers are the most common and widely used type of 3D printer. Cartesian printers are characterized by their use of three separate motors to move the print head along the X, Y, and Z axes independently.

This design offers several advantages:

  • Simplicity and Reliability: The straightforward design of Cartesian printers makes them easy to use, maintain, and troubleshoot, which is ideal for beginners and professionals alike.
  • Versatility: Cartesian printers can handle various materials and print types, making them highly versatile. They can also be modified and upgraded easily, allowing users to improve print speed and quality.
  • Balanced Speed and Quality: While generally not as fast as Delta or CoreXY printers, Cartesian printers can still achieve high print speeds, especially in models where the print bed moves only on the Z-axis. However, the speed is often balanced with the need to ensure print quality, as the moving mass is greater than in Delta or CoreXY systems.
  • Affordability : Cartesian printers are the most affordable of the three printer architectures. However, they also have the worst print quality and slowest printing speeds.

The primary limitation of Cartesian printers regarding speed is the inertia from the moving print head and print bed. The movement leads to slower print speeds and potential quality issues at high speeds.

The vibration from moving all three axes leads to ghosting and ringing at high speeds.

But, the biggest drawback is the print bed’s movement along the y-axis, making it challenging to achieve high-quality prints at fast speeds. The issue with the print moving bed is especially noticeable with larger prints as the stepper motor struggles to move the weight of material on the bed.

Filament Material

Three spools of PLA filament on the build platform of a 3D printer

Each filament type offers unique properties and different print speed requirements. You get the best print quality when you fine-tune your print speed to your print material.

  • PLA is the most popular filament choice for hobbyists. PLA filament is easy to use and produces excellent print quality with little effort. You can print PLA at various speeds, but I recommend a 40-60 mm/s speed for the best quality. PLA has a low melting point, allowing for the fastest printing speeds among filament types. Slow the print speed to 30-40 mm/s for intricate details to improve accuracy and finish.
  • ABS is known for its strength, durability, and heat resistance. It’s a popular choice for functional parts but notoriously difficult to print. ABS filament tends to warp and shrink. It also emits unpleasant and harmful odors while printing. I recommend a moderate print speed of 40-50 mm/s for ABS to ensure strong layer bonding and minimize warping. Using a printing enclosure when working with ABS is best to reduce warping in your prints .
  • PETG is a hybrid that combines the ease of printing PLA with ABS’s strength and temperature resistance. PETG filament is less prone to warping than ABS, but it’s much easier to print. I recommend slightly slower print speeds of 25-45 mm/s, which is ideal because it allows the filament to bond properly, reduces stringing, and improves layer adhesion.
  • TPU is a flexible material perfect for creating parts that need to bend or stretch. The flexibility of TPU filament makes printing challenging, particularly with Bowden extruders. TPU requires a slow print speed of 15-30 mm/s to prevent the filament from buckling inside the extruder. Direct-drive setups can handle slightly higher speeds of 20-35mm/s .

Each filament type presents its own set of challenges and considerations regarding print speed settings. Remember, these speed recommendations are starting points, and optimal settings can vary based on your specific printer, the complexity of the print, and environmental factors. Experimentation and adjustment are key to finding the perfect balance for your projects.

Impact of Nozzle Size and Material

Top down view of five brass fdm nozzles of different diameters

The printer’s nozzle size affects how fast you can 3D print. Larger nozzle diameters of 0.6mm and 0.8mm deposit material faster than the standard 0.4mm nozzle.

Because larger nozzle diameters deposit more material, you can print faster without the risk of under-extrusion. The larger nozzle holds more molten filament, allowing for higher flow rates and fewer gaps in your prints.

Your nozzle’s material also affects how fast the material can extrude. 3D printing nozzles made from brass have higher thermal conductivity than hardened steel. Filament melts faster in a brass nozzle, allowing for higher print speeds than in a hardened steel nozzle.

But you shouldn’t choose a brass nozzle because you can print faster.

Brass is softer than hardened steel, making it significantly less durable than steel. Brass nozzles must be changed more often, especially if you print abrasive materials like wood-filled PLA.

Extruder Types and Their Speeds

The type of extruder your 3D printer employs also affects print speed.

Direct-drive extruders are mounted directly on the print head, providing precise filament control. They provide higher print quality and less stringing but at the cost of print speeds.

Due to their all-in-one configuration, direct drive extruders are heavier than Bowden feed extruders. The increased print head weight requires more energy to move at higher speeds. You’ll want to print at slightly slower print speeds than with a Bowden-fed 3D printer.

In contrast, Bowden extruders can print faster due to reduced head weight. However, Bowden extruders have less filament control, requiring more fine-tuning to eliminate stringing.

Solving Common Speed-Related Print Issues

You can run into issues when you set your print speed too fast or too slow.

When printing too slowly, you risk defects from the filament remaining heated in the nozzle for too long. Slow print speeds can clog your nozzle and degrade the filament during printing.

Setting your 3D print speed too high can create print issues like ghosting, stringing, and under-extrusion. If you’re printing at a high speed, you can usually fix the print defects by lowering your 3D printing speed.

Ringing and Ghosting

3D print ghosting on a black pla architectural model

Ringing and ghosting are artifacts that appear as echoes or ripples around sharp corners of your print. They often occur because of vibrations from high print speeds or instability in your printer or table.

To reduce these issues:

  • Decrease Print Speed : Decrease 3D print speed in 10 mm/s increments.
  • Reduce Jerk and Acceleration : High jerk and acceleration settings create vibrations that show in your print. Reduce jerk and acceleration to decrease vibrations and have smoother transitions.
  • Belt Tension : Check that your printer’s belts are sufficiently tight . Loose belts can create ghosting as they slip and become misaligned. Correctly tensioned belts are crucial for precise movements and reducing inaccuracies in the print.
  • Stabilize the Printer Frame: A solid frame and stable base significantly lower vibrations, contributing to cleaner prints.


Gaps in a 3D printed helmet caused by 3D PRINTER UNDER-EXTRUSION

Setting the 3D printer speed too high can cause issues with under-extrusion as your printer struggles to deposit enough filament. Extreme print speeds don’t allow enough time for the filament to melt and deposit correctly. The result is thin layers, weak walls, and gaps in the print.

Decreasing print speed gives your print head enough time to deposit material. You can also experiment with increasing the nozzle temperature. Hotter temperatures make the filament more liquid, allowing it to flow faster.

A 3D Benchy printed in black PETG filament with stringing

Stringing occurs when material leaks out and thin strings form between the print spaces. You can reduce stringing in your prints by increasing travel and retraction speeds.

If adjusting the speed settings doesn’t fix your 3D print stringing issues, you can reduce the print temperature or increase the retraction distance.

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3D Printer Speed | Typical Values & Optimization

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The printing speed of 3D printers is an important criterion when buying a 3D printer. But also when optimizing and improving an existing 3D printer, the printing speed has a great influence on the quality and the printing time of an object.

The print speed of a 3D printer is the speed at which the material is applied to the print bed. The printing time of the object depends on the printing speed. It also has a great influence on the quality of the object. 

The goal in 3D printing is therefore always to achieve the highest possible printing speed without sacrificing quality.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the printing speed when buying a 3D printer and how to optimize and improve the printing speed of an existing 3D printer. 

If you are looking for test objects for the print speed, you can find the best ones in this article .

Table of Contents:

  • 1.1 How is the Speed of 3D Printers Specified?
  • 1.2 What are Typical 3D Printer Speeds?
  • 1.3 What Factors Influence the Printing Speed of a 3D Printer?
  • 1.4 What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Fast Printing Speeds?
  • 2.1 Calibrating the Print Speed
  • 2.2 Improving the Mechanics of the 3D Printer
  • 2.3 Using Klipper as Firmware
  • 2.4 Use of other 3D Printing Materials
  • 3.1 Increase the Travel Speed
  • 3.2 Increasing the Layer Height
  • 3.3 Increasing the Line Width
  • 3.4 Increasing the Infill Printing Speed
  • 3.5 Using the Combing Mode in Cura
  • 4 Conclusion

3D Printer Speed as a Purchase Criterion

In addition to other properties of a 3D printer such as the print volume or the material of the print bed, the print speed is an important purchase criterion. It differs greatly between the various 3D printer models and depends on the design of the 3D printer. 

You can already read the print speed in the technical specifications before buying. However, it is not always specified uniformly. 

How is the Speed of 3D Printers Specified?

what is travel speed in 3d printing

For FMD 3D printers, the print speed is specified in mm/s and describes the speed of the print head during the extrusion of filament. For resin 3D printers, it is specified in s/layer or mm/h and describes the speed at which the object is printed in the z-direction.

Here are a few examples of print speed specifications for different 3D printers:

  • FDM 3D printer: “50 mm/s” means that the print head moves at 50 millimeters per second during printing.
  • FDM 3D printer: “max. 180 mm/s (normal 50 mm/s)” means that the 3D printer can get to a maximum of 180 mm/s without regard to quality, and normal to good quality can be expected at 50 mm/s.
  • Resin 3D printer: “2 s/layer” means that the 3D printer takes 2 seconds per layer. 
  • Resin 3D printer: “30 mm/h” means that the 3D printer can print 30 millimeters per hour in the z-direction. 

The specifications are therefore sometimes very inconsistent. They can falsely promise you a faster printing speed. The correct interpretation of these specifications is therefore important to make the right purchase decision.

What are Typical 3D Printer Speeds?

Typical speeds of FDM 3D printers are between 40 and 60 mm/s for Cartesian 3D printers and over 100 mm/s for Delta 3D printers. Modern resin 3D printers achieve a print speed of about 2-3 seconds/layer, which corresponds to about 30-50 mm/h.

To illustrate these print speeds, I’ve created a few sample objects to give you an idea of how fast different objects can be printed.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

  • Technology: FDM Cartesian
  • Printing speed: 50 mm/s
  • Material: about 11 g filament
  • Printing time: 1 hour and 12 minutes

what is travel speed in 3d printing

  • Material: about 102 g filament
  • Printing time: 10 hours and 42 minutes

what is travel speed in 3d printing

  • Technology: FDM Delta
  • Printing speed: 100 mm/s
  • Material: about 122 g filament 
  • Printing time: 8 hours and 42 minutes

what is travel speed in 3d printing

  • Technology: Resin
  • Print speed: 3 s/layer
  • Material: about 70 ml resin (about 77 g)
  • Printing time: 7 hours and 30 minutes

What Factors Influence the Printing Speed of a 3D Printer?

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Operating principle of the 3D printer: Delta vs. Cartesian for FDM 3D printers, for example. In Delta 3D printers (such as the FLSUN Super Racer ), the print head is lightweight and moved via three arms rather than rigid rails with heavy weight. 

This allows a much higher printing speed to be achieved before vibrations occur that negatively affect the quality of the printed object. 

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Stability of the 3D printer: At high speeds, vibrations can occur when the 3D printer moves. The better the stability of the 3D printer, the higher the printing speeds can be set before disruptive vibrations occur. 

For example, in very large or accurate Cartesian 3D printers, a stepper motor is installed on both sides of the z-axis. This improves positional accuracy and reduces susceptibility to vibration. This is also called “double z-axis”. 

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Material used: Different filaments may have different print speed requirements. For example, flexible filaments such as TPU may print better at lower print speeds. 

For resin 3D printers, the type of resin is critical to how long it needs to cure . 

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Print head design of FDM 3D printers: There are two different print head designs for FDM 3D printers. 

With a Bowden extruder , the extruder sits far away from the nozzle on the frame of the 3D printer and pushes the filament through a PTFE tube to the print head. This makes the print head very light and higher print speeds can be achieved.

With a direct drive extruder, the extruder sits in the print head, increasing its weight. The increased weight causes disturbing vibrations at lower speeds than with lighter print heads. 

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Layer height: When considering the print speed, it is important to note the influence of the layer height. For FDM 3D printers, the print speed specification is not coupled with the layer height. 

The layer height only influences the print duration . The individual layers are nevertheless printed at the same printing speed. 

However, for resin 3D printers, the print speed is often coupled with the layer height. With specifications such as “30 mm/h”, the print speed per layer is multiplied by the layer height, which is not specified. 

The information about how long a layer has to be exposed or how strong the illumination is therefore helps you much more to compare different resin 3D printers. Whether you set the layer height to 0.01 mm or 0.1 mm has (almost) no influence on the printing speed, only on the printing duration. 

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Fast Printing Speeds?

The print speed influences the print duration and the print quality in 3D printing. A low speed increases the print duration and improves the print quality. A high speed reduces the print duration and deteriorates the quality. 

So, the advantage of a fast print speed is that it reduces the print duration. To show how much the print speed affects the print duration for FDM 3D printers, I sliced the same object at different print speeds. 

A Graph that shows the relationship between 3D printing speed and print duration.

So, as you can see from the data, a higher print speed definitely pays off up to a point. However, there is a point beyond which a higher print speed improves the print duration only slightly. 

Increasing the printing speed from 50 to 100 mm/s almost halves the printing time. An increase from 100 to 200 mm/s only brings an improvement of about 20%. 

Print Speed vs. Print Quality on a 3D Printer

Considering the ever-increasing likelihood of print errors and ever-decreasing surface quality, it is often not practical to increase the print speed above a certain value. In general, the higher the print speed is set, the worse the print quality becomes.

There is therefore a sweet spot for each (FDM) 3D printer where good print quality can be achieved at the highest possible print speed . 

Tip: Even if you want to set the print speed as high as possible without producing print errors, you should greatly reduce the print speed for the first layer. Especially if you have problems with print bed adhesion , values between 5 and 10 mm/s will help to create a good print bed adhesion. 

Improving the Speed of 3D Printers

With resin in 3D printers, the printing speed is coupled to the light exposure system. Improving the print speed is therefore usually not possible. With FDM 3D printers, however, there are many ways to improve the speed. 

Calibrating the Print Speed

what is travel speed in 3d printing

To determine the highest possible print speed while still maintaining good print quality of a 3D printer, calibration is necessary. Calibration objects for the print speed provoke print errors that can occur at high speeds ( ringing/ghosting ). 

If the print head of the 3D printer moves too fast, vibrations occur that affect the object. In addition, the general positioning accuracy is lower, especially when changing the direction of movement. 

The vibrations distort details on the surface and copy them horizontally in a kind of oscillation. In addition, corners are inaccurately executed and typically widened due to the high speed of the print head. 

I like to use a cube with letters or holes on the sides for this type of calibration. The 3DBenchy is also great for this.

When calibrating the print speed with such objects, the goal is to generate as few of these print errors as possible. However, there is no hard limit from which the print errors appear and before which they do not. Threshold is very vague and you have to decide for yourself when these print errors are okay for you.

In the end, the application of the object is decisive. If the object has a decorative use, the quality should be as good as possible and the speed thus relatively slow. But with a doorstop for example, these printing errors are irrelevant and you can set the printing speed very high. 

Improving the Mechanics of the 3D Printer

what is travel speed in 3d printing

To increase the printing speed of an FDM 3D printer, components of the mechanics can be improved. These include, in particular, higher-quality linear guides* or rods* .

Such upgrades can improve the mobility of the print head. This improves positioning accuracy, resulting in better production of corners and small details at higher print speeds. 

However, faster stepper motors* can also be installed. Occasionally, the speed of a 3D printer is limited by the speed of these motors. If the rest of the design is strong enough to support higher print speeds, this is a useful upgrade to improve the printing speed. 

Using Klipper as Firmware

what is travel speed in 3d printing

To improve the print speed of an FDM 3D printer, Klipper can be used as firmware. With this firmware, data from an accelerometer on the print head can be used to significantly increase the print speed without producing print errors. 

The main factor limiting the printing speed is the vibrations that occur in the print head. The faster the print head changes its direction of movement, the stronger these vibrations become. Print errors caused by such vibrations therefore become more severe the higher the print speed.

The acceleration sensor is used to measure the vibrations in the print head. From the data obtained, Klipper can control the movements of the printer so that they generate as little vibration as possible.

I have often worked with Klipper, but one of the most impressive examples was when I used the Creality Sonic Pad on the Ender 3 V2 . The print quality I achieved at 50 mm/s without Klipper, I could still achieve at 250 mm/s with Klipper!

So, it’s not always just hardware improvements that can improve print speed, firmware has a big impact on that too. 

Use of other 3D Printing Materials

what is travel speed in 3d printing

For FDM 3D printers, selecting high-quality filaments can increase print speed. Print errors occur less frequently with such filaments. With resin 3D printers, the various resins sometimes differ greatly in their curing time . 

In addition, the transparency of the resin used has a major influence on the curing time. Transparent resins take much longer to cure than a matte and black resin. The ability to absorb the light and thus the energy for curing is much better with dark resins, which means that they cure faster. 

Improving the Printing Time of a 3D Printer 

The printing time of an FDM 3D print is not only influenced by the pure printing speed. Several other factors also play a role in how long an object takes to print. 

Increase the Travel Speed

The travel speed of an FDM 3D printer determines the speed of extrusionless movements. Increasing the travel speed reduces the printing time. In this case, the travel speed is often more than twice the printing speed. 

However, the travel speed must also not be set too high, otherwise typical printing errors such as ringing or ghosting can occur. 

In extreme cases, a layer shift can also occur. Then the speed is so high that the toothed belts slip or the object slips. 

Increasing the Layer Height

what is travel speed in 3d printing

If the surface finish is secondary for an FDM print, thicker layers massively reduce the print duration.

To demonstrate the influence of layer height, I sliced the same object with different layer heights in Cura. The print time decreases rapidly as the layers get higher. Therefore, particularly fine 3D prints take an extremely long time to print. 

In this article you will learn which layer heights you can implement with your nozzle. 

Increasing the Line Width

what is travel speed in 3d printing

If the line width of a 3D print is increased, the printing time is reduced. The same amount of material is then printed in less time.

The line width behaves similarly to the layer height in reducing the print duration. The more filament is extruded at once, the faster the print is finished. 

How wide the lines can be is determined by the diameter of the nozzle. In this article you will learn about the dependency between the diameter of the nozzle and the line width. 

Increasing the Infill Printing Speed

Increasing the printing speed inside the object reduces the printing time. The infill, i.e. the material inside, is hidden, making the print quality there irrelevant. 

In many standard profiles of 3D printers, the print speed of the infill is set as high as the normal print speed. Here you have great potential to save time when printing. 

Since the print quality inside the object is irrelevant, you can start here with 150% of the normal print speed and observe the effects. 

Using the Combing Mode in Cura

The Combing mode in Cura determines the paths of the print head during extrusionless travel movements. Depending on the geometry of the object, up to 25% of the printing time can be saved by optimizing these movements.

If you can’t find the Combing mode in Cura, the first thing you need to do is make the setting visible. You can activate or deactivate the visibility of the individual settings via the menu. 

I always activate all settings, even if this can be a bit confusing at the beginning. However, you can then also quickly find certain settings via the search bar. 

You can adjust the settings so that the print head either travels only over infill areas of the object, over no surfaces already printed, or avoids only the outer skin. 

If you would like to learn more about this mode in Cura, you should check out this article . 

The speed of a 3D printer has a great influence on the final result. In order for the result to be of high quality, the speed must not be too high so that no printing errors appear.

To delay the threshold at which such printing errors can occur, there are various improvements you can make to the printer itself and its firmware.

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what is travel speed in 3d printing

Printing Atoms v1

Best 3D Printing Speed Settings for PLA, PETG, ABS & More: What Is The Fastest Print Speed?

what is travel speed in 3d printing

If you’ve ever opened a 3D slicer before, then you’ve probably realized there are tons of different settings you can change. And while they all matter, few settings are as important as those related to print speed.

Settings in this category, including the main “Print Speed” setting, control how fast your model is printed, which affects the print time and print quality.

The best 3D printing speed for PLA and ABS is in the 45-70 mm/s range. And, if you’re printing PETG, 40-50 mm/s should work well, yielding high-quality prints with minimal stringing.

But that’s not all! You can also change the other print speed settings, like wall speed and top layer speed, to further control the print time and quality.

Want to learn more about print speed and the best settings? Just keep reading!

Table of Contents

What is Print Speed?

Why is print speed important, what is the fastest print speed, what happens if you print slow, print quality, print speed, infill speed, top/bottom speed, first layer speed, travel speed, retraction speed.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Print speed is a category of settings found in 3D slicers (e.g. Cura) that controls how fast your 3D printer prints your desired model. The higher the 3D printing speed, the faster the printhead moves, the faster filament is pushed out, and the less time prints take.

In most slicers, there is a single setting called “Print Speed” which controls a handful of other types of speed settings, such as infill speed and wall speed. Changing the “Print Speed” value will automatically change the other speed settings accordingly (usually based on a fraction).

So you’re not confused throughout the rest of the article, when we say “Print Speed”, we are referring to the specific “Print Speed” setting and not the other print speed settings.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Print speed is important because it is one of the main groups of settings that contributes to how long a print job takes. Moreover, if you change the print speed, the print time will also change.

But that’s not all. As we’ll go over later, 3D printing speed also has an effect on the quality of prints . That’s because higher print speeds typically lead to a higher chance of printing issues and defects that hurt the quality of the model.

Because print speed has very significant effects on the outcome of your 3D print, it’s vital that you use the right speed settings in your 3D slicer!

What is the Best 3D Printing Speed?

The best 3D printing speed for your printer depends on a handful of different factors, like the type of extruder and nozzle diameter on your printer. But the most important factor for determining the best 3D printing speed is the filament material.

Different filament materials, like PLA and TPU, can’t always be printed at the same speed. This is due to differences in the chemical and physical properties of each material. And, even with filaments of the same material, there’s no one-size-fits-all print speed value.

However, we can estimate the best print speed for a certain filament material within a range. In the sections below, I’ve provided a range of possible print speed values for some of the most popular filament materials. I suggest trying a 3D printing speed in the range of the filament material you’re using and starting the tuning process from there.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

PLA is easily the most popular 3D printing filament material, and it’s also the material you can print the fastest. I suggest using a 3D printing speed value between 45-70 mm/s , as many users have found success in this range.

I suggest starting with 60 mm/s and adjusting in increments of 5 mm/s. Doing so will ensure that you never over-adjust the print speed and accidentally cause other printing issues.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

While ABS is significantly more difficult to print than PLA because it requires an enclosure, you can actually use pretty much the same 3D printing speed. Moreover, I also recommend using a 3D printing speed in the 45-70 mm/s range and adjusting in 5 mm/s increments.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

PETG is another very popular filament material, but if you want to achieve high-quality prints, you’ll need to use a print speed value a bit lower than you would with PLA or ABS. A print speed of about 40-50 mm/s should work pretty well.

But, if you notice stringing on your prints, consider lowering the print speed by 5 mm/s. Or you can try to preserve the 3D printing speed and fix the problem by lowering the nozzle temperature or increasing the retraction distance.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

TPU is a flexible filament, and, as such, it requires a very low print speed. 25 mm/s should work fine, and you might be able to increase it to around 35 or 40 mm/s. However, don’t try to go above 40 mm/s, as TPU filament might start to cause problems in your extruder or hot end at this speed.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Nylon isn’t as flexible as TPU, but it’s still more flexible than PLA or ABS. A 3D printing speed between 30 and 55 mm/s should work perfectly for printing this type of filament. However, feel free to change it in increments of 5 mm/s based on your print results.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Lastly, polycarbonate , or PC for short, needs to be printed much slower than some of these other rigid materials due to the material’s inherent properties. A value in the 25-45 mm/s should work just fine, as long as you take some time to properly tune the setting. Furthermore, I suggest trying out 35 mm/s and then adjusting the value in increments of 5 mm/s based on how your prints come out. 

The fastest print speed you can use is probably around 100 mm/s if you’re printing PLA and using a very high nozzle temperature.

Of course, not just any stock 3D printer can handle printing PLA (or any other material) at this high of a speed. But, if you fine-tune your slicer profile and are using a hot end and extruder that is capable of high-flow printing, then you might be able to print successfully with 100 mm/s.

But, if you’re just printing normally and are wondering how fast you can go without any significant changes or a lot of tuning, then 70-80 mm/s is your answer. At this speed, your prints might be a little bit lower quality, but your printer probably won’t break or completely fail.

Check out our related article on the fastest 3D printers here .

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Printing slowly is one way you can try to achieve higher-quality prints. That’s because when the printhead has more time to lay down each layer, the layers have more time to solidify and cure, leading to prints that look better.

However, printing too slowly can also cause issues . If not enough filament is being pushed through the nozzle, then heat will creep up the hot end assembly and cause a clog. This phenomenon is known as “heat creep” and can be prevented by increasing your 3D printing speed.

Check out our article on how to speed up 3D printing here to avoid this issue.

What Does Print Speed Affect?

Print speed can have a very big effect on your 3D prints. I’ve gone over the two main areas of impact of the print speed setting below:

what is travel speed in 3d printing

The first and most obvious effect of changing the print speed setting is the print time. As you probably figured out, the faster the printhead lays down filament, the faster your 3D model is completed.

However, you might be a bit surprised at the small effect changing the print speed has on the estimated print time. Moreover, a more effective way to cut down the print time is by increasing the layer height or shrinking your 3D model.

what is travel speed in 3d printing


Changing the print speed can also affect the quality of prints. Moreover, the correlation between print speed and print quality is direct, so increasing the 3D printing speed is likely to lead to a drop in print quality.

However, you can manage the effect that print speed has on print quality through other slicer settings. For example, increasing the nozzle temperature with an increase in the 3D printing speed will help prevent under-extrusion and other printing issues to help increase the print quality.

The moral of the story: when you change the print speed, try to optimize the other slicer settings to ensure that you don’t experience a big drop in print quality.

Types of Print Speed

what is travel speed in 3d printing

In any 3D slicer, there are a handful of different print speed settings. Each covers a different type of print speed based on what section of the print is being printed. I’ve gone over the main types of print speed in the sections below.

First, we have the print speed, which is the main setting for controlling the speed of the printing process. Moreover, the print speed value determines how fast the printhead moves across the X and Y axes of the print area. The higher the speed, the faster the printhead moves and the less time your print job takes to complete.

The print speed acts as the parent setting for most of the other speed settings, like infill speed and wall speed. This means that the values of these other types of print speed are derived from the value of the print speed setting. So change this setting, and all of the other ones will change accordingly.

Because it’s the parent setting, this is the most important speed setting to get right.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Infill speed controls how fast the printhead moves (the print speed) during the infill section of a print. For reference, infill is the internal filling inside a 3D model, so this speed value is referenced (used) by your printer every time it’s printing an infill structure, which is a large portion of a 3D print job.

In most 3D slicers, the infill speed is automatically set equal to the value of the main print speed setting.

Wall speed is the print speed when the printer is making the walls of a 3D printed model. The walls are what contain the infill structures of a print, so it’s very important that the wall speed is set correctly. Otherwise, the outer sides of your model might look bad.

The wall speed is usually split into two settings: inner wall speed and outer wall speed. Splitting the settings this way allows you to use a faster speed on the inner wall because you won’t see it once the print is done and then use a slower speed for the outer wall.

Most slicers automatically set both wall speed settings to one-half of the main print speed setting. However, personally, I like to drop the outer wall speed so that it’s 5 mm/s less than one-half of the main print speed. I also increase the inner wall speed by 5-10 mm/s from one-half of the main print speed setting, as this helps speed up my prints.

Just like walls contain the infill of a model from the sides, the top and bottom layers of a model cover a model’s infill from above and below. And, as you probably guessed, the top/bottom speed is the speed for the top and bottom layers of a 3D print.

I like to keep the top and bottom speed settings at a little over one-half of the main print speed setting. This is a little higher than Cura’s default value of exactly one-half of the main print speed setting. But, adding 5-15 mm/s to this default value isn’t likely to cause any issues with your print and will speed up the printing process.

Next, the first layer speed, sometimes called the initial layer speed, is another speed setting, and it controls how fast the printhead is moving during the first layer of a print. If you’ve ever worked with a 3D printer before, then you probably know how important getting the first layer of a print right is. Because of this, it’s equally as important to use a good first-layer speed setting.

The first layer speed should always be slower than every other speed setting. I like to use the Cura default value of 20 mm/s, no matter what filament material I’m using.

While you might be thinking, “20 mm/s is super slow”, well, you’re right. However, it’s only for one layer, so it won’t significantly increase your print time.

But, if you rush the first layer, your print will likely fail. Because of this, I suggest staying on the slow side of things to be safe and never going above 20 mm/s.

Next, the travel speed dictates how fast the printhead moves during travel or non-extrusion moves. For example, if you were printing two models at once, when the printhead is moving between the two items (and not extruding filament), that is a travel move.

Believe it or not, travel moves make up a lot of the movement of your machine’s printhead. As such, travel speed is very relevant when it comes to print time.

Cura’s default value of 150 mm/s for the travel speed works pretty well, but you can definitely go higher. If your printer is a Bowden extruder printer, then feel free to go as high as 200 or even 220 mm/s. But, if you’ve got a direct drive 3D printer , like the Ender 3 S1 , due to the heavier printhead, you should try to stay closer to 180 mm/s.

Retractions are when your 3D printer pulls back filament from the hot end to relieve the nozzle of built-up pressure from the constant extrusions. Retractions happen basically every time the printhead makes a travel move, and the retraction speed controls how fast they happen.

While retractions don’t make up a significant amount of the print time, increasing the retraction speed can still help reduce the time prints take. Also, a higher retraction speed can help reduce stringing in prints. I recommend going with a retraction speed of around 40-45 mm/s , as this is pretty fast and also helps with stringing.

Overall, print speed is one of the most important and impactful categories of print settings. The main reason you should change the setting is to cut down the print time of a model, but you can also change the print speed to solve issues with print quality.

While there’s no single best print speed because many factors play into what value works best, there are ranges based on the filament material you’re using.

If you’re printing with PLA, then a print speed of 45-70 mm/s should work pretty well. The same goes for ABS, as the material is very similar. But, if you’re printing PETG, 40 to 50 mm/s should work better and reduce stringing in your prints.

You also should consider changing the other print speed settings besides just the main “Print Speed” setting. Furthermore, increasing the inner wall speed by 5-10 mm/s and the top/bottom speed by 5-15 mm/s from their default values will help speed up prints a bit. And lowering the outer wall speed by 5 mm/s from the default value will make your prints look a bit better.

About The Author

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Jackson O'Connell

PLA Print Speed: Best Print Speed Settings and More

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Last updated on 13 May, 2024

3D print speed refers to the speed of printhead movement

3D print speed refers to the speed of printhead movement

PLA is one of the fastest filaments out there, your PLA print speed is also determined by print settings, hardware, and other factors.

PLA is far from a perfect 3D printing material — it is very brittle and can deform if left out in the sun — but its excellent melt flow characteristics make it a fast and user-friendly filament.

Beginner and expert 3D printer users alike often want to improve their PLA print speed. While this low-cost filament is one of the fastest-printing materials out there, its speed can be further increased with print setting adjustments and improved hardware.

This article goes over the basics of PLA printing speed. It looks at the typical printing speeds of FDM printers, the ways you can adjust print speed settings (and how this affects the PLA print), and PLA print speed compared to other 3D printing filaments.

What is Print Speed?

Print speed

When talking about 3D printing speeds, it’s easy to get vague with the language we use. For example, when we say that a small, simple part can be printed “quickly,” what we mean is that the part can be printed in a short amount of time (because it is small and requires fewer movements of the printhead than a larger part). Make no mistake, this is a helpful way to think about printing, but it doesn’t tell us much about actual print speed .

Lots of factors can affect the time it takes to finish a print. Using a wide-diameter nozzle, for example, allows you to extrude a greater volume of material at once. And adjusting settings like infill and layer height can also shave minutes or hours off total print time: setting a greater layer height reduces the total number of layers, while minimizing infill density means the printhead is laying down less material per layer. Furthermore, adding extra material via supports, skirts, and rafts, will increase the overall printing time.

However, printing time is not the same as 3D print speed . If it takes you a day to build a LEGO house and it takes a building contractor a week to build a real, bricks-and-mortar house, this doesn’t mean that you have demonstrated a faster building speed than the professionals. On the contrary, the builders will probably have laid down each brick far more speedily than you. And this speed of action is what we need to focus on when it comes to printing speed.

3D print speed is simply the rate at which the printhead moves along the X and Y axes as it puts down a layer of material. A fast 3D print speed will reduce overall print time, but prints printed “fast” can still take a long time — when the part has large dimensions, for instance, or if using a very low layer height. Usually defined in millimeters per second (mm/s), 3D print speed can also vary across the build: sometimes a slower speed is used for the first layer (to ensure good adhesion to the build surface) and a faster speed used for infill (where accuracy matters less).

What is the Normal Printing Speed of a 3D Printer?

In the world of FDM printing, which we will focus on here, printing speed refers to how quickly the printhead moves along the X and Y axes while it is depositing material.[1] It has a big impact on overall printing time, but it is not the only factor.

The printing speed of an FDM printer can be adjusted using printer firmware or slicing software. In general, slower printing speeds produce better results, so very high speeds are typically reserved for rapid prototyping. Printing too fast can lead to defects, lower dimensional accuracy, and weaker parts.[2]

The best print speed for everyday prints (medium quality) is about 50–60 mm/s. However, users should note that some materials can be printed very quickly (e.g. PLA) while some require a slower rate to prevent warping or print failure (e.g. TPU).

Different pieces of hardware offer different print speed capabilities, though this is not usually a key metric to look out for when selecting a printer. Most common entry-level printers (such as the Creality Ender 3 and Prusa Mini) offer a maximum print speed of around 200 mm/s. In reality, however, users will not actually be able to print at that speed. This is partly because filament can’t be melted and extruded that quickly. Furthermore, because the printhead typically makes quite short movements while it prints, it rarely has enough time to accelerate to its maximum speed.

Other additive manufacturing technologies define print speed in different ways. With vat photopolymerization technologies like SLA and DLP, there is no printhead movement, so print speed is often defined by how many millimeters can be printed along the Z-axis per hour. Such a measurement is more useful with SLA and SLP (as well as SLS) than it is with FDM, because there are fewer factors that can influence it (such as nozzle size).

PLA Print Speed Considerations

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a popular material for 3D printing due to its favorable characteristics, including its biodegradability, low toxicity, and ease of use. Users can also achieve very high PLA print speed thanks to the relatively low melting point of PLA compared to other thermoplastics commonly used in 3D printing, such as ABS or PETG. PLA typically melts at around 180 to 220 degrees Celsius, depending on the specific formulation and brand.

This lower melting point means that PLA can be heated up quickly in the printer's hotend, reducing the time required for the printing process to reach optimal temperature.

Additionally, PLA has excellent flow properties when melted, allowing it to be extruded smoothly and with precision. This enables faster printing speeds without sacrificing print quality. Furthermore, PLA has minimal warping and shrinkage during cooling, reducing the likelihood of print failures and allowing for faster print speeds and increased layer adhesion.

Overall, the combination of PLA's low melting point, good flow properties, and minimal warping make it an ideal material for rapid 3D printing, enabling users to produce high-quality prints efficiently.

Print Speed Settings for Your 3D Printer

Print speed settings

3D print slicing software applications like Cura and Simplify3D offer a range of print speed settings beyond the default print speed, which is usually set in mm/s. These settings allow the user to fine-tune the rate at which the printhead moves in different situations: during the first layer, when printing infill, when printing outer walls, and also when moving without printing.

Although different slicers sometimes use their own terminology, below are the most common print speed settings available for FDM printing.

Print speed

Otherwise known as default printing speed or overall printing speed, this is the most important setting for determining your 3D printer speed and achieving faster prints. Usually defined in mm/s, the print speed setting tells the printhead how quickly it should move along the X and Y axes while it is depositing material. Most slicers will automatically calculate how much filament will need to be extruded in order to keep up with the selected print speed.

We can call this value the “default” print speed because other settings will at times override the value. In fact, some of the following settings can — depending on the specific slicer used — be defined relative to the default print speed (i.e. as a percentage of it).

Infill speed

Most 3D prints are not printed fully solid, as this uses up a lot of material, requires lots of time, and provides few physical benefits. Instead, the interior structure of a print consists of a pattern known as infill, which can vary in terms of shape and density.

Because the infill pattern cannot be seen once the print is complete, it can be beneficial to print the infill faster than the exterior. Although this may result in some imperfections, these imperfections will be less of a problem than they would be on the outside of the print.

Travel speed

Travel is when the printhead has to jump from one part of the build to another without depositing any material. Increasing the travel speed can help reduce oozing and stringing (when unwanted material drips from the nozzle) but can also lead to other imperfections.

In Simplify3D, travel speed is referred to as “X-Y Axis Movement Speed.” The value is usually defined in mm/s and can sometimes be found under “retraction” settings if not in speed settings.

Initial layer speed

The first layers of a print are critical. If the first layer does not adhere well to the build surface, the entire part can dislodge during printing, causing print failure. It can therefore be beneficial to print the first layer(s) at a reduced speed, to give the printed object the best chance of success. This value may be set in mm/s (Cura) or as a percentage of the default print speed.

Number of slower layers

As explained above, most FDM users configure their print settings to have a slower initial layer. But rather than immediately going full speed on the second layer, it can be beneficial to gradually increase the print speed over a few layers until the normal speed is reached.

The number of slower layers setting determines how many layers it should take to go from the initial layer speed to the normal print speed. For example, if the value is set to 5, the printer will increase the speed in small increments over the first five layers before reaching the normal print speed on the sixth layer.

Support structure speed

Printer users often favor a higher speed for support structures, since these disposable sections of material do not need to be particularly accurate or visually pleasing. On Cura, there is a distinction between the “support infill” (the bulk of the support structure) and the “support interface” (where the support meets the actual part). The support interface speed should be slower, as good adhesion between the support and printed model is important.

Other section-specific speed settings

Some slicers allow for adjustment of print speed for the following parts of the print. Most are set in mm/s or as a percentage of the default print speed.

Outer/inner wall speed (may also be called “outline” or “perimeter” speed)

Top and bottom layers speed

Top surface skin speed

Skirt and brim speed

How Does Print Speed Affect Your Print?

When running a print for the first, it can be tempting to crank up the print speed in order to reduce the overall printing time. However, print speed affects the print in many ways: FDM users must consider how print speed will affect bed adhesion, print quality, and the potential for errors.

Risks of printing too fast

Perhaps unsurprisingly, printing too fast is more likely to lead to issues than printing too slowly, with negative effects including lower dimensional accuracy and part strength.

The most common defects from printing too fast include:

Ringing or ghosting

The phenomenon of ringing (sometimes called ghosting or rippling) is a 3D printing defect characterized by a rippled or wavy appearance to the exterior surfaces of parts. It occurs when layers are not properly aligned, which is itself caused by excessive vibration or out-of-control printhead movements.

Reducing print speed is one of the most effective ways to prevent ringing. This is because faster speeds cause greater vibrations and lead to greater speed variations when the printhead changes direction.

Poor layer adhesion

As mentioned in our discussion of print speed settings, it is vital to print slowly on the first layer in order to guarantee good bed adhesion. But inter-layer adhesion is also important, and too-fast speeds can reduce the ability of each layer to bond with the next.

Reducing print speed on the first layer can help ensure good adhesion to the build plate, and reducing overall print speed can help prevent delamination.


If not enough filament is fed to the hotend, printing can suffer from under-extrusion. The result is gaps, holes, missing layers, and other deformities.

Under-extrusion can occur when the print speed exceeds the flow rate, i.e. when the printhead is trying to lay down more material than is being supplied to it. Generally, however, this should not be an issue, as your slicer should automatically calculate a flow rate suitable for the print speed.

Clogging with flexible filament

Flexible filament

When printing flexible materials like TPU and TPE, excessive print speeds can cause the soft and pliant material to bend the wrong way and get stuck during extrusion. Using a slow and consistent print speed (i.e. not deviating from the default speed for first layer, infill, support structures, etc.) can help prevent this issue.

Recommended reading:  What are flexible filaments and which one should you choose?

Risks of printing too slow

In general, a slower 3D printer print speed results in higher quality. Nonetheless, printing too slowly can cause issues of its own. These issues generally relate to overheating: if the filament stays in the nozzle chamber too long, it can get too hot and cause deformations on the part.

Finding the Best Print Speed by Testing

A good way to find the best print speed for your chosen combination of hardware and material is to download a print speed test model (or print speed tower).

These printable 3D models work in a similar way to temperature towers. They consist of several identical sections designed to be printed at different speeds (by inputting specific instructions to your slicer). Each section is labeled with the relevant value in mm/s. When the tower is printed, a visual inspection can determine to what extent print quality suffers at higher speeds.

STL files for print speed towers (like this one ) can be found on Thingiverse and other 3D model sharing platforms.

Recommended reading: How to find free STL files

Print Speeds for PLA and Other Filaments

Some 3D printing materials are more suited to high-speed printing than others. For instance, those that can be melted quickly are suited to faster flow rates, which in turn allows for fast printing of the material.

High-Speed PLA? Choosing a Fast PLA Material

High-speed PLA formulations refer to specially engineered blends of polylactic acid (PLA) filament designed for rapid 3D printing. These formulations are supposedly optimized to enhance the printing speed while maintaining the desirable properties of PLA, such as biodegradability, low toxicity, and ease of use.

Several factors could contribute to an increased speed. Firstly, these formulations often contain additives or modifiers that improve the material's melt flow characteristics , allowing it to extrude more smoothly and consistently at higher speeds. Additionally, high-speed PLA blends may incorporate additives to enhance heat conductivity or reduce viscosity, enabling faster heating and melting within the 3D printer's hotend.

That being said, these materials offer marginal gains at best, and a high-quality "regular" PLA will often print far more successfully than a supposedly high-speed PLA.

Some popular "high-speed" PLA filaments include:

  • eSun ePLA-HS High Speed Printing PLA 3D Printer Filament
  • MatterHackers MH Build Series High Speed PLA-HS Filament
  • SUNLU HS_PLA (High Speed PLA) 3D Printer Filament

Better Ways to Increase PLA Print Speed

Buying a high-speed PLA filament won't let you print at 100 mm/s if using low-cost 3D printer. Those looking to achieve the highest possible PLA print speeds will need to invest in high-performance hardware capable of pushing PLA to its full potential.

One way to print quickly is to use a CoreXY printer. CoreXY 3D printers work differently to ordinary Cartesian printers, where the X and Y axes are controlled by separate motor movements. With a CoreXY printer, the X and Y motors work together, enabling smoother hotend movement. This in turn enables faster printing speeds without print defects.

Firmware adjustments can also have a big impact on print speed. For example, many users of the popular Creality Ender 3 have achieved faster printing speeds by replacing the printer’s default Marlin firmware with Klipper firmware, which provides advanced motion kinematics. These motion kinematics result in faster speeds and improved control over acceleration.

3D print speed is one of the most important 3D printer settings. While we all want to print our PLA parts as quickly as possible, it is important to recognise the limitations of print speed and the negative effects of printing too fast, such as ghosting, poor adhesion, and jams. Beginners should start by printing at the recommended speed of around 50–60 mm/s then experimenting with different settings when they have more experience and confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you print more quickly with PLA than other materials?

The low melting point of PLA allows it to be extruded quickly. The material also solidifies quickly, allowing for fast printing speeds without risking part failure.

Are some PLA filaments faster than others?

While all PLA filaments can be printed at fairly fast rates, some manufacturers offer "high-speed" versions of PLA filament that promise faster extrusion and the ability to print at even faster rates. While these materials are excellent for rapid prototyping, the presence of additives may compromise the quality of the material in other areas.

Can I modify my 3D printer to print PLA faster?

Some hardware upgrades can help improve your PLA print speed. These include installing a high-flow hotend to increase material flow rate, upgrading to a direct drive extruder for better filament control and faster retraction, or using a larger nozzle diameter (0.6 mm or 0.8 mm) to allow for thicker layers and faster extrusion.

[1] Agarwal KM, Shubham P, Bhatia D, Sharma P, Vaid H, Vajpeyi R. Analyzing the impact of print parameters on dimensional variation of ABS specimens printed using fused deposition modelling (FDM). Sensors International. 2022 Jan 1;3:100149.

[2] Miazio Ł. Impact of print speed on strength of samples printed in FDM technology . Agricultural Engineering. 2019;23.

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3D Printing Speed: How to Get the Best Setting for PLA?

3d printing speed: how to get the best setting for pla.

If you are new to 3d printing, maybe you note that it is hard to balance the printing speed and quality.

When you use a faster printing speed, the quality of 3d print will not so good. Either, slow speed means that you need to spend much more time. In this post, we will explain the details of 3d printing speed and how to get the best setting for PLA .


What is Speed Setting in 3d printer?

When we talk about the 3d printing speed, most of us think that it is the moving speed of the extruder. They move around from one layer to another. The faster or slower decide the printing time for the part. Actually, it’s not.

To get good quality print, we need to set the best setting for speed. The speed contains so many parts; extruder speed is just one of the most speed types.

Print Speed

3D print speed is the primary speed setting that will take effects on 3d prints. As the name “print speed” implies, it determines the speed at which your printer motors move. And these motors comprise the extruder motors and the X and Y axis motors. Note that the outcome of your printing mainly depends on the selected print speed.

Now let’s break down the complexity of the print speed. The setting of the print speed has four sub-settings, which are;

  • Infill speed : The print speed reduces the printing duration with quality printing strength.
  • Outer wall shell speed : It reduces slightly to boost the quality of the surface of the print.
  • Inner wall shell speed : It works to reduce the time spent on printing while sustaining the strength of the print.
  • Top/Bottom speed : Generally, it is slightly reduced to boost the prints’ surface quality.

Travel Speed

Travel speed is the speed rate of the 3D printer’s print head when it is not extruding plastic. Increasing the travel speed can drastically reduce the duration used in printing. But too much increase of the travel speed can result in a misaligned layer of the model or print failure.

Retraction speed

Shell, infill, and layer height.

3d printer speed not only decides by “speed” alone and is also affected by the extruding thickness and plastic of each layer. So, let me briefly tell you some general information about how each of these concerns the speed rate of your print.

1. Shell thickness: In this setting, the extruded plastic use to forming the outlines of the 3D model. An increase in the shell thickness will not only result in increased consistency and strength. But also cause a notable increase in the print duration.

2. Infill: This describes the inner structure of the 3d model. The density of this internal structure has a remarkable effect on the print speed. Higher infill density will lead to higher strength and longer print time.

3. Layer Height: This influences how quickly your print will finish. The higher your layer height, the thicker each layer of your 3D prints and the shorter the print duration. Adjust your layer based on the required print resolution.

How Do I Get the Perfect Print Speed Settings?

The best way to get the perfect print speed of your 3D printer is by starting it at the default speed setting. That’s 60 mm/s and then increasing it by five mm/s. These are settings that you arrived at after consistent trial and error on the test prints. The perfect print speed setting entirely depends on the type of print you are settling to go for.

If your print speed is set to a very high speed, it may result in overheating due to insufficient cooling. If your print speed is set at a low rate, it may result in the deformation of the prints. This deformation is a result of the extended setting of the nozzle on the plastics. Hence, always consider the print’s temperature and the thickness of your filament.

The materials also play a critical role in the perfection of your print speed. Some materials enable you to in an instant and get incredible quality.

What is a Good Print Speed for PLA?

A good print speed for PLA is a spot that gives it a good balance of print quality and speed. And this falls between 40-60 mm/s range. Based on your 3D printer setup, type, and stability. Your PLA speed rate can reach 100 mm/s and above easily. When compared to Cartesian, Delta 3D printers are going to permit higher speeds.

I’d recommend sticking to this range. But there are instances where using higher print speed and the results were fantastic. The low maintenance nature of PLA allows increased speed without risking the quality as well. But don’t over increase the speed.

Does print speed reduce print quality?

There have been several numbers of controversies on the effects of speed on the quality of a print. Generally, when you are yet to optimize your printer, lower rates make 3d printers better quality. But a high speed has a more negligible effect when you have fully optimized your 3D printer. This optimization is a result of knowing how to set the printer’s settings. That will directly affect 3D printing speed without compromising the print’s quality.

If you use lower infill settings, will your print strength be reduced? The less infill you use, the less strength of your prints. Like I have said earlier in this post. When the print speed is too high, it will result in print failure and most likely render the print useless.

When you have, using the recommended 5mm/s increment for adjusting it. It will be much easier for you to detect the best speed rate for your printer with excellent quality.

Printing Speed Calculator

The printing speed calculator is a digital calculator available on the Internet. It is designed to solve 3D printing speed settings and related challenges, which are printer configuration or finding the best parameters for their desired speed.

This calculator helps you find the maximum printing speed that you can reach with the current structure of your 3d printer. Enter your layer height, nozzle size, line width, and choose the material you will be printing.

How Fast Does a 3D Printer Print?

It depends on the material you are printing. Like how large the part is, what orientation it is in, the alignment of your print object, and the internal support style. Materials-wise, the weaker and cheaper materials you use, the faster it will get the print done. PLA is usually quicker to print but is not as heat resistant or tough as ABS.

Although some things are so small that the printer can get it done in a couple of minutes, some other prints can take a couple of days to print. So one of the most significant factors is time. More material = more time.

Orientation can also have a significant effect on it. The more vertical layers you have, the longer the print will take. How fast your printers print also depends on the internal support. What you are making matters, but for you to decide. It highly depends on what you need or wants in terms of speed versus strength.

And if it sometimes has to go fast, the quality can easily compromise. You can get better results in 3D printing at lower speeds. But you will get the best result when it is optimized.

Suppose you use the correct printing speed and suitable materials. 3D print can be efficient and effective. There are no specific settings to get the best result. It differs from different types of material and printers.

You should print test prints inconsistently. It is the only method to get the best setting.

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Speeds and accelerations in 3D printing

Speeds and accelerations in 3D printing

The correct setting of speed and acceleration parameters is critical. The maximum print speed is often effectively limited by the maximum volumetric flow rate the hotend can deliver, while there is no exact limit to the speed of head movement, but higher speeds and accelerations tend to decrease print quality.

Speed and acceleration parameters

Straight movements on the axes consist of three stages:

Acceleration from change of direction speed to maximum speed.

Travelling at constant maximum speed.

Deceleration up to change of direction speed.

This is why there are three parameters that define the velocities and accelerations in the movement of a FFF 3D printer for each of the 4 axes (X, Y, Z, E). These parameters are maximum speed, acceleration and rate of change of direction (jerk).

Maximum speed: Maximum speed at which the spindle can move in each axis. It is usually configured in the rolling mill and can be different for each element of the part.

Change of direction speed: This is usually configured directly in the firmware and is usually constant for each axis. It is the maximum speed allowed before a change of direction.

Acceleration: This is the acceleration value that is applied to move from the change of direction speed to the maximum speed and vice versa. It is usually configured in the firmware and is usually constant for each axis.

Although print speed is generally considered to have an impact on part quality, the parameters that have the greatest influence in this respect are acceleration and change of direction speed, as high decelerations and change of direction speeds transmit the head energy more quickly to the printer structure, resulting in vibrations and possible losses of pitch to the motors. 

This is not to say that the print speed itself has no impact. The higher the speed, the higher the linear momentum of the printhead, and therefore the more energy will be dissipated in deceleration and change of direction, so high print speeds will also affect print quality.

Speed configuration

In general, manufacturers usually include correct acceleration and shift speed settings in the firmware of their equipment, so it is not recommended to change these settings. The most common setting is based on adjusting the print speed in the lamination software.

Nowadays, most laminating software allows you to modify the speed value for the different elements of the part. This is an important advantage when it comes to optimising printing times, as not all areas of the part require the same print quality. The most common elements on which the print speed can be modified are:

Perimeters : Large defects in internal perimeters can be reflected on the surface of the part. This is why intermediate values to those used for external perimeters and filling are often used.

Outer perimeters: Together with the first and last layer, this is the visible part of the part. It is advisable to use medium or low speeds to ensure a good finish. In general, the printing speed is usually reduced by 25-50%.

Filling: The maximum speed is usually used, as the defects or vibrations that occur in this area are not usually visible on the outside of the part. When using very high fill speeds, it is advisable to use fill overlap values at low perimeters (10 % - 15 %).

Solid fill: As with fill, it is common to use the maximum speed as defects do not usually impact the quality of the part.

First layer: In order to ensure good adhesion to the substrate, very low speeds are usually used for the first layer. The most common is not to exceed 20 mm/s.

Last layer: As with the outer perimeters, it is common to use speeds with a reduction of between 25 % and 50 % to ensure good quality.

Support material : The speed depends to a large extent on whether soluble material is used or whether the supports are made of the same material as the workpiece. In general, somewhat lower speeds are used for substrates, as they are at risk of failure due to their low density. Soluble materials usually require a lower speed due to their low adhesion.

Bridges: In order to improve the quality of cantilevers on bridges, high velocities are usually selected. Values of 110% or 120% are common.

The following table shows some safe values for printers with light and heavy printheads.

Depending on how stable the structure of the 3D printer is, higher speeds can be used.

Limitations depending on the size and geometry of the part

It may not be possible to use full speed with some parts. This is due to the fact that on short travels it may be necessary to start decelerating before the maximum speed is reached. This occurs mainly in configurations with very low acceleration values and small parts with complex geometries. Generally, in these cases, there is a significant gap between the print time estimated by the laminating software and the actual print time.

Acceleration, constant velocity and deceleration profiles for a short and a long run

Image 1: Acceleration, constant velocity and deceleration profiles for a short and a long run. Source: Filament2print.com

Problems resulting from incorrect speed or acceleration settings.

In general, low speeds do not usually lead to problems other than excessively long printing times. Only when speeds are excessively low (5-10 mm/s) can they lead to problems of inconsistent extrusion due to the low speed of the extruder motor, which is unable to provide a constant flow. This problem will not occur in extruders with a gearbox.

However, high speeds are a frequent cause of problems:

Vibrations: One of the most common problems is the occurrence of vibrations. These vibrations are usually reflected in wave patterns on the surface of the part, generally around the edges.

Pattern on the surface of a part produced by vibrations in the printer

Image 2: Pattern on the surface of a part produced by vibrations in the printer. Source: Simplify3D.com

Motor step loss: The combination of high speeds, coupled with motors powered by low currents, can cause step loss which is reflected in part dimensional errors or layer displacements.

Piece with layer displacement

Image 3: Piece with layer displacement. Source: Zortrax.com

Part separation from the base: High speeds are also a frequent cause of the part or holders detaching from the base . This can be due to vibration, friction of the nozzle on the workpiece or a combination of both.

Filling and perimeter bonding and perimeter closing: High printing speeds or change of direction can cause a poor bond between the filling and the perimeters or prevent the perimeter from closing properly due to poor adhesion of the end sections of the line. This phenomenon most commonly occurs in the first layer.

Note: This guide discusses concepts in a general way and does not focus on a specific brand or model, although they may be mentioned at some point. There may be important differences in calibration or adjustment procedures between different makes and models, so it is recommended that the manufacturer's manual be consulted before reading this guide.

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Creality Ender-3 V3 3D printer review

T he Creality Ender-3 series is one of the most best 3D printer models. While the early releases were basic, the latest iterations have forged a new and affordable direction, becoming synonymous with quality. While the fully enclosed K1 series offers a more professional design and application that makes them ideal for education and business, the Ender-3 series has remained firmly aimed at enthusiasts and beginners. 

However, that entry-level status is independent of the high print quality we've seen from the latest Ender-3 printers, such as the Creality Ender-3 SE (see our review here ) and Ender-3 KE (reviewed here ). While those two entry machines offer a balance of print quality and price, the build quality, while good and functional, is plastic. The Ender-3 V3 looks to take that build quality up a notch with a full die-cast frame, a touch screen that follows the same design principles and function as the K1 series, as well as CORE XY kinematics that sees print speeds of up to 600mm/s.

As a machine from the entry-level product line, the Ender-3 V3 is at the top of the range. Its refined design and build, features, and print quality are on par with those of Creality and many competitors' more expensive offerings.

In real terms, the Ender-3 V3 is as refined as you get at present, with the speed and reliability that only other machines at this price come close to the BambuLab A1, AnkerMake M5C, and AnyCubic Kobra 3. It's a huge step forward for this iconic 3D printer. With some accessories such as the AI Camera and dryer already available, it's just the announcement of a multifilament option that currently holds back this machine's full potential.

Creality Ender-3 V3: Design

The original Ender-3 machine was an affordable option for early adopters of 3D printing who wanted decent print quality. The surprising thing is that this machine was only released in 2018, and since then, the speed at which Creality and the industry have moved is startling. The Ender-3 machine of that time compared to the Ender-3 V3 of today is stark. From a distance, the two may display a passing similarity, but only in that they're both bed slingers. While the original machine was built cheaply and very much DIY in its approach and style, the latest machine, while still affordable, is far more refined.

In fact, the all-metal bed slinger design is one of a new breed of high-quality 3D printers that break away from the traditional build-it-yourself model of design to something far more solidly built and consumer-ready. Everything from the touch screen to the belts and bearings of this new machine is of a high-quality design. The only thing hinting that this is an Ender-3 is the logo.

  • Design: 4.5/5

Creality Ender-3 V3: Features

The Ender-3 V3 is a huge upgrade from the rest of the Ender-3 range with improved design, mechanics, and, ultimately, performance. The all-new die-cast frame provides a sturdy structure that helps ensure stability during high-speed printing and instantly gives the printer a far more premium feel. When it comes to the actual mechanics of the printer, while it retains the Bedslinger design, it now features Core XY kinematics, which is a significant upgrade that helps boost the precision and speed of movement, reaching up to 600 mm/s. This heavier-weight design also reduces vibrations, resulting in smoother and more accurate prints.

The touchscreen interface is directly comparable to the ones used on the K1 series printers and is incredibly user-friendly, offering intuitive controls and easy navigation through various settings and options.

The Creality Ender-3 V3 incorporates an all-metal hot end designed for high temperatures and supports materials like PLA, ABS, PETG, and TPU. It heats rapidly, reaching up to 300°C in around a minute, ensuring consistent temperatures for long prints and the ability to adapt to the different flows of material. The improved nozzle design also allows for precise extrusion, while the dual-fan cooling system prevents clogging and enhances print quality. A new heat break helps to reduce heat creep, maintaining stable temperature control. This hot end is also modular, meaning the assembly is easy to upgrade and maintain.

As is now standard across almost all printers, the magnetic build plate generally makes model removal easy and reduces the risk of damaging prints. The heated bed supports a variety of materials, including PLA, ABS, PETG, and TPU, expanding the versatility of the printer.

In terms of software, the Ender-3 V3 is compatible with Creality Slicer, Cura, Repetier-Host, and Simplify3D, giving you plenty of options for slicing and preparing models.

  • Features: 4.5/5

Creality Ender-3 V3: Performance

The initial build of the Creality Ender-3 V3 takes between 10 and 15 minutes, from unboxing to switching on and loading the first reel of filament. The design is refined, with the die-cast frame offering one of the highest quality and consumer-friendly designs yet, only matched by the BambuLabs A1 and AnyCubic Kobra 3.

On startup, the large screen springs to life, and the machine runs through the usual checks. The levelling process is now hands-off, as the machine is more than capable of self-checking and prepping itself for the first print. This check takes a while, so allow around 15 minutes for the process to run its course.

Once complete, the test models can be printed. It's nice to see that Creality has included a good selection on the USB stick to get you started. These not only enable you to start printing immediately but also allow you to do a quick check of the machine to ensure everything is in place and prints are produced accurately.

Initial impressions of the prints are excellent. The speed is good, with fast acceleration, and the surface quality of those prints looks great. It's important to state that when running these newer machines, filament quality is paramount. Firstly, you need to use the correct high-speed filament to ensure the smooth flow of material, and secondly, a new reel or correctly stored and dried reel is now more important than ever. Creality actually supplied the Creality Space Pi Filament Dryer with the machine, along with a host of materials, and the difference in quality between dried and non-dried filament is stark.

Moving away from the Creality-supplied test prints to a few of our test models, loading into the Creality Print software, which is based on Cura, and sending the prints wirelessly to the machine was all easy. The only element that needs to be added is a standard camera to monitor the print. However, alongside the dry box, the Nebula Camera is another optional accessory. With the announcement of the K2 later in the year, a multifilament option for the V3 can't be that far away.

After checking over the prints from the machine, I noticed that the overall quality is impressive, with the surface smoothly finished and fine detail well presented. While the detail still can't quite match that of the resin printers, if you're looking at printing tabletop gaming characters, it is pretty close.

  • Performance: 4.5 / 5

Creality Ender-3 V3: Final verdict

The Creality Ender-3 V3 is a significant upgrade over its predecessors. It combines a sturdy die-cast frame with advanced Core XY kinematics to deliver excellent speed and print quality. The user-friendly touchscreen interface, similar to the one on the K1 machines, and the versatile build plate make it a great option for both beginners and experienced users.

While the single filament limitation and space requirements of the bedslinger design might be drawbacks, the overall performance and value of the Ender-3 V3 are impressive. At its price point, it competes strongly with more expensive models, offering a blend of quality and affordability that is hard to beat.

Should You Buy the Creality Ender-3 V3?

The Creality Ender-3 V3 is a machine that has evolved from one of the most iconic models on the market. It comes at a time when 3D printer manufacturers across the board are raising the bar in terms of speed, quality, and features. 

Essentially, the Ender-3 V3 has almost everything you could want from an enthusiast machine; it's fast, relatively accurate and, most importantly, easy to use. It also looks solid, and the workflow with the superb touchscreen interface makes this an ideal option for beginners as well as intermediate users. While the other newer Ender-3 machines are good, the V3 takes the quality up a level, and considering the price, it's a good place to start or to upgrade from older machines. 

If you're looking for a machine for the workplace or education, then it's better to look at the K1 C, not for the quality of output but for the all-enclosed design of the machine. 

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Several countries and regions are: Norway, Switzerland, Las Palmas (ES), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (ES), Ceuta (ES), Melilla (ES), Åland Islands (FI), etc.

Ownership, Terms ,  and Risk

Please ensure your address details are correct as once the parcel is on its way we cannot re-direct it. It is your responsibility to check and verify. Should any loss be incurred due to the input of an incorrect address or a fraudulent transaction, you will be held responsible as the sole bearer of the pecuniary loss.

Note:  Please do not enter any PO Box address, otherwise your package can’t be dispatched by any express.

Normally the orders that have been shipped out (you have received the tracking number or your order status has been completed) cannot be canceled. If you have to refuse delivery due to force majeure after the package is dispatched from ELEGOO, you are subject to the return and refund policies and must pay for the original shipping charges, which will be deducted from your refund.

If you do not contact the delivery company within 5 days after the delivery attempt, they may return the goods to us. A return charge may be assigned to us which may be twice of the delivery cost. If the case of this happens, we reserve the right to ask you to pay the return charge plus an additional re-delivery cost before we re-dispatch the item to you.

When the goods are delivered, please check that the order is complete and undamaged. If there is any damage to the goods at the point of delivery, you can contact us: [email protected]

Following a successful transaction you will be notified when your order has been dispatched with a tracking number provided, if you do not receive a tracking number within 48 hours of completing your purchase, we ask that you first check your email “Junk/Spam” folder and then contact us: [email protected]

Refund Policy & Warranty Info

Thank you for your purchase. We hope you are happy with your purchase. However, if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase for any reason, ELEGOO provides a straightforward warranty that is processed in the most hassle-free way possible. Please refer to the warranty policy below, as warranty periods and warranty rules differ according to the models and parts list.

Warranty Policy

1.   warranty timeline, 2.   warranty rules  for laser head and tube.

A.  Laser Head WarrantyRules:   The rate of laser power drop is related to the frequency of use, working hours, and working environment. B.  Laser Tube Warranty Rules:

a). If the laser tube is found to be damaged during the first unpacking inspection, after-sales warranty service can be provided normally;

b). During the warranty period, if the laser tube cannot emit light normally, but no obvious appearance defects are found, after-sales warranty services can be provided normally;

c). During the warranty period, if the laser tube has any appearance cracks (including but not limited to cracks caused by improper handling or cracks caused by freezing temperatures), after-sales warranty services can't be provided normally.

3.   Warranty Forfeiture

The following Conditions Are Not Covered Under Warranty: A. Products without sufficient proof of purchase B. Lost or stolen products C. Items that have expired their warranty period D. Non-quality-related issues (after 30 days of purchase) E. Free products F. Repairs through 3rd parties G. Damage from outside sources H. Damage from misuse of products (including, but not limited to: falls, extreme temperatures, water, and operating devices improperly) I. Purchases from illegitimate resourcesor second-handed parties J. Normal discoloration, wear, or consumption during product use.

Return & Refund Policy

1.   for unwanted items *this clause does not apply to pre-owned & refurbished items..

If the Elegoo product that you purchased does not meet your satisfaction but was not confirmed defective by certified Elegoo technicians, we call such product as “unwanted product”.

You may return the unwanted product to Elegoo for a full refund within 14 days or replacement within 30 days of the delivery date unless otherwise specified in the products’ listing on our website, on the receipt, or packing slip. You are responsible for the shipping fees. Beyond the end of those 14 days, refunds for unwanted products are not available, and beyond 30 days, refunds and exchanges for unwanted products are not available.

Important: To avoid any delay or denial of processing your refund and exchange request, please verify that your returning product satisfies all of our following inspection criteria.

The product for refund and exchange must be: A. In new and unused condition (Free from damages of any type, including, but not limited to dents, scratches, cracks, abuse, and defacement); B. Complete with all parts & accessories included and all original tags and labels attached;

For your own benefit, we recommend that you use a traceable carrier that can provide you with the delivery confirmation to ship your Product for refund back to the location instructed in the RMA authorization. Elegoo shall not be responsible for any loss or damage to the returning product caused in transit.

The returning product will be thoroughly inspected by Elegoo when received and a decision will be made whether the inspection criteria are met. If your returning product fails to satisfy the inspection criteria and has been shipped to Elegoo, your non-conforming product for refund or exchange will be rejected or subject to a restocking fee of up to 15% at Elegoo’s sole discretion.

After the 14-day refund/30-day exchange window has expired, your only recourse regarding the products is through our warranty.

2.   For Quality-Related I tems *This clause does not apply to Pre-owned & Refurbished items.

 A. Product is defective when you receive it, within 14days of delivery, you can return defective items to Elegoo and get a full refund or replacement, and Elegoo is responsible for return shipping charges. Or you can ask Elegoo to repair defective items, and Elegoo is responsible for repair fees.

B. Beyond the 14days but within warranty, a full refund and replacement are not available, but repair is acceptable. Elegoo is responsible for repair fees.

C. Out of warranty, Elegoo will provide free technical support, if the parts need to be replaced, the customer is responsible for the repair fees, which means the customer needs to purchase the parts and bear the freight.

Important: To avoid any delay or denial of processing your refund and replacement request, please verify that the returning product must be with all parts & accessories included and all original tags and labels attached and in the original box (generic boxes will be rejected).

3.   Process After Returning Product

After receiving your return and inspecting the condition of your item, we will process your return. Please allow at least 7 days from the receipt of your item to process your return. We will notify you by email when your return has been processed and move to the next warranty process, refund you the payment via Paypal, or send a new replacement to you.

Regarding product issues, please don't hesitate to contact us at the customer service channels below to acquire technical support, refund or exchange.

When contacting our customer service team, the buyer must provide sufficient proof of purchase (the order number from online purchases made through ELEGOO, Amazon, or other ELEGOO's authorized resellers), tell us which product you purchased, and describe the problem as clearly as possible through text, images or short videos. This will help our team to process your inquiries and help you solve the problems more efficiently.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Boasting a blazing fast speed of up to 150mm/h, the Mars 5 Ultra leaves competitors in the dust. Its revolutionary tilt release technology enables swift model peeling from the release film, ensuring lightning-fast printing without compromising on detail, accuracy or reliability. Seamlessly switch between the fast and slow print modes, unlocking unmatched flexibility and efficiency.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Stunning 9K , True-to-Life

Featuring a 7" mono LCD with 9K ultra-high resolution and 18μm XY resolution, the Mars 5 Ultra ensures the faithful reproduction of every intricate detail with stunning fidelity and breathtaking textures. Boasting 92% light uniformity, the advanced COB light source ensures consistent results, bringing your visions to life with impeccable precision.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Self-Check & Automatic Leveling , Plug-N-Play

With its smart self-check and automatic leveling functions, the Mars 5 Ultra allows all skill levels to dive straight into the creative process. No more setup hassles or tedious calibrations - simply unbox, power on, and print. One-Click Self-Check With one single click, the Mars 5 Ultra will perform a quick self-check to verify whether its components are functioning properly before printing. When the accumulated usage of the release film is approaching 60,000 times, the device will issue a reminder to replace the release film promptly.

*After replacing the release film, please click the refresh button on the device self-test page to reset the counter manually. One-Click Automatic Leveling Effortless precision is just a click away. Thanks to its intelligent mechanical sensor, the build plate can be automatically leveled with a simple click, making 3D printing accessible to users of all experience levels.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

AI Camera Acts as Your Eyes, Stay in Total Control

Say goodbye to costly failures and wasted time as the AI camera detects errors in real-time, guiding you to flawless results. Never worry about empty build plate or model warps again - it's a thing of the past. The AI camera monitors every step, instantly alerting you to any errors for immediate resolutions.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Print Smarter , Print Worry-Free

With a smart mechanical sensor, the Mars 5 Ultra supports residue detection to prevent damage to the LCD screen. Plus, timely alarms for resin shortages and leveling failures minimize waste and ensure uninterrupted efficiency. Stay worry-free and enjoy high-quality prints every time.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Real-Time Monitoring and Time-Lapse Photography

Effortlessly monitor the printing process in real-time, troubleshoot issues, and ensure exceptional print quality. Capture stunning time-lapse videos and share your creative journey with ease.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Advanced Overheat Protection

No more overheating worries. Enjoy carefree printing with the advanced high temperature protection. When the LED temperature exceeds 80℃, the intelligent system triggers an alarm and halts printing automatically, ensuring enhanced safety and extended lifespan.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Power-Loss Resume Printing

Power Outages? No Problem. The Mars 5 Ultra will automatically resume printing from where it stops. Say goodbye to wasted materials or time. Never again will you lose the printing progress.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

User-Friendly Design

Quick-Release Design, Easy Assembly The quick-release design of the build plate enables effortless removal and installation, making cleaning and maintenance a breeze. Replaceable Lock Screws, Resin Clog-Free No more resin clogs hindering your creative flow with the replaceable resin tank lock screws. Enjoy uninterrupted printing perfection every time. Dual Pour Spouts Resin Tank, Smooth Pouring Double the convenience, double the speed. The resin tank features dual pour spouts, allowing for quick and easy loading and unloading, maximizing your efficiency. Reliable Drip Tray, Clean and Safe The reliable drip tray effectively prevents your resin from spilling, maintaining a clean workspace and enhancing safety. Enjoy a seamless printing experience without any messy surprises.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Redefine efficiency and streamline your workflow with seamless control over multiple printers from one device. Harness the power of synchronized prints to supercharge your productivity and conquer ambitious projects with ease.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Powered by self-developed system with 8G RAM, which ensures faster computing and stable file transfer, the Mars 5 Ultra offers a smoother and more efficient printing experience.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Experience 3D printing that's as easy as scrolling through your smartphone. The 5-inch capacitive touch screen features a simple, intuitive interface that guides you through every step, effortless even for first-timers.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Trust the Mars 5 Ultra's robust metal frame to withstand the test of time. With meticulous engineering, it is designed to endure countless printing hours while maintaining exceptional print quality and reliability.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

The LCD screen is safeguarded by a durable 9H tempered glass protector, providing exceptional resistance to scratches and damage for a worry-free printing experience.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Laser-engraved build plate features superior adhesion, preventing detachment and warping issues during printing, and ensuring effortless and damage-free removal of printed models.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

No longer will you be bound by generic exposure settings. Imagine having the ability to finely tune the exposure time for each section, enabling you to determine the optimal exposure time, meticulously control and enhance the printing results.

what is travel speed in 3d printing

The Elegoo Mars Mate air purifier's built-in high-density activated carbon filter can effectively absorb resin odor, with the purification efficiency up to 95% for TVOC.

What's In Box

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Mars 5 Ultra 3D Printer

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Wifi Antenna

what is travel speed in 3d printing

USB Flash Disk

what is travel speed in 3d printing

Backup Screws

what is travel speed in 3d printing

User Manual

what is travel speed in 3d printing


Build volume.

153.36 x 77.76 x 165 mm³

Printing Speed

MAX 150mm/h

Layer Thickness

Xy resolution.

18x18μm (8520x4320)

Z Axis Accuracy

Printing technology, light source.

COB Light Source (wavelength 405nm)

LCD Screen Size

7-inch 9K Mono LCD

LCD Screen Protector

9H hardness tempered glass

Connection Method

USB Interface & WiFi

Slicer Software

Heat dissipation method.

3 copper heat pipes + single fan

Operation Screen

4.0-inch Capacitive Touch Screen

Chinese, English, Japanese, Dutch, Korean, French, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese

Air Purifier

USB connection unavailable, compatible with Mars Mate air purifier

Supports most resins on the market (water-washable, standard, ABS-like, plant-based, etc.)

Other Functions

Tilt Release Technology, One-Click Automatic Leveling, Self-Check & Overheat Protection, AI Camera (Empty Build Plate Detection, Warp Detection, Real-Time Monitoring, Time-Lapse Recording), Smart Mechanical Sensor (Resin Shortage Alarm, Residue Detection Alarm, Leveling Failure Alarm), Power-Loss Resume Printing.

Power Requirements

100-240V 50/60Hz 24V 3A

Printer Dimensions

260 x 268 x 451.5 mm³

Gross Weight

what is travel speed in 3d printing

1. In-stock Product: 3-7 workdays for delivery

2. Pre-owned Product: 4-8 workdays for delivery

3. Pre-order Product: We will ship the product according to the estimated delivery time on the page, after shipment, it takes 3-7 workdays for delivery.

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  • On orders under $50, there is a shipping charge of $15.
  • FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50 , EXCEPT for orders that include a Saturn 4 or Saturn 4 Ultra, for which there is a $20 shipping charge per Saturn 4 or Saturn 4 Ultra.

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what is travel speed in 3d printing

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Cura limits retraction speed, don't know where

By Supramaker 1 hour ago in UltiMaker Cura

Recommended Posts

Supramaker 0.

I tried to use a retraction tower for a new filament material using retraction speed as height modifier, and while doing so, I noticed that the maximum retraction speed at the top of the tower (80 mm/sec) never gets reached (I estimate it gets at 40 mm/sec max).

I checked my settings and could not find where this limit is set.

To verify, I did the same using Orcaslicer - there I went up to 100 mm/sec (just to test the limits). This means that the limit is not due to any firmware setting.

I need your help trying to identify where this limit is set in Cura 5.7. These are my pertinent settings:


I don't see where the limitation of filament speed comes from. The settings are similar in Orca.

Is there a json file or something with "buried" settings that I need to edit manually?

I can't remember if I ever had this limitation before (my retraction/prime speed settings are usually lower).

Thanks for your help, if any.

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Slashee_the_Cow 344

The print speed/acceleration values have nothing to do with retraction - the retraction settings are in the  Travel  section.

There's a plugin available (just click  Marketplace  at the top right) called "AutoTowers Generator" with some preset towers (or with a teeny bit of hassle you can get it to make custom ones) which automates the process completely, all you have to do is pick the tower you want and save the gcode.


Also retraction going up to 100mm/s sounds sort of overkill to me - I realise my Ender-3 V3 SE is hardly a high end printer but its direct drive extruder maxes out at 60mm/s and even then I never go over 45mm/s.

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Introducing the UltiMaker Factor 4

Introducing the UltiMaker Factor 4

ArunC posted a topic in UltiMaker 3D printers , May 6


UltiMaker Cura 5.7 stable released

ArunC posted a topic in UltiMaker Cura , April 3

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Additive technologies compared

Metal 3d printing.

Ready to get your parts printed?


Metal 3D printing is currently on the rise. This guide will show you how to get the most out of metal additive manufacturing. Get a complete overview of today’s metal 3D printing landscape, master its unique benefits and limitations and learn when and how to use the three most popular metal 3D printing technologies: DMLS/SLM, binder jetting and metal extrusion. If you need metal 3D printed parts, check out Protolabs’ 3D printing metal service .

How do metal 3D printers work? What are their main benefits, limitations & applications?


Master the most popular metal 3D printing processes for high-end applications.

Metal binder jetting

Learn how binder jetting can be used for small-to-medium production runs.

Metal extrusion

Understand why Metal Extrusion is best suited for prototypes & one-off parts.

Design for metal 3D printing

Topology optimization, lattice structures, design rules for metal 3D printing and more.

Useful resources

A list of useful resources for those who want to delve deeper.

How do metal 3D printers work? What are their key benefits and limitations? How is metal 3D printing used in the industry today?

In this section, we will answer these questions and we will learn more about the basic mechanics of each metal 3D printing process. Through a comparison with “traditional” manufacturing, you will you gain a deeper understanding of the current state of metal 3D printing and its great potential.

How do metal 3D printers work?

Similar to all other 3D printing processes, metal 3D printers build parts by adding material a layer at a time based on a digital 3D design - hence the alternative term additive manufacturing .

This way, parts can be built with geometries that are impossible to manufacture with “traditional” subtractive ( CNC machining ) or formative (metal casting) technologies, and without the need for specialized tooling (for example, a mold).

From here, the specific steps each metal 3D printer follows to manufacture a part vary greatly by technology:

Powder bed fusion

A high-power laser (in DMLS/SLM) or an electron beam (in EBM) is used to selectively bond metal powder particles together, layer-by-layer forming the metal part.

Manufacturers: EOS , 3D Systems , Renishaw , SLM Solutions , Concept Laser , Arcam

Binder jetting

Metal powder particles are bound together with an adhesive layer-by-layer, forming a “green” part that needs to be thermally post-processed (sintered) to remove the binder and create a fully-metal part.

Manufacturers: Desktop Metal , ExOne , Digital Metal , HP

Metal material extrusion

A filament or rod consisting of polymer and heavily loaded with metal powder is extruded through a nozzle (like in FDM ) to form the “green” part that is post-processed (debinded and sintered) to create a fully-metal part.

Manufacturers: Desktop Metal , Markforged

Direct energy deposition

Metal powder or wire is melted by a high energy source and selectively deposited layer by layer.

Manufacturers: Optomec , Sciaky

Ultrasonic additive manufacturing

Metal foils are bonded layer-by-layer using ultrasonic welding and then formed to the design shape using CNC machining.

Manufacturers: Fabrisonic

Other processes

Other metal 3D printing systems have been developed over the years based on established plastic 3D printing technologies (such as material jetting or SLA).

3D printing has also been used to create tooling for “traditional” metal manufacturing, such as sand casting or investment casting .

Manufacturers: XJet , ExOne

Today, the most commonly used metal 3D printing processes are Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) / Selective Laser Melting (SLM) , followed by binder jetting and metal extrusion .

If you want to dive deeper into the basic mechanics, particular benefits and limitation, and capabilities of each of these technologies, jump directly to the next part of this guide.

For the rest of this section, we will focus on the general aspects of metal 3D printing that apply to all processes. We will also explore how they compare with “traditional” manufacturing processes. This way you will gain a broader understanding of how to get the most out of this unique manufacturing technology. But first, a short history lesson…

A brief history of metal 3D Printing

  • In the late ’80s, Dr. Carl Deckard of the University of Texas developed the first laser sintering 3D printer of plastics. This invention paved the way for metal 3D printing.
  • The first patent of laser melting of metals was filed in 1995 by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. Companies like EOS and many Universities lead the development of this process.
  • In 1991, Dr. Ely Sachs of MIT introduced a 3D printing process that is today better known as binder jetting. Binder Jetting of metal was then licensed to ExOne in 1995.
  • Metal 3D printing saw slow but steady growth in the ’00s. This changed after 2012 when the original patents started expiring and large investments were made by companies like GE , HP and DM .
  • Today, the Wohler’s report estimates metal 3D printing to be a $720 million market and growing rapidly. In 2017 alone, the sales of metal 3D printers increased by 80%.

Benefits & limitations of metal 3D printing

It is important to understand that metal 3D printing is a powerful tool that comes with many unique benefits. Yet, its current limitations do not always make it the best option when it comes to manufacturing metal parts.

These are the most important advantages and disadvantages of metal 3D printing. Use them to understand where metal 3D printing stands today and where it is headed in the near future.

Benefits of metal 3D printing

The greatest advantage of metal 3D printing compared to “traditional” manufacturing is its exceptional design flexibility. Since no specific tooling is needed (for example, a mold or a cutting tool), geometries that are impossible to manufacture through other processes are easily 3D printable.

More importantly, increasing the geometric complexity of a part has almost no effect on its manufacturing cost. This means that organic, topology optimized structures can be used with metal 3D printing, to greatly improve the performance of the produced parts.

Learn how to design for metal 3D printing →

The great design flexibility of metal 3D printing goes hand in hand with the creation of lightweight structures. In fact, following best design practices for metal 3D printing always gives a lightweight solution.

Typically, advanced CAD techniques, such as topology optimization and generative design, are usually used for this purpose.

This result in parts with both less weight (typically, by 25% to 50%) and higher stiffness. This is key for high-end applications in industries like the aviation and aerospace.

Since tool access is not an issue in metal 3D printing, parts with internal structures can be manufactured.

For example, internal channels for conformal cooling are a great way to increase the performance of a part. Injection molding cores with conformal cooling - manufactured through DMLS/SLM - can reduce injection cycles by up to 70%.

Another example of increased part functionality comes from metal extrusion . Using this process, custom jigs and fixtures with complex geometries can be created when needed, increasing the efficiency of operations of other industrial processes on the production floor.

Another great strength of metal 3D printing is its ability to merge an assembly into a single.

This eliminates the need for fasteners and results in parts that can serve multiple functions at once. Also, labor costs and lead times are minimized and maintenance and service requirements are reduced.

As an added benefit, reducing the total part count is another method to create lightweight structures.

Even when a part with complex geometry is manufacturable using “traditional” methods, it can take 20 or more production steps to do so.

In these cases, metal 3D printing should be considered as a valid manufacturing option. Using binder jetting, for example, the total number of steps can be reduced to five or less (including post-processing and finishing). This way the complexity of the manufacturing supply chain is greatly reduced.

Contrary to 3D printing of plastics, parts manufactured with DMLS/SLM or binder jetting show an isotropic mechanical behavior. Also, their material strength is comparable to the wrought metal (and in some cases even better). For this reason, metal 3D printed parts have found applications in the most demanding industries, like aerospace.

Note, though, that 3D printing parts generally have lower fatigue strength. This is due to their surface roughness and their internal porosity (typically, DMSL/SLM parts have < 0.2% porosity and binder jetting parts < 2%).

Limitations of metal 3D printing

Compared to traditional manufacturing methods, the cost of metal 3D printing today is considerable. On average, a typical DMLS/SLM part will cost you approximately $5,000 to $10,000 to 3D print and finish. So, it is important to keep in mind that the use of metal 3D printing makes economic sense only if it is connected with considerable improvement in performance.

There is a demand for affordable metal 3D printing solutions though. The new benchtop metal extrusion systems and production binder jetting systems could fill this gap in the near future.

Learn more about the cost of metal 3D printing → .

Another limitation of metal 3D printing is that it cannot compete yet with traditional manufacturing when it comes to larger volumes.

The lack of custom tooling means that start-up costs are low, but also that the total manufacturing costs are not significantly affected by the volume of production. In other words, the unit price is almost unchanged at higher quantities and economies of scale cannot kick in.

Yet, the industry is working towards metal 3D printing systems that can streamline production. For example, DMLS/SLM machines with multiple lasers and Binder Jetting systems capable of continuous production are currently entering the market.

Designing parts for metal 3D printing follows a different set of rules than “traditional” manufacturing. This often means that existing designs have to be re-designed.

Moreover, the tools provided by older CAD software may not be enough to take full advantage of the benefits of metal 3D printing. For an extensive introduction to the main design consideration, advanced CAD tools and design rules for metal 3D printing, jump to the last section of this guide.

Learn more about Design for metal 3D printing →

Almost every metal 3D printed part will need some post-processing before it is ready to use. This adds to the overall cost and delivery time.

Independent of the selected technology, combinations of thermal treatments, machining, polishing, and other finishing methods are almost always required to produce the final part. We will see more details on the necessary post-processing steps for each technology in later sections.

Applications of metal 3D printing

Here we collected examples of key industrial applications of metal 3D printing. They illustrate some of the main benefits and limitations of the technology. Use them to better understand why engineers chose metal 3D printing for their particular application.

Creating lightweight structures is of paramount importance for the space industry. The current cost of launching a kilogram of payload into space is approximately $10,000 to $20,000. So, metal 3D printing of topology optimized parts has great potential here.

Optisys , for example, is a provider of micro-antenna products. They used DMLS/SLM to reduce the number of discrete pieces of their tracking antenna arrays from 100 to only 1. With this simplification, Optisys managed to reduce the lead time from eleven months to two, while achieving a 95% weight reduction.

Read the full story in the 3D Printing Handbook →

The ability to create organic structures, personalized to the anatomy of every individual, makes metal 3D printing a very appealing solution for the medical industry. Today, medical implants from biocompatible materials (such as titanium) are one of the major uses of metal 3D printing.

Back in 2007, Dr. Guido Grappiolo was the first surgeon to implant a 3D printed hip cup implant. With the help of LimaCorporate and Arcam , he designed the Delta-TT Cup, a titanium implant with a lattice structure that accelerates patient rehabilitation and bone growth. A decade later, more than 100,000 of these hip cups have been implanted successfully to patients.

Read the full story →

The adoption of metal 3D printing as a manufacturing option for end parts in the automotive industry is increasing rapidly. For the time being, high-performance and racing are the main applications of metal 3D printing.

The TU Delft Formula Student team, one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport, used DMLS to manufacture their topology optimized bracket for their formula car. This bracket is the main connection point between the wheel and the chassis and it is designed to withstand forces up to 400 kg. The re-designed titanium bracket has half the weight and twice the strength of an equivalent part machined out of steel.

Industrial Tooling

Metal 3D printing is used today to create industrial tools with added functionality. These advanced tools can greatly increase the productivity of other proceses.

For example, metal molds with internal conformal cooling channels can be manufactured using DMLS/SLM 3D pritning. These cooling channels can be printed to any shape and closer to the part than subtractive methods can accomplish. A printed metal mold can cost about $10,000, which is considerable compared to the $4,000 that the same mold would cost if it was CNC machined. The increased cost brings significant performance improvements. Users reported injection cycles that are shorter by 60% to 70% with almost no scrap.

Read a review paper →

Product Development

The main applications of Metal Extrusion today is the manufacture of metal prototypes. When compared to other in-house solutions, the time savings offered by Metal Extrusion can greatly reduce the time-to-market of new engineering products.

Lumenium is a start-up that develops innovative internal combustion engines. They were seeking a faster and more cost-effective approach to prototyping their engine parts. Traditionally, their development cycle is approximately 3.5 years. By incorporating Metal Extrusion in their workflow, they estimated that they reduced their development time by 25% to 2 years and 9 months.

Materials for metal 3D printing

The number of metal material available for metal 3D printing is growing rapidly. Engineers can today select from alloys including:

  • Stainless steels
  • Tool steels
  • Titanium alloys
  • Aluminum alloys
  • Nickel-based superalloys
  • Cobalt-chrome alloys
  • Copper-based alloys
  • Precious metals (gold, silver, platinum…)
  • Exotic metals (palladium, tantalum…)

The cost of metal 3D printing

The cost of a metal 3D printer varies greatly between technologies. The selling price of a DMLS/SLM printer averages at $550,000 and can reach $2 million USD. Metal binder jetting systems cost approximately $400,000. A metal extrusion printer will cost you around $140,000 including the post-processing units.

The manufacturing cost of a typical DMLS/SLM part is approximately $5,000-$10,000 (including finishing). For binder jetting and metal extrusion, the cost per parts can be up to 5-10 times lower than that of DMLS/SLM parts. At the time of writing though, it is still early to assess the full operational cost of these systems.

The table below is a break down of the average costs of different manufacturing steps for DMLS/SLM. Notice that the material cost, as well as the cost of post-processing, contribute considerably to the overall cost.

† Typically, six to twelve parts can fit on the same build plate.

The speed of metal 3D printing

Independent of the process, a metal 3D printed part requires at least 48 hours and an average of 5 days to manufacture and finish.

About 50% of the total production time is allocated to printing. This, of course, depends on the volume of the part and the need for support structures. For reference, the current production rate of modern metal 3D printing systems varies between 10-40 cm³/h.

The remaining production time is related to post-processing and finishing requirements. Thermal treatments contribute significantly to the total production time: a typical thermal cycle lasts 10 to 12 hours. Mechanical surface finishes can also be a time-consuming step as they need input from an expert (5-axis CNC machining) or manual labor (hand polishing).

Metal 3D printing vs traditional manufacturing

Always begin with a Cost vs Performance analysis, when you are choosing between a metal 3D printing and a subtractive (CNC machining) or formative (metal casting) technology.

Generally speaking, the manufacturing cost is mainly connected to the production volume , while the performance of a part depends greatly on its geometry .

The key strength of metal 3D printing is its ability to create parts with complex & optimized geometries. This means that it is ideal for manufacturing high-performance parts. On the other hand, it does not scale as well as CNC machining or metal casting at higher volumes.

As a rule of thumb:

The high cost of metal 3D printing can be only financially justified if it is connected to a significant increase in performance or operational efficiency.

Of course, each metal 3D printing process meets different industrial requirements. Use the tips below as general guidelines to understand which process is the most suitable for you:

  • DMLS/SLM is the best solution for parts with high geometric complexity (organic, topology optimized structures) that require excellent material properties for increasing the efficiency of the most demanding applications.
  • Binder jetting is the best solution for low-to-medium batch production that cannot justify the large economic investment of a formative method and for parts with geometries that cannot be efficiently manufactured with a subtractive method.
  • Metal extrusion is the best solution for metal prototypes and one-off parts with geometries that would otherwise require a 5-axis CNC machine to manufacture.

The table below is a Volume vs Part Complexity matrix, showing the areas that each manufacturing process (additive, subtractive or formative) performs at its best. Use it as a quick reference:

Read an article with practical examples →

Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) are the most used metal 3D printing processes today. They are particularly suitable for high-end applications as they offer great design freedom & advanced material properties.

In the section, we will dive deeper into the manufacturing process, technical characteristics and benefits and limitations of these two, very similar processes.

What is DMLS/SLM 3D printing?

DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) or SLM (Selective Laser Melting) are two powder bed fusion metal 3D printing technologies. The practical difference between SLM and DMLS are very slim. For design purposes, the two technologies can be treated as the same.

They both use a high power laser to bond metal powder particles together to form a part layer-by-layer. SLM achieves a full melt, while DMLS causes the metal particles to fuse together on a molecular level due to the very high temperatures. Most metal alloys are compatible with the DMLS process, while only certain (pure) metal materials can be used in SLM.

How does DMLS/SLM work?

Here are the basic steps of the DMLS/SLM 3D printing process:

  • The build chamber is first filled with inert gas and then heated to the optimal print temperature.
  • A thin layer of metal powder (typically 50 μm) is spread over the build platform.
  • The laser scans the cross section of the part, selectively bonding the metal particles.
  • When entire area is scanned, the build platform moves down a layer and the process repeats until the whole build is complete.
  • After printing, the build first needs to cool down and then the loose powder is extracted.

The 3D printing step is only the beginning of the DMLS/SLM manufacturing process. After the print is complete, several (compolsory or optional) post-processing steps are required before the parts are ready to use. Compulsory post-processing steps include:

  • Stress relief : Due to the very high processing temperatures during printing, internal stresses develop. These need to be relieved through a thermal cycle before any other operation.
  • Removal of the parts : In DMLS/SLM the parts are essentially welded onto the build platform. A band saw or EDM wire cutting is used here.
  • Removal of the support : Support in DMLS/SLM is always required to mitigate the warping and distortion that occurs during printing. Support is removed manually or CNC machined.

To meet engineering specifications, additional post-processing steps are often required. These may include:

  • CNC machining : When tighter tolerances than the standard ± 0.1 mm are required, machining is employed as a finishing step. Only minimal material is removed this way.
  • Heat treatments : To improve the material properties of the part, heat treatments or Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) can be used.
  • Smoothing/Polishing : Certain application require a smoother surface than the standard RA 10 μm of as-printed DMLS/SLM. CNC machining and manual, vibro or chemical polishing are all available solutions.

Learn more about DMLS/SLM →

Metal powders for 3D printing

The raw material used in DMSL/SLM and many other 3D printing processes comes in a powder.

The characteristics of the metal powders are very important for the end results. To ensure good flow and close packing, metal particles need to have a spherical shape and a size between 15 and 45 microns. To achieve these tight requirements, methods such as gas or plasma atomization are commonly used.

The high cost of producing these metal powders is a key contributor to the overall cost of metal 3D printing.

Benefits and limitations of DMLS/SLM

The main strength of DMLS/SLM is its ability to create highly optimized, organic structures from high-performance metal alloys.

Parts manufactured with DMLS/SLM can have a complex, organic shape that is optimized to minimize their weight while maximizing their stiffness. Or they can have internal geometries that cannot be produced with any other method.

The material properties of DMLS/SLM parts are excellent. Parts with almost no internal porosity are manufactured from a wide range of metal alloys, from aluminum and steel to high-strength superalloys.

We saw in a previous section though that the costs connected with DMLS/SLM are high. For this reason, it is only economically viable to use this processes for optimized parts for high-value engineering applications.

From a technical perspective, the main limitation of DMLS and SLM is their need for extensive support structures. These are needed to avoid warping and to anchor the part to the build platform. Also, out of the printer, the surface roughness of the produced parts is relatively high for most engineering applications, so post-processing is necessary.

Technical characteristics of SLM & DMLS

The table below summarizes the basic technical capabilities of a typical DMLS/SLM metal 3D printer today. For additional design guidelines, jump to the design rules .

Metal binder jetting is rapidly increasing in popularity. Its unique characteristics make it especially suitable for small-to-medium production runs.

In this section, we dive deeper into the steps followed in binder jetting and the basic characteristics of the produced metal parts.

What is metal binder jetting?

Binder jetting builds parts by depositing a binding agent onto a thin layer of powder through inkjet nozzles. It was originally used to create full-color prototypes and models out of sandstone. A variation of the process is currently raising in popularity due to its batch production capabilities.

The printing step in metal binder jetting printing takes place at room temperature. This means that thermal effects (like warping and internal stresses) are not an issue, like in DMLS/SLM, and supports are not required. An extra post-processing step is necessary to create a fully metal part.

How does Metal Binder Jetting work?

Metal Binder Jetting is a two-stage process. It involves a printing step and an essential post-processing step. Here’s how the printing process works:

  • A carriage with inkjet nozzles passes over the bed, selectively depositing droplets of a binding agent (polymer and wax), bonding the metal powder particles.
  • When a layer is complete, the build platform moves down and the process repeats until the whole build is complete.

The result of the printing process is a part in the so-called “green” state. A post-processing step is required to remove the binding agent and create fully metal parts.

There are two variations for this post-processing step:

  • Infiltration: The “green” part is first washed off from the binding agent to create a “brown” part with significant internal porosity (~70%). The “brown” part is then heated in an industrial oven in the presence of a low-melting-point metal (typically, bronze). The internal voids are filled, resulting in a bi-metallic part.
  • Sintering: The “green” part is placed in an industrial furnace. There, the binder is first burned off and then the remaining metal particles a sintered together. The result is a fully metal part with dimensions that are about 20% smaller than the original “green” part. To compensate for this shrinkage, the parts are printed larger.

Today, sintering is used in the majority of the applications, as infiltration creates parts with inferior material properties and not well documented mechanical and thermal behavior.

Learn more about Binder Jetting →

Binder jetting & metal injection molding (MIM)

After sintering, binder jetting parts have very similar properties to parts manufactured with MIM. MIM is a manufacturing process that is used to mass-produce almost every small metal part found in consumer electronics or cars today.

MIM is a variation of the plastic injection molding process. Metal powder mixed in a plastic binder is injected into a mold to form the “green” part, which is then sintered to become metal.

So, metal binder jetting builds upon the know-how of the MIM process.

Benefits & limitations of metal binder jetting

Binder jetting is the only metal 3D printing technology today that can be used cost-effectively for low-to-medium batch production of metal parts.

Since no support structures are needed for printing, binder jetting systems can use their whole build volume. This allows it to compete in cost with traditional manufacturing, even for low-to-medium volume production.

Additionally, binder jetted parts have a smoother finish and sharper edges than DMLS/SLM, so extra finishing operations might not be necessary. Compared to DMLS/SLM, the cost of the raw metal powder is also lower, which plays a big role in the unit price.

On the other hand, parts produced with binder jetting will always have an internal porosity of about 0.2 to 2%. Note, that internal voids may not affect the tensile strength shown in the technical data sheets, but can greatly decrease the fatigue strength of a part.

Keep in mind that the sintering step is connected with significant part shrinkage. This shrinkage is non-homogenous and is difficult to predict with high precision. In practice, several trial prints are needed to end up with a CAD file that will produce the part with the desired final dimensions. The repeatability of the process is excellent though. This means that larger volumes of this part can be manufactured after successful calibration.

Technical characteristics of metal binder jetting

The table below summarizes the basic technical capabilities of a typical metal binder jetting 3D printer today. For additional design guidelines, jump to the design rules .

Metal extrusion is an alternative, low-cost metal 3D printing process that is mainly suitable for prototyping purposes or for one-off custom parts.

Here, we examine in depth the characteristics and key benefits and limitations of this additive process to help you understand how to use it most effectively.

What is metal extrusion 3D printing?

Metal Extrusion is a variation of the classic FDM process for plastics. The first Metal Extrusion 3D printers were released in 2018. The technology is also known under the names Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) or Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing (ADAM)

Like FDM, a part is built layer-by-layer by extruding material through a nozzle. Unlike FDM, the material is not plastic, but a metal powder held together using a polymer binder. The result of the printing step is a “green” part of that needs to be-debinded and sintered to become fully metal.

How does metal extrusion work?

Metal extrusion is a three-stage process. It involves a printing step, a de-binding step, and a sintering step. Here’s how the printing step works:

  • The raw material comes in a filament or rod form that typically consists of metal particles bound together by polymer and/or wax.
  • This rod or filament is extruded through a heated nozzle and deposited layer-by-layer building a part based on the CAD model.
  • At the same time, support structures are build if necessary. The interface between the support and the part is printed with a ceramic support material, which is easy to manually remove later.

When the print is complete, the resulting “green” part needs to be post-processed to become metal using similar steps as in Binder Jetting. The “green” is first washed in a solution for several hours to remove most of the binder. Then it is sintered in a furnace to bond the metal particles together and form a fully-metal part.

During sintering the part dimensions are reduced by about 20%. The parts are printed larger to compensate for this. Like in binder jetting, this shrinkage is not homogenous. This means that some trial and error is needed to produce accurate results for a particular design.

Metal extrusion vs. FDM of plastics

The way that metal extrusion and plastic FDM printers work is very similar. For example, both processes print parts hollow, using a cell outline and infill.

Apart from the material, there are two other important practical differences between metal extrusion and FDM that you should keep in mind. Both are connected to the mechanics of the de-binding and sintering process.

  • Wall thickness : In metal extrusion, parts should always have a consistent wall thickness (preferably, smaller than 10 mm). If this is not the case, then the time needed to fully de-bind and sinter the parts can increase by several hours.
  • Support structures : Like FDM, in metal extrusion supports are often required during printing. In metal extrusion, though, support is also needed for the sintering step. At these very high temperatures, the metal material becomes soft and pliable and may collapse under its own weight.

Benefits & limitations of metal extrusion

Metal extrusion is excellent for functional prototyping and small productions of metal parts that would otherwise require a 5-axis CNC machining to produce.

Coming at a fraction of the cost of DMLS/SLM or binder jetting, metal extrusion printers are the most economical metal system to date. This way, a wider audience can benefit from the key benefits of metal 3D printing (optimized structures, assembly consolidation, internal channels), especially for prototyping purposes and small production runs. Moreover, the ease-of-use of these systems and their low health and safety requirement make them appealing for in-house production of custom parts or tooling to support other operations.

When compared to other manufacturing technologies though (like CNC machining and sheet metal), the cost of metal extrusion is still considerable. For simple geometries, it is more economical (and usually faster) to choose a traditional manufacturing process, even when outsourcing production. The biggest contributor to this final cost is the time required to de-bind and sinter the as-printed “green” parts. It takes on average 24 to 72 hours to do so.

From a technical point of view, the parts produced with these systems are not suitable for demanding applications as they have lower mechanical properties than the wrought metal (~33% lower strength), due to their internal porosity (approximately 2-4%).

Technical characteristics of metal extrusion

The table below summarizes the basic technical capabilities of a typical metal extrusion 3D printer today. For additional design guidelines, jump to the design rules .

Designing for metal 3D printing requires a new mindset and comes with a unique set of design rules and best practices.

In this section, we introduce you to the basic principles and tools that will help you get the most out of your designs, such as topology optimization.

Key design considerations

Designing for an additive process follows a different set of rules than designing for “traditional” manufacturing. The unique design freedom, as well as the unique set of limitation, demand a shift in the mindset of the designer.

Here is a list of key ideas you should keep in mind while designing for metal 3D printing:

Key design consideration

Due to its high cost, it is rarely economically feasible to manufacture parts that have been designed for a traditional process using metal 3D printing.

Actually, it is often technically impossible to reproduce these geometries. For example, section thicker than 10 mm are prone to warping or other manufacturing defects and should be avoided.

Design complexity is often considered harmful, as it is connected to an increased cost. In metal 3D printing, this is not the case. On the contrary, finding a way to maximize the added value that geometric complexity brings to a system is key to take full advantage of the benefits of metal 3D printing.

When you begin to redesign a part or assembly for metal 3D printing, it is usually a good idea to start with a blank canvas. This way you can avoid being restricted by preconceived designs.

Clearly defining the design requirements (loads, boundary condition, part weight etc.) is key here. We will see in the next section that modern CAD software use these as input to create optimized structures with organic forms.

It is a good practice to have a clear vision of how the part will be orientated in the machine. Print orientation is important as it defines the position and need of support structures.

The aim of the designer should be to create parts with self-supporting features, minimizing the need for support and ensuring build success.

Independent of the process, post-processing is always required in metal 3D printing. This can be obligatory (such as support removal in DMLS/SLM or sintering in binder jetting and metal extrusion) or optional (such as CNC machining step to achieve tighter tolerances or a heat treatment to improve material properties).

So it is essential to keep the post-processing requirements and available option in your mind while designing a part for metal 3D printing.

Design optimization tools & software

Modern CAD packages offer tools to help you take full advantage of the geometric freedom of metal 3D printing. Using these algorithm-driven design tools, you can create organic-like structures that outperform parts that were designed using traditional methods.

There are three main strategies that can be used today. These strategies can either optimize the performance of an existing design or help in the creation of structures from scratch based on a set of design requirements.

Lattice structures

Applying a lattice pattern is a great way to optimize an existing design.

Lattice structures can create lightweight parts, maximize the surface area of heat exchangers, or improve the printability and reduce the manufacturing cost of an existing design.

Topology optimization

Simulation-driven topology optimization aids in the creation of structures with minimal mass and maximal stiffness.

In topology optimization, the user-defined design space and the load cases are analyzed to determine the areas from which material can be removed. The result of the simulation can then be used to design parts for optimal performance for these loading scenarios.

Generative design

Generative design is a variation of the simulation-driven topology optimization process.

In generative design, instead of a single output, the analysis produces multiple design candidates. The resulting designs are all manufacturable and fulfill the design requirements. This way, the designer can explore different solutions and select the one that fits the application (for example, based on secondary trade-offs).

It is highly recommended to use one of these advanced CAD techniques - especially when designing parts DMLS/SLM. Below we collected a short list of CAD packages that offer design optimization tools for metal 3D printing to get you started:

Altair Inspire

Powerful topology optimization software with a long history with multiple simulation-driven design tools lattice structure functionality.

Autodesk Fusion 360

All inclusive and powerful CAD, CAM and simulation software with Generative Design tools for 3D printing and CNC machining.

nTopology Element

Professional design and optimization software with advanced lattice capabilities.

Design rules

Even when using advanced CAD tools, you must follow certain design guidelines. These have to do with the basic mechanics of the metal 3D printing processes. Here is a list of the most important design rules:

Minimum wall thickness

DMLS/SLM: 0.4 mm

Binder Jetting: 1.0 mm

Metal Extrusion: 1.0 mm

Binder jetting and metal extrusion parts in the “green” state are fragile. Thicker wall sections reduce the probabillity of breaking.

Maximum aspect ratio


Binder Jetting: 8:1

Metal Extrusion: 8:1

Extra stability can be added to tall features using support ribs (similar to injection molding).

Minimum feature size

DMLS/SLM: 0.6 mm

Binder Jetting: 2.0 mm

Metal Extrusion: 3.0 mm

Isolated features are more prone to failure during printing or handling than wall sections. For pins, consider using an off-the-self insert instead.

Minimum detail size

Binder Jetting: 0.1 mm

Metal Extrusion: 0.5 mm

The minimum detail depends on the size of the laser, binder droplet or nozzle.

Minimum hole diameter

DMLS/SLM: Ø1.5 mm

Binder Jetting: Ø1.0 mm

Metal Extrusion: Ø1.5 mm

For holes that are not aligned along the build direction, consider using a teardrop shape instead to avoid the need for support.

Maximum overhang angle


Binder Jetting: N/A

Metal Extrusion: 45°

Additional support might be necessary for sintering in binder jetting and metal extrusion.

Unsupported edges

DMLS/SLM: 0.5 mm

Binder Jetting: 20 mm

Consider eliminating the overhang by adding a 45° chamfer under the unsupported edges.

Follow the links below to learn more about designing for the different metal 3D printing processes:

  • Design for DMLS/SLM →
  • Design for Binder Jetting →
  • Design for Material Extrusion →

In this guide we touched upon all you need to get you started with metal 3D printing, but there is plenty more to learn.

Below we list the best and most useful resources on metal 3D printing and other digital manufacturing technologies for those who want to delve deeper.

Knowledge Base

Here, we touched upon all you need to get you started with 3D printing. There is plenty more to learn though in our Knowledge Base – a collection of technical articles on all manufacturing technologies, written by experts from Protolabs Network and the manufacturing industry.

Here is a selection of our most popular articles on 3D printing:

  • Supports in 3D Printing: A technology overview →
  • Key Design Considerations for 3D printing →
  • Selecting the right 3D printing process →
  • Aerospace 3D printing applications →
  • Medical 3D printing applications →
  • Automotive 3D printing applications →

Guides to other Manufacturing Technologies

Want to learn more about Digital Manufacturing? There are more technologies to explore:

Need metal 3D printed parts?

Flsun S1 3D printer review

A high-speed delta printer that combines efficiency and quality..

Flsun S1

TechRadar Verdict

The Flsun S1 stands out not only for the machine's size but also its impressive speed and build quality, which all come together to make this a great option for business, education, and experienced engineers. Its delta design allows for faster movements and smoother prints, while the user-friendly interface ensures a straightforward printing process. Although it lacks some advanced features, such as out-of-the-box multifilament printing, limited software, and print accuracy, which is lower than more expensive delta options, the overall performance and value make it a strong option for education and business.

High-speed printing

User-friendly interface

Excellent print quality

Limited to single filament

Larger footprint due to delta design

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

  • Performance
  • Final verdict

The Flsun S1 is a delta 3D printer, a design that in the past has been known for speed and precision, although the mechanics are somewhat complicated, which has made servicing for most a little more tricky than the more common Cartesian style. Like the Cartesian counterparts, delta technology has leapt forward at a pace as we recently saw with the superb TriLab AzteQ Industrial. The Flsun follows in the same vein of design but adds more features and comes in at almost half the price while offering a huge 320 x 430 mm build area.

The machine's delta kinematics come in a fully enclosed casing with a few additional features that make this not just one of the best 3D printers for business we've tried, but also one of the most interesting high-end enthusiast, professional machines on the market at present. One of those features is the built-in dry filament box at the top, which helps to keep the filament in the best possible condition during the print process. AI tools join this, and a print speed that makes some of the other hyper-speed printers look decidedly slow.

Flsun S1: Design

Flsun S1

The design of the Flsun S1 is large, with the machine measuring 550 x 595 x 1030 mm. This means that you're going to need some space to place it, and when you consider the doors to the enclosure to cope with as well, this isn't a standard desktop printer. If you do go to place it on a surface, make sure it's good and strong; a standard IKEA desk, for instance, will bend under the 41 kg weight.

The size, weight, and design mean that this is a machine that, once placed, is best left where it is, making it ideal for a workshop, classroom, or office where you know the machine won't need to move regularly. Out of the box, there are a few steps to go through before printing, but when it comes to construction, there are only a few small items to attend to. The first is to bolt on the doors; again, the size of these makes the process a little fiddly, but with some help, it's easy enough. Then it's just a case of removing a few retainer screws and zip ties, and you can plug in and power up, ready to load the cable. The only other parts that need to be attached are the large touchscreen and control panel.

Flsun S1

The build process takes less than ten minutes, and the machine is 95% ready to go. During this time, you can check out the quality of the frame and construction, which is solid and ensures maximum stability during the high-speed printing process.

The dry box at the top, which houses the filament, is quite an interesting design feature; this is something unique at this price point. At the base of the machine is the large touch screen; this is beautifully designed, and the UI is clear with good icons and layout. The only other real area of interest with the design is the removable PEI build platform, which enables you to remove prints when finished easily.

  • Design: 4.5/5

Flsun S1: Features

Flsun S1

The Flsun S1 boasts a range of features that complement the high-speed delta kinematics and help ensure fast and smoother prints with fewer failures.

Some of the key features include speed, with a maximum of 1200 mm/s, which is double that of most fast printers and enables extremely fast print production. Maximum acceleration speeds of 40000 mm/s² and a flow rate of 110 mm³/s when using fast PLA all add to the machine's high-speed capabilities.

When it comes to print size, the S1 is one of the largest printers at this price point, with only the Elegoo Giga Orange beating it in pure scale. The print area is 320 x 430 mm, providing ample scope for what you can print onto the PEI flexible print platform.

What's interesting about the design is that it's fully enclosed, making it extremely neat in the workshop, with no reels sitting externally as with other large-scale printers. The inclusion of the built-in dry box for a single reel is a great idea and helps to boost the quality of prints. This dry box is a separate section above the main print area. Another environment-enhancing feature is the CPAP high-pressure turbofan that helps maintain an ideal temperature in the build area for the material you're using.

Print Technology: FDM   Build Area: 320 x 430 mm   Minimum Layer Resolution: 0.1 mm   Maximum Layer Resolution: 0.35 mm   Dimensions: 550 x 595 x 1030mm mm   Weight: 41 kg   Bed: Heated   Print Surface: Textured PEI Print Plate Software: FLSUN Slicer Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, and more   Print Speed: Up to 1200 mm/s

Print reliability is a huge consideration for Flsun, especially with a printer this size, which can go through a kilo of filament in a surprisingly fast time. To help avoid print failures, a binocular structured light system monitors the print and detects if anything goes wrong. This system consists of two cameras and a micron laser. It is coupled with AI tools that further support the detection of any issues.

One of the energy-saving features that we're starting to see more of is intelligent zone heating. We first saw this at the consumer level on the Elegoo Neptune 4 Pro and, more recently, on the professional Original PRUSA XL. Here again, a zone system is used so that only the parts of the build platform that are in contact with the base of the print are heated.

A common feature of all 3D printers these days is auto-leveling. Here, it's slightly more advanced due to the delta design, so having an advanced computer system behind the scenes helps to ensure that all-important first-layer accuracy.

Alongside auto-levelling are a few new and emerging features, such as DPA (Dynamic Pressure Advance), that help ensure each layer sticks, as well as growing features such as vibration reduction.

While PLA is mostly odourless, many other materials do produce an odour. To help combat this, the S1 has a built-in filter that reduces the gases that can escape the filament during printing, making it safer to use in an office or workshop without ventilation.

  • Features: 4.5/5

Flsun S1: Performance

Flsun S1

The initial set-up of the printer is relatively quick and straightforward, but it should be noted that this is a two-person task as this printer is larger and heavier than most. Just removing it from the box takes some effort, and once you get the machine in position, you won't want to move it again.

The machine comes almost ready to go; just attach the doors and the control panel, power on, load the filament, and you're done. The machine comes with a USB containing a good selection of models to print, enabling you to test if everything is working as it should be. Our set-up process took around 15 minutes, most of which was spent getting someone to hold the door still as the hinge was screwed into place. The filament loading was easy but fiddly, with little clearance between the filament roll and feeder tube, which meant the filament needed to be inserted and pushed through before the filament could be installed.

Loading the filament was quick, and the hot end heated at an incredible speed as the filament was loaded. Once done, the machine is set and ready to go. The first few prints used in the test were supplied by the manufacturer and printed at speed and with impressive accuracy. The 3D Benchy test, for instance, printed in a little over eight minutes, around five minutes faster than most high-speed printers.

Going through the test prints, the one that stood out was the vase, the quality of which was incredible. Although the vase setting in the slicer wasn't set, there was a seam. Testing this with other vases and switching the vase setting on gets impressive results.

Flsun S1

Through real-world tests with a variety of materials, the speed and quality of the printer really stand out. The only issue was the noise. Inside, there's a turbofan, and there's absolutely no missing it when the machine starts a print or gets too hot. However, for most instances, if you're using PLA, opening the door of the enclosure will regulate the temperature and quieten the fan, or if you delve into the settings, you can switch it off. However, compared to the ultra-low noise printers that we have seen recently, this is a little more industrial.

The benchmark tests were carried out after running through several reels of filament. While the prints looked exceptional, the print accuracy needed to catch up to some of the latest printers. Print dimensional accuracy was slightly lower than expected, and while it coped with the negative features, overhangs, and bridging well, it was all a little off what was expected. We are talking about measurements of a few microns rather than millimetres.

With the small issues aside—and they are small—the speed and print quality make this a superb professional choice. It enables you to turn around print iterations quickly. In an educational environment, it enables you to print out students' work quickly and between lessons, which again will make a huge difference to workflows.

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Flsun S1: Final verdict

Flsun S1

The Flsun S1 directly competes with the excellent TriLab printers and, in many respects, takes the edge when it comes to overall print quality. However, there are a few small issues, such as feeding the filament into the machine, which can be a little tricky due to the position of the feeder tube. Likewise, once the filament has finished, it rarely unloads back through the feeder tube quickly, requiring you to unlink the feeder tube closer to the tool head. This process takes a few seconds but still needs to be a more neat solution than you would expect.

The rest of the build is superb, and the huge touchscreen and interface are one of the best on the market. The remote printing function works well, but the quality of the prints really stands out. If you look at the prints in isolation, they are among the cleanest that any printer has produced, but when you consider the pure printing speed, it becomes even more impressive.

The Flsun takes a different approach to design than most, enabling a printer with a huge print area and a speed and accuracy that are hard to beat. For product design, engineering, and especially education, this is one of the best printers out there for pure simplicity, speed, and quality of finish. However, you do need to be aware of the fan noise, which can be excessive.

Should You Buy the Flsun S1?

The Flsun S1 combines speed, quality, and ease of use in a robust package. Its delta design allows for fast and smooth prints, while the user-friendly interface and auto-leveling system ensure a hassle-free experience. Despite some limitations, the S1's overall performance and value make it a strong contender in the 3D printing market.

Buy it if...

You want a high-speed 3D printer The delta kinematics allow for faster print speeds without sacrificing quality.

Ease of use is important to you The touchscreen interface and auto-leveling system make the S1 very user-friendly.

Don't buy it if...

It would help if you had multifilament printing The S1 currently supports only single-filament printing.

Space is limited The delta design requires more vertical space compared to other configurations.

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what is travel speed in 3d printing

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Design, Fabrication of 3D Printer and Analysis of 3D Printing Materials

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  • Shoukat Ali Noonari, A Review Paper on 3D Printing Technology: Processes, Materials, Applications and its Potential Application Opportunities and Challenges Faced in Pakistan , Technical Journal: Vol 28 No 04 (2023): Technical Journal


  1. The Best 3D Printing Speed Settings For Every Filament

    what is travel speed in 3d printing

  2. 3D Printing Speed; How to print faster and save time!

    what is travel speed in 3d printing

  3. What is Travel Speed in the 3D Slicing Software

    what is travel speed in 3d printing

  4. 5 Ways to Prevent Stringing in 3D Printing

    what is travel speed in 3d printing

  5. 3D print speed: What it is and why it matters

    what is travel speed in 3d printing

  6. The Best 3D Print Speed Settings for PLA & More

    what is travel speed in 3d printing


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  1. The Best 3D Print Speed Settings for PLA & More

    The Best 3D Print Speed Settings for PLA & More. by Hironori Kondo, Mônica Laiolti dos Santos. Updated Mar 2, 2024. Tuning your PLA print speed can be tricky. Learn how to find the perfect print speed settings for PLA and more materials! Advertisement. Tuning your PLA print speed can be tricky. Learn how to find the perfect print speed ...

  2. The Best 3D Printing Speed Settings For Every Filament

    20-40 mm/s. Nylon. 25-50 mm/s. FDM filaments and their best print speeds. To further complicate matters, different 3D printers have their own hardware and quirks, and this even extends to different brands of the same type of filament, given that formulations and additives can drastically alter the speed requirements.

  3. 3D Printer Print Speed Calculation: How to find the optimal speed for

    Taking this into account, it's very important to choose the right speed and flow to get the same output. For example, doubling the flow from 5 mm 3 /s to 10mm 3 /s can reduce flow by around 3%. Same case with a 0.60mm nozzle will reduce flow by 2%, and less than 1% with a 1.20mm nozzle.

  4. 3D Printing Speeds: 10 Speed Settings Tips To Print Faster

    When using PLA, you can start in the 40-60 mm/s range. It will give a good balance of print quality and speed. However, depending on your 3D printer type, stability and set-up, you can increase the speed up to 100 mm/s. Some achieved great results at a higher speed, but the quality of your printer matters too.

  5. What is the Best Print Speed for 3D Printing? Perfect Settings

    A good print speed for PLA usually falls in the 40-60 mm/s range, giving a good balance of print quality and speed. Depending on your 3D printer type, stability, and set up, you can reach speeds above 100 mm/s easily. Delta 3D printers are going to allow for higher speeds compared to Cartesian.

  6. 3D Print Speed Settings: Balancing Quality and Efficiency

    You should set a high travel speed to reduce print time and the risk of stringing between distant points. I recommend a 150-200 mm/s travel speed for most bed slingers like the Ender 3 and 500 mm/s for CoreXY 3D printers like the Bambu Lab Carbon X1. A high travel speed prevents the filament from oozing out of the extruder during non-printer ...

  7. Cura Settings Ultimate Guide

    Travel Speed. The Travel Speed controls the printhead's speed when it isn't extruding material. For example, if the printer is done printing one section and wants to move to another, it moves at the Travel Speed. The default Travel Speed in Cura is 150mm/s. It remains at 150mm/s until the Print Speed reaches 60mm/s.

  8. 3D Printer Speed

    The printing speed of 3D printers is an important criterion when buying a 3D printer. But also when optimizing and improving an existing 3D printer, the printing speed has a great influence on the quality and the printing time of an object. ... Increasing the travel speed reduces the printing time. In this case, the travel speed is often more ...

  9. 3D Printer Retraction Settings 101: Speed & Distance

    3D Printer Retraction Settings 101: Speed & Distance. Retraction is one of the most useful slicer settings for a 3D printer. It controls how much filament is pulled back after a travel move, and it's the #1 setting for eliminating retraction and over-extrusion on 3D prints. There are a few different retraction settings worth taking a look at ...

  10. Best 3D Printing Speed Settings For PLA, PETG, ABS & More

    The best 3D printing speed for PLA and ABS is in the 45-70 mm/s range. And, if you're printing PETG, 40-50 mm/s should work well, yielding high-quality prints with minimal stringing. ... Travel Speed. Next, the travel speed dictates how fast the printhead moves during travel or non-extrusion moves. For example, if you were printing two models ...

  11. How to Get the Perfect Jerk & Acceleration Setting

    For your Jerk setting you should try 7mm/s and see how it goes. Jerk X & Y should be at 7. Acceleration for X, Y, Z should be set to 700. You can go directly into your menu on your printer, select the control setting, then 'motion' you should see your acceleration and jerk settings. Vx - 7.

  12. PLA Print Speed: Best Print Speed Settings and More

    Otherwise known as default printing speed or overall printing speed, this is the most important setting for determining your 3D printer speed and achieving faster prints. Usually defined in mm/s, the print speed setting tells the printhead how quickly it should move along the X and Y axes while it is depositing material.

  13. Cura settings in 5 minutes or less!

    Learn how to utilize Cura's travel speed settings, and what they entail and contain.

  14. 3D Print Speed vs Quality; Best Settings!

    To get the optimal travel speed settings for your printer download this ... As I said previously, the maximum speed that a 3D printer can achieve depends on the quality of its components. For most common consumer-grade FDM printers the average print speed is around 40mm/s to 80mm/s while some better ones are able to achieve 100mm/s to 150mm/s.

  15. 3D Printing Speed: How to get the Best setting for PLA

    Travel Speed. Travel speed is the speed rate of the 3D printer's print head when it is not extruding plastic. Increasing the travel speed can drastically reduce the duration used in printing. But too much increase of the travel speed can result in a misaligned layer of the model or print failure. Retraction speed

  16. Speeds and accelerations in 3D printing

    Straight movements on the axes consist of three stages: Acceleration from change of direction speed to maximum speed. Travelling at constant maximum speed. Deceleration up to change of direction speed. This is why there are three parameters that define the velocities and accelerations in the movement of a FFF 3D printer for each of the 4 axes ...

  17. Travel Speed for detailed pieces? : r/3Dprinting

    This (BB-8's Radar Eye) is a highly detailed object I have to print for my project.. In order to get a high quality print, I'm setting up Cura 15.04.5 with the settings provided in a Word Document (" [DOC] 3D Printing in the NIMBUS Lab") published by NIMBUS Lab.. I'm almost done, but there is a small thing I'm not sure I got right when it comes to the Travel Speed.

  18. 3D Printer Retraction Speed

    3D Printer Retraction Speed - Simply Explained. by Jackson O'Connell. Updated May 28, 2023. Pulling filament back into the hot end is a useful function but tricky to master. Read on to learn all about 3D printer retraction! Advertisement. Pulling filament back into the hot end is a useful function but tricky to master.

  19. difference between print speed and travel speed ...

    Print speed is the speed the head moves during extruding plastic, travel speed is the speed when moving from one place to another without printing. The default travelspeed of 150mm/s is quite low for an UM, and you can use 250mm/s for travel speed.

  20. 3D printing speed

    3D printing speed refers to only the build stage, a subcomponent of the entire 3D printing process. However, the entire process spans from pre-processing to post-processing stages. The time required for printing a completed part from a data file (.stl or .obj) is calculated as the sum of time for the following stages: The pre-processing stage, which spans the preparation process of both part ...

  21. You can save a lot of time by maximizing your travel speeds ...

    Used to do this on my delta, but travel speeds still affect print quality. My travel speed is pretty low right now (85 or so) so I might boost it up to 100... acceleration is low as well. ... When I started in 3d printing, my goal was to print as fast as possible without loosing steps. It looked very impressive while it printed. 3 years later ...

  22. Vyper owners, what speed do you print on? : r/anycubic

    The latest version of Cura has profiles for the Vyper which set the speed at 60mm/s. The Vyper claims to print 80-100mm/s. I've tested the same print at 60 and at 100 and found minimal differences. Of course this depends on what is being printed. Fairly new to 3D printing, so my question to you guys is, what speed settings do you use? 8.

  23. What is Travel Speed in the 3D Slicing Software

    Travel speed is a moving speed of the print head during non-printing status, which means the print head moves without squeezing the printing material out from the nozzle. If travel speed is too slow, it may lead to stringing issue found on the printout. In general, we can set the travel speed at 80mm/s, and if stringing problem is found, we can ...

  24. Creality Ender-3 V3 3D printer review

    The original Ender-3 machine was an affordable option for early adopters of 3D printing who wanted decent print quality. The surprising thing is that this machine was only released in 2018, and ...

  25. Elegoo Mars 5 Ultra

    Elegoo Mars 5 Ultra offers blazing speed at 150mm/h, AI camera & auto leveling with amazing precision, quite the best affordable resin 3D printer for beginners.

  26. Cura limits retraction speed, don't know where

    The print speed/acceleration values have nothing to do with retraction - the retraction settings are in the Travel section. There's a plugin available (just click Marketplace at the top right) called "AutoTowers Generator" with some preset towers (or with a teeny bit of hassle you can get it to make custom ones) which automates the process completely, all you have to do is pick the tower you ...

  27. Metal 3D printing: The manufacturing & design guide

    The speed of metal 3D printing. Independent of the process, a metal 3D printed part requires at least 48 hours and an average of 5 days to manufacture and finish. About 50% of the total production time is allocated to printing. This, of course, depends on the volume of the part and the need for support structures.

  28. Prusa Pro HT90 is here: The Only 3D Printer an Engineer Needs

    Our high-speed industrial Prusa Pro HT90 3D printer is now available and is shipping to our first customers! With an active heated chamber (up to 90°C), dual...

  29. Flsun S1 3D printer review

    The Flsun S1 is a delta 3D printer, a design that in the past has been known for speed and precision, although the mechanics are somewhat complicated, which has made servicing for most a little ...

  30. Design, Fabrication of 3D Printer and Analysis of 3D Printing Materials

    The fundamental idea behind 3D printing is to increase the printer's speed in comparison to a standard 3D printer by using the Fused Deposition Modeling process. Problem highlighted in literature that the operating speed of 3D printers tends to decrease over time due to exposure to high temperatures and slow cooling of the polymer material ...