Fast prototyping is possible with a 3D printer. However, sometimes a higher 3D printing speed is preferred. Our helpdesk often receive the question whether it is possible to increase the 3D printing speed. This is possible, but it may affect the quality of the 3D print. In this blog, you will find 5 ways to increase your 3D printing speed, but also the effects that it can have on the final product.
1. Customize default 3D printing speed
The most common way is to adjust the print speed in the settings of your slicing software. You can adjust the speed to your wish. During the development of the dddrop EVO Twin, the control of the speed of the print head was an important starting point. This resulted in perfect acceleration and deceleration of the print head, which assures neat 3D-printmodels and efficiency in print speed. The overall print speed can be increased significantly without doing any prejudice to the quality of the 3D-model, even the ones with sharp corners. But, if you have a straightforward product,you can increase your 3D printing speed even more.
2. Infill density and wall thickness
Solid prints consist of thicker and stronger outliners and are filled in with honeycomb structure. If you do not use this structure, the 3D print will take a longer time before it is finished. However, if you already use an infill, you still have some options to increase your 3D printing speed. For example: try to reduce your infill even more, but keep in mind that the ratio between the wall thickness and infill remains good. This will prevent 3D models from collapsing. If you would like to try this, please contact our helpdesk (+31 314-377050) for more information. NOTE: a product with a lower infill density and smaller wall thickness is more vulnerable. Therefore we recommend to use this technique only with products where strength is not an important factor. For example: display models / prototyping. Read more about creating a strong infill.
3. Using a larger nozzle and bigger layer height
Bigger layer height will reduce print time. If accuracy does not matter, you can choose for printing with a larger nozzle and maximum layer height. The maximum layer height is 75% of the nozzle diameter. This means that with a 0.8mm nozzle you can build a layer of 0.6mm. Herewith the layers become thinner, which has an effect on the firmness of the product. Also, printing with thicker layers mean more loss of details. dddrop offers the right nozzle for every job: super detailed or super-fast. You can choose from the print heads: 0,2 – 0,4 (standard) – 0,6 – 0,8 – 1,0mm.
4. Producing in the same batch
Sometimes we receive the question: “I would like to have this product finished today, because then I can start a new print before I go home”. In this case, we advise you to print both products in the same batch. Both products are finished the next morning. However, this is only possible when both products are small enough and fit on the print bed. To perform this step, use the function center and arrange in your slicing software. Producing in the same batch provides more convenience and saves time. Resetting and heating your printer is no longer necessary. Keep in mind that you use the same filaments for both products to prevent heat problems. Thus, this option is an indirect way to increase your 3D printing speed.
5. One material, two purposes
The dddrop EVO Twin 3D printer has 2 independent print heads. Therefore the printer is able to print multi-colour and multi-material. This means you can print a model of PLA and use soluble support material. However, the printer has to switch between 2 materials. Certainly when in each layer 2 colours are processed, it will take a lot of time. A solution to increase indirectly your 3D printing speed is to use 1 material for both purposes, so using PLA material as the main material as well as support material. This is a function in your slicing software. The PLA support material will be printed with a lower infill density, so afterwards it is easier to remove. In this way the printer doesn’t have to switch between 2 materials and this will save you a lot of printing time. More about printing with support material you will read here.
Conclusion: increasing your 3D printing speed has an effect on your final product. It’s a matter of priorities. Do you want to save time, minimize costs or increase quality?
The dddrop smart module has many advantages that can be applied for remote work situations. The module gives full control of the 3D printing process via a mobile and desktop application, provides a live feed via the 3D printer’s built-in camera with the option to record the feed and view it later, and offers print process statue review via email.
3D printing large parts can take many hours. With the dddrop smart module, you can consistently check the progress of the 3D printer without having to stay near it. Checking the 3D print online means that you don’t have to physically check the machine until the end of the printing process.
So, how does it work?
First, download the mobile app or go to your web portal.
For mobile devices – download the dddrop-app from the Playstore
Printing with an FDM 3D printer offers more and more possibilities. In the past, PLA filament was by far the most widely used material, because it is cheap and very easy to print. Now we see the use of other types of filament increasing in the market. Due to the ease with which we can 3D print models and parts ourselves, there are increasing demands on the material. The models are used for more and more applications, for example small series of products or machine parts. In short, the 3D printer market is developing rapidly and there are now various types of filament (printing material) on the market, so the right material can be used for each application. The dddrop 3D printers are specially developed with an open system and offer complete freedom of choice in printing material. This means that you are not only free to choose your supplier, but also the type of material you want to print. The closed housing and heated print bed make it possible to create models from all kinds of materials. In this article we highlight the flexible filament TPU.
Flex filament is a collective name for all the flexible filament on the market. These filaments are also known by the name TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). There are different types of TPE, of which thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is the most commonly used among 3D printer filaments. As the name suggests, this material is elastic in nature, so the plastic can be easily and extensively stretched and bent before breaking. In addition, it has a high temperature resistance and thus can be used in high temperature environments. The material is best described as the perfect balance between hard plastic and silicone. It is a combination of the beneficial properties of both materials, making TPU flexible, but dimensionally stable, unbreakable, dust resistant and barely scratchable. In addition, this material can be completely transparent.
TPU filament is easy to print
Of the flexible materials, TPU is the easiest to print, because it is relatively a hard flex filament. The “softer” the flex filament, the harder it is to print. Using a special soft spring to guide the filament to the print head, the right print settings and a clean nozzle, it is easy to print a flexible product with TPU.
Applications of TPU filament
TPU is used for shoe soles, for instance, but also for pads or other shock-absorbing applications. We also see many applications for closing off certain sections by means of, for example, cover rings
A frequently asked question is whether it is possible to print with rubber. Printing with rubber is not possible, but TPU or other flex filaments can be used for rubber-like solutions.
In the ever-evolving domain of additive manufacturing, the innovation of carbon fiber filaments has marked a significant milestone, paving the way for many industrial applications. Utilized in a carbon fiber 3D printer, this specialized filament embodies a unique blend of carbon fibers and thermoplastic materials, tailored meticulously for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology. When extruded through a carbon fiber 3D printer, the filament melds into a solid structure, embedding the carbon fibers within, thereby imparting a remarkable strength-to-weight ratio to the printed parts. This distinct characteristic of carbon fiber 3D printing is a linchpin in applications where both durability and weight are critical determinants. The ensuing sections delve into the intricacies of PET-G Carbon, the ease of printing with this material, and a deeper exploration of its applications across various industries.
Advantages of PET-G Carbon
In the realm of FDM 3D printing, PLA (Polylactic Acid) emerges as a well-known and frequently utilized printing material, primarily due to its cost-effectiveness and relatively simple usability in 3D printing endeavors. However, PLA exhibits certain limitations, notably its lackluster heat resistance, which could pose challenges in specific applications. Fortunately, the continuous innovation in 3D printing materials has birthed a plethora of options, catering to a wide array of application needs.
Among the notable materials is PET-G Carbon, which stands as a robust contender in the lineup of 3D printing materials. The dddrop 3D printers, in particular, have been meticulously engineered to offer a broad spectrum of material choices, thanks to the dddrop open filament policy. This policy transcends the mere freedom of selecting any filament supplier; it extends to the liberty of choosing any material, thereby enriching the 3D printing experience. The encapsulated casing with temperature control, coupled with a heated printer bed, empowers the creation of models from a multitude of materials, thus expanding the horizons of what can be achieved with 3D printing.
In this segment, the spotlight is cast on PET-G Carbon, exploring its core attributes and the advantages it brings to the table. The fusion of carbon fibers with the base material PET-G culminates in a filament endowed with enhanced qualities. Carbon fiber, known for its remarkable strength, imbues the filament with heightened sturdiness and rigidity. This augmentation in hardness significantly mitigates the risk of scratches or other forms of damage when a 3D printed model interacts with other objects. However, it’s crucial to note that the increased hardness makes the material more susceptible to breakage upon impact compared to regular PET-G filament.
PET-G, in its pristine form without the carbon fibers, is famously recognized in the form of PET-bottles used for housing sodas. This form of PET-G exudes a shiny appearance; however, the infusion of carbon fiber alters its aesthetic to a matte and anthracite hue, which could be a desirable trait for certain applications.
In the subsequent sections, the ease of printing with PET-G Carbon and its alternative for larger models, PA Carbon, will be explored further, diving into the practical aspects of using these materials in a carbon fiber 3D printer.
Understanding Carbon Filament
Carbon filament, specifically carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, is at the heart of the enhanced performance characteristics seen in certain 3D printing materials. In the case of carbon filled filament, tiny fibers are infused into the base material, in this instance, PET-G, to elevate the inherent qualities of the material. Carbon fibers are renowned for their outstanding strength, which renders it considerably more robust and rigid when incorporated into the filament.
Integrating carbon fibers does more than enhance the strength; it also significantly reduces the risk of scratching or other forms of damage when a 3D printed model interacts with other objects. This is particularly beneficial in applications where the model may be subject to physical contact or abrasion. However, it’s essential to note that while the hardness increases, the material is more prone to breaking when dropped than regular PET-G filaments. This trade-off needs to be considered based on the specific use case and the environment in which the printed object will be used.
The aesthetic transformation that accompanies the addition of carbon fiber is also noteworthy. Unlike the shiny appearance of traditional PET-G, the carbon-filled variant takes on a matte and anthracite-colored finish, which might be preferable for applications seeking a sleek, professional look.
The mechanism behind incorporating carbon fibers into the filament is a fine-tuned process that ensures even distribution of the fibers within the material, thus ensuring consistent properties throughout the printed model. The carbon fibers are not merely surface additives; they become an integral part of the material structure, significantly enhancing its performance metrics.
Ease of Printing with PET-G Carbon
Transitioning to a specialized filament like PET-G Carbon comes with its share of considerations, yet, the learning curve is not steep, making it a viable option for a range of users. One of the appealing aspects of printing with PET-G Carbon is that the printer settings required are largely similar to those used for standard PET-G filament. This familiarity in settings simplifies the transition and allows users to leverage their existing knowledge while exploring the enhanced capabilities of PET-G Carbon.
The working temperature for PET-G Carbon stands at 80°C, a parameter that ensures the material does not warp, thereby aiding in the retention of the shape of the printed models. This is a significant advantage, especially in applications where dimensional accuracy and structural integrity are crucial. The non-warping characteristic also reduces the likelihood of printing failures, saving both time and material resources.
Despite the ease of printing, it’s important to acknowledge that PET-G Carbon is an abrasive material. The embedded carbon fibers, while enhancing strength, also increase the wear on the brass nozzle of the printer. This is a common challenge faced when printing with abrasive materials and may necessitate the use of a hardened or stainless steel nozzle to mitigate the wear and prolong the lifespan of the printer nozzle.
The journey of exploring PET-G Carbon accentuates the versatility and growth within the 3D printing material spectrum, highlighting the potential to achieve strong, durable, and aesthetically pleasing prints with relative ease. As we transition to discussing PA Carbon in the ensuing section, the narrative continues on the path of unveiling the robust material options available for a carbon fiber 3D printer, each with its unique set of advantages and considerations.
When the objective is to print larger models, the properties of PET-G Carbon may fall short in meeting certain requirements. In such scenarios, PA Carbon emerges as a viable alternative that holds promise for delivering the desired performance characteristics. The PA in PA Carbon refers to polyamide, a type of polymer that is known for its excellent mechanical and thermal properties.
One of the prominent PA Carbon filaments is Novamid® ID 1030 CF10 from DSM, which is a concoction of PA 6/66 along with carbon fiber. The incorporation of carbon fiber into the polyamide matrix elevates the strength, stiffness, and hardness of the filament, making it a more suitable candidate for larger models. Furthermore, the carbon fiber infusion results in a filament that is lighter and offers commendable resistance to collision and heat, properties that are often requisite in larger 3D printed models.
The heat resistance is particularly noteworthy as Novamid® ID 1030 CF10 can withstand high temperatures without distorting, a feature that is paramount in applications where the printed parts may be exposed to elevated temperatures.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the journey of printing with PA Carbon, particularly Novamid® ID 1030 CF10, comes with its share of challenges owing to its high-tech nature. Unlike PET-G Carbon, PA filament requires a more refined set of print settings to achieve optimal results. This necessitates a deeper understanding and perhaps a more experienced hand at managing the print parameters to ensure successful prints.
The team at dddrop has conducted extensive testing to derive the correct print settings for Novamid® ID 1030 CF10, easing the path for users. The use of Magigoo PA, for instance, is recommended for perfect adhesion to the 3D printer bed, ensuring that the prints remain stable throughout the printing process.
In a nutshell, PA Carbon, and specifically Novamid® ID 1030 CF10, opens the doors to printing larger carbon models with a carbon fiber 3D printer. While it may demand a higher level of expertise and attention to print settings, the payoff in terms of strength, heat resistance, and size capabilities is significant. Through the lens of PA Carbon, we continue to explore the expansive realm of carbon fiber 3D printing, each material bringing its unique set of advantages to the fore, and catering to a broad spectrum of application needs.
Applications of Carbon Fiber 3D Printing
The use of carbon fibers in 3D printing expands its applications due to its strength and reduced weight.The use of carbon-filled filaments, such as PET-G Carbon and PA Carbon, opens up a world of possibilities in fields where these characteristics are crucial.
One of the most vibrant arenas where carbon fiber 3D printing shines is in the construction of drones. The strength-to-weight ratio is crucial for drone components, as it directly impacts the flight efficiency and durability of the drone. Carbon fiber 3D printed parts provide the requisite strength while keeping the weight minimal, thus contributing to enhanced flight times and overall performance.
The quest for lightweight yet strong materials is incessant in the automotive industry. Carbon fiber 3D printing aligns well with this pursuit, offering a means to fabricate robust, lightweight parts capable of withstanding the rigorous conditions inherent in automotive applications. From structural components to aesthetic enhancements, the utilization of carbon fiber filaments adds a new dimension to automotive design and manufacturing.
The prosthetics field also benefits immensely from carbon fiber 3D printing. Creating prosthetic limbs and supports that are both lightweight and strong can significantly enhance the comfort and mobility of individuals who rely on these devices. The customizable nature of 3D printing and the superior properties of carbon fiber filaments pave the way for personalized, durable, and functionally efficient prosthetic solutions.
Exploring carbon fiber 3D printing unveils a world full of potential and new ideas. Through the details of PET-G Carbon and PA Carbon, we’ve seen how carbon fiber 3D printing becomes a strong player in modern manufacturing. By blending carbon fibers with plastic materials using a carbon fiber 3D printer, we open a door where strong materials can also be lightweight. As different industries grow, the need for such materials increases. Carbon fiber 3D printing steps in to meet these needs, showing its worth in various fields like drones, cars, and prosthetics. The dddrop 3D printers show us the beauty of having a variety of material choices, pushing the spirit of innovation in the 3D printing world further. This freedom to choose and experiment with different materials showcases a future where we can tailor materials to specific needs, enhancing performance. Our journey into carbon fiber 3D printing is just a glimpse into what’s possible, setting the foundation for more discoveries in materials and printing technologies. Each layer we print is a step towards a future where the limits of what a carbon fiber 3D printer can do are constantly pushed further. This story of carbon fiber 3D printing shows us the exciting transformations additive manufacturing can bring, inviting us to a future full of endless opportunities.
Exerion Precision Technology: faster validation thanks to 3D printing
Exerion Precision Technology started using 3D printing to be able to present a physical 3D model during their sales pitches. Now, the dddrop filament printer in their office allows the engineers to go even further, like printing bending tools for the press brake. “With these we can bend eight to ten prototypes, which is enough to validate a design,” says Robertjan Ansink, manager engineering at this manufacturer from Ulft, The Netherlands.
Exerion develops machine frames, using a smart sheet metal technology to create them from thin sheets of 0,8 to 1 mm thick. Prior to their clients saying “yes” to a design, they usually present them with a working prototype. This used to require a hefty investment in tools for the press brake, with the possible risk of having to change the design afterwards. “We now use the dddrop 3D printer to partially 3D print these tools. We print the molded part and add it to a universal steel body.” Robertjan Ansink explains. Practice shows that these FDM printed tools are strong enough to bend several products from the thin sheets. Proof enough to validate the design and present a prototype to the client. This delays the investment for the creation of an expensive bending tool to the moment when the design is validated and will require no further adjustments.
More and more applications For Robertjan Ansink, this is a use of the dddrop 3D printer he had not anticipated. However, he notices that as the engineers become more acquainted with the filament printer, they will discover more and more applications. They also make great use of the form freedom that 3D printing offers them. Robertjan Ansink: “Sometimes we’ll need a press brake tool with an opening that’s exactly right for the punching machine. These are expensive tools, so we need to be sure beforehand that the tool will function.” 3D printing and testing of a prototype will give them this certainty. Exerion Precision Technology’s engineers have also started 3D printing parts that are inserted directly into a machine. The housing for a tool used to create threads in sheet parts and put props in is an example of this. Robertjan Ansink: “Back in the days, this would have been a cutter part. Thanks to 3D printing, we can reduce delivery time and costs of the part and integrate multiple parts in one whole, because we adapt the design to the possibilities of 3D printing.” Exerion uses these applications in their own machines, to aid in production. Because the printing of parts is a much quicker process than outsourcing the milling work, the engineers will have more time to make multiple iterations in order to get to the perfect design. “Normally, every iteration costs time and money. The dddrop 3D printer significantly reduces this.” Robertjan Ansink has noticed that this requires a new way of thinking. “It’s not a natural process that happens at the push of a button.”
The manufacturer purchased their 3D printer at the start of 2018. It’s a dddrop Leader Pro; the version with a dddrop Smart Module. This module allows the 3D printer to be operated with a smartphone or tablet, change printer settings in real-time and restart the printer once the filament roll is finished. Designs are created in SOLIDWORKS, the slicer software they use is Simplify3D. Robertjan Ansink particularly likes the ease of use of the 3D printer. “The printer is user friendly; so far we have only used the default settings for the dddrop filament and that works fine. When printing products for our own use we like to experiment, with layer thickness for example. Sometimes we’ll push the printer too far and things go wrong, like when we think we won’t need support material but we really do.” Printing speed is not an issue yet. The timesaving for the engineers who have access to their printed shapes and models right the next morning is so great already that a shorter or longer printing time is of no importance. “And if we need the parts faster, the large printing surface allows us to combine multiple products in one printing job.” Robertjan Ansink believes without a doubt that the role of 3D printing in the manufacturing industry will only increase. “Time will tell how fast this will happen. I don’t see any limits yet, only new possibilities.”
Exerion Precision Technology Exerion Precision Technology in Ulft, The Netherlands, is a system supplier for machine frames built from sheet metal. It specializes in mostly lightweight, but also rigid frames made of thin sheet. Their clients are in the semi-conductor industries and medical industries as well as 2D printing. Exerion Precision Technology does all their engineering in Ulft, where they also create prototypes and small series. They also have a factory in the Czech Republic for the larger volumes and products that require less automation such as assembly work. The really big series, with volumes up to a thousand, are produced in Malaysia. The Dutch manufacturing company also builds the frames for the dddrop 3D printer.