Optimizing prints with very high resolution or those very large necessarily takes a long time. In many cases, however, you can intervene to drastically reduce the duration trying to intervene where possible, that is in the filling (infill), on the speed, in the thickness of the upper, lower and contour perimeters. But if I do all the printing with an extremely low infill I will have decreased the speed but the superior state in many objects will be heavily affected because the filament will face many areas in the vacuum.
We could do that by increasing the upper layers, but then the time would be extended accordingly. Increasing the overall speed will result in faster printing but we will have to deal with an extremely low quality. Simplify 3D offers us a very advantageous and flexible solution by making us divide the printing process into sectors. These will be totally separated from each other in terms of settings but are part of a single print. We won’t notice anything from the outside, but the time savings will be substantial. Let’s see the steps together.
The normal printing process
Let’s say we want to print this voluminous tool holder found on Thigiverse, with rather normal printing parameters, we would find ourselves with a resulting time of about 18 hours and a satisfactory quality
- Layer Height 0.2mm
- Infill 10%
- Speed 40mm/sec
- 2 Layer of perimeters
Optimizing prints with Simplify3D: Let’s divide printing in steps
The first step is to go to the TOOLS menu and select GUIDED CREATION OF VARIABLE SETTINGS. From here we will open a window where we have to choose the “cuts” we want to make. We start from the first layer from the bottom and then where our printing will start. Moving the cursor we decide, in this case, a height of 3mm and click on Add Place. By doing this we are telling the slicer to keep the print settings unchanged from zero to 3mm. With the same procedure we bring the cursor on a height of about 42mm and click on Add Place. Let’s give the ok on Split Process and we can notice that in the lower left corner of the processes list we will find two more entries. So for the moment we have done nothing but tell Simplify where we want our setting changes.
Optimizing prints with Simplify3D: 1° Process Settings
Let’s double click on Process 1-1 where we will set layer height of 0,20mm, an infill at 10% and a speed of 40mm/sec. (our initial values).
Out of pure curiosity we can go and look in the Advanced cheda where we will notice that in the top left there will be a tick in the Stop printing box at this height 3mm. This will mean that our press will start with these parameters and will keep them up to the height we set of 3mm.
Optimizing prints with Simplify3D: 2° Process Settings
The second process, in our case, will be the one where we need to intervene most to reduce the printing time. first of all we can lower the filling to 3% increasing the layer height to 0.28mm and finally we can increase the speed to 70mm/sec. I do not change the number of perimeters because this object does not need to be used.
Going to peek into the Advanced tab in this case we will notice that both the start and end of the process box will be checked, in fact we want to keep these settings between 3mm and 41.66mm.
Optimizing prints with Simplify3D: 3° Process Settings
The settings of the 3rd process remain the same as those of the first one just to make sure that the print closes so as not to have holes or areas with defects. In the Advanced tab we can see that the process starts right where the previous one ended.
Optimizing prints with Simplify3D: Let’s start slicing
Now let’s analyze the results of our work. If we remember well before this procedure we had a printing time of 17h 53min. As you can see the filling varies in density.
Of course, although Cura has this function we have also increased the speed and height of the layers only in a specific interval, with the goal of a total time of 9h 33min.
Obviously the results will be variable depending on the object, the speed and the printer in use. All this should be taken as a starting point to customize the prints from time to time with a considerable saving in terms of time and filament used.