It’s no secret that 3D prints take a long time to complete. While they are great for some small projects, others require more printed parts, and the time gets longer and longer. Based on this concern, is it possible to print several pieces simultaneously with my 3D printer?
It is possible to print multiple parts simultaneously with your 3D printer. Still, it is not recommended because if there is any flaw in the design, the problem would be in all the pieces you printed. If the parts are small, multiple printing could be convenient since the waste wouldn’t be much.
This article will discover the possibilities of printing several 3D models simultaneously, the risks involved, and the advantages of mass-producing prints. At the same time, we will be offering tips to reduce the risk of damaging your 3D prints as much as possible. If it is something that interests you, keep reading below.
Printing multiple parts at the same time may decrease the printing time. Still, it increases the risk of the printed models being damaged. In case of anomalies in your project, you would have to reprint the models one by one and use more material. Therefore, the loss would be more significant, both in time and materials.
However, if you print small parts, the probability of damage is lower, and the printing time would be better used. Also, the pieces would simultaneously have more time to dry before curing.
For larger pieces, a good option would be to print sequentially. The difference between sequential and simultaneous printing is that sequential printing is one piece first and then the other until you meet the quantity you want, instead of printing multiple parts at the same time.
It is also possible to print different models in one print. For this, each model to be printed must be within the measurements of the printing platform. That is, if your platform measures 25 inches by 25 inches, your designs should not exceed those margins on the template.
In this way, we can save machinery time and effort. Also, we would allow a little more time for the curing process.
It is essential that at the moment you decide to print different models, the required settings are the same for each part. Suppose you are going to make three parts in various sizes. In that case, if one needs more exposure than another, it can cause fragility when the project is finished printing, and maybe you would have to adjust the settings and start over with the part that does not have the best quality, wasting time and resources. For that, it is better to plan your print from the very beginning and save time.
Although printing several pieces at the same time can be a very long process, it is not advisable to neglect the prints, as the chances of failure increase with this technique. You don’t need to stay and watch the entire printing process. However, you should check every hour or a couple of hours to confirm that everything is in order, instead of leaving it to the last minute. This oversight will lead to not fixing any errors that may present in the process.
Printing multiple objects at once saves the time we spent cleaning the printing platform and preparing the next batch of models to print when we do multiple images. Therefore, if they are complicated impressions, it is better to care more about cleaning the base and setting again.
Actual Print Time Results
Here is a table showing the print times, and filament usage, for a model printed X number of times. The objects were auto placed on the build plate using the “Arrange All Models” function to minimize travel time.
|Number of Object||Print Time||Est. Filament Used||Faster Print Time|
|1||7 Hours 19 Minutes||54g||N/A|
|2||14 Hours 31 Minutes||107g||Yes|
|3||21 Hours 42 Minutes||161g||Yes|
|5||1 Day 12 Hours 17 Minutes||268g||Yes|
Results may vary based on the actual model being printed, but as you can see from the data above, printing more than one object at a time did save some time. That is assuming the prints were successful. If something went wrong mid-print, you would lose a lot more time a filament.
Nowadays, we live in a highly competitive market. It is necessary to be updated with the different trends, techniques, and methods to ensure the company’s success in which you work. Therefore, some factors such as price, time, and quality are necessary to consider when launching a product on the market. These factors are the added values that will differentiate you from the competition.
In the manufacturing industry, 3D printing makes a huge difference in such positioning. Once tested with different designs and mastered the procedure, the multi-impression technique would save industries a lot of time. But printers would not only serve to print finished products. They can also make tools that would facilitate the work, such as molds, for example.
However, it is advisable to invest in good machinery and tools that can help and, at the same time, speed up the curing process of the prints. If you decide to print on a large scale, be sure to consider the other factors that will go into this activity to ensure the quality of all the pieces you produce.
While there is a chance that prints will fail with the multiple or sequential printing technique, there are some tips that can reduce the risk of errors depending on the method you prefer to use.
- Sequential printing method.
The sequential printing method is a safer technique for producing large-scale prints. The first step to take into account is to make sure that the models require the same configuration. Then, take into account the size of the base platform when capturing the designs. And lastly, measuring each design before starting the impression at an adequate distance for the procedure of the prints does not affect the models already made.
- Multiple printing method.
The multiple printing method is perfect for printing small and short parts. Avoid long printing pieces that take up a lot of space, are time-consuming, or are too complicated.
However, some tips are applicable for both printing techniques:
- Adhesion of the first layer of the print is essential for the development of the complete pattern. Without good adhesion to the base, the project could move out of place and cause printing errors.
- Prevent your filament from tangling. Tangles can happen accidentally when saving the material if we are not careful. If our filament is knotted, it will cause an unpleasant finish instead of a smooth one.
- Take your time to set up, clean, and assemble your 3D printer. Sometimes, we miss basic details that should be considered before starting to print because of our speed.
- Check your impressions occasionally when doing them. You can avoid wasting time and material by detecting a failure early and restarting printing before it is complete. A good way not to forget this step is to put timers every couple of hours to let you know that it is time to review the project.
- Give maintenance to your printer. Make sure to check the status of the machine before starting any project. Check the cables, straps, platform, fans, and heaters so that everything is in perfect condition.
- Inform yourself before buying your 3D printer. Be clear about the use you want to give the printer and the projects you want to carry out in it. Look for a machine and materials that go according to these objectives. It is better to make a lasting investment than to spend money for the thrill of the moment.
- Although it is not direct advice to improve printing, always remember to keep your safety gear in place when handling projects. Most of the expendable materials used by 3D printers are toxic to health and, in the long term, can cause illness and allergies if you do not take precautions in time.
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Yes, you can save time and print several models at the same time or sequentially. However, make sure you take the correct precautions before you start printing in bulk, as you could damage multiple models at once instead of saving time.
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