How Long Does It Take To 3D Print?

As 3D printing becomes more accessible and affordable, it’s no surprise that more people are getting interested in this innovative technology. From hobbyists to professionals, 3D printing has become a go-to solution for creating a wide variety of objects, from toys to medical implants. But how long does it take to 3D print?

The answer to this question is not straightforward, as there are many factors that can affect the printing time. In this article, we will explore the various factors that impact 3D printing time and provide actionable insights to help you optimize your printing process.

Object Complexity

The complexity of the object being printed is the most significant factor that affects printing time. Objects with intricate details and complex geometries take longer to print than simpler designs. This is because the printer has to make more passes and adjust its nozzle more frequently to achieve the desired shape and details.

To reduce printing time, consider simplifying the design by removing unnecessary details and simplifying the geometry. Also, try to optimize the orientation of the object to minimize the number of supports needed.

Layer Height

The layer height is the thickness of each layer printed by the 3D printer. The smaller the layer height, the more layers are needed to create the object, which increases the printing time. However, smaller layer heights can result in a smoother and more accurate print, especially for objects with curved or angled surfaces.

To balance print quality and printing time, consider using a larger layer height for larger objects with less intricate details and a smaller layer height for smaller objects with more intricate details.

Printing Speed

The printing speed is the speed at which the 3D printer moves its nozzle during the printing process. The higher the printing speed, the faster the printing process. However, faster printing speeds can result in lower print quality, especially for objects with intricate details.

To optimize printing speed, experiment with different speeds and observe the quality of the print. Also, make sure that your printer is capable of handling high speeds without compromising print quality.

Filament Type

The type of filament used in 3D printing can also affect the printing time. Some filaments, such as ABS, require higher temperatures and longer cooling times, which can increase printing time. On the other hand, PLA filaments have a lower melting point and require less cooling time, which can reduce printing time.

To optimize printing time, choose a filament that is suitable for the object you want to print and that is compatible with your printer’s specifications.

Printer Settings

Finally, the printer settings you choose can also affect printing time. For example, using a higher infill percentage (the amount of material used to fill the interior of the object) can increase printing time but also improve the strength of the object.

To optimize printer settings, consider experimenting with different settings and observing the effect on printing time and print quality.


The time it takes to 3D print an object depends on various factors, including object complexity, layer height, printing speed, filament type, and printer settings. By optimizing these factors, you can significantly reduce printing time and achieve high-quality prints.

As with any new technology, 3D printing requires some experimentation and patience to achieve the desired results. With the insights provided in this article, you are now better equipped to optimize your 3D printing process and create objects with precision and efficiency.