Dissecting the Reality of ‘High Speed’ 3D Printing: The Need for Standardized Specifications


Inconsistent specifications need to stop [Source: Fabbaloo / D3]

In the perplexing realm of high-speed desktop 3D printing, which firms provide appropriate features and specifications?

As many readers might already be aware, over the past year there has been a surge in the availability of high-speed desktop 3D printers. This has been facilitated by advancements in firmware, which can dynamically compensate for the impacts caused by high-speed operations. Originally debuting in the form of Klipper, these features have been integrated into Marlin, making them accessible to nearly all device manufacturers.

As a direct outcome, several new machines boasting “high-speed” operations have emerged in the marketplace.

The issue stems from a lack of clarity around the term “high speed”.

A number of manufacturers merely optimize their existing devices slightly and label them as “high speed”. Meanwhile, others modify their entire frameworks completely and also refer to them as “high speed”. Some even demand the utilization of “high speed” materials, which too are inconsistently identified.

There are manufacturers that state a print “speed”, or the velocity at which the toolhead can travel while still printing proficiently. However, the term “Proficiently” can be rather nebulous.

This leads to inconsistency as we are uncertain about the layer height at which the speed was measured. For instance, a print with a 0.1mm layer can move extremely quickly, while a print with a 0.4mm layer needs to extrude significantly more material to achieve the same velocity.

Essentially, speed specifications are fundamentally irrelevant.

A more suitable specification could be the volumetric capacity of the extrusion system. The job involving a 0.4mm layer would still fail at the same speed since the extruder is unable to provide sufficient material at higher velocities.

The extrusion system of every FFF desktop 3D printer has a predetermined maximum capacity, which is the volume of material that can be reliably provided per second. As it is easy to see, dealing with a thin layer would be simpler than dealing with a thick one.

I’m advocating for desktop FFF 3D printer manufacturers to provide the volumetric capacity, or the highest flow rate, of their device in addition to other relevant specifications such as build volume, temperature, and so on.

If they did so, then those “high speed” pronouncements could have some context.

But do manufacturers publish this spec? I checked with a number of popular equipment manufacturers and their leading models to see if they do. Here’s what I found:

AnkerMake M5C 35
Anycubic Kobra 2 Pro N/A
Bambu Lab X1C 32
A1 N/A
CraftBot Plus Pro N/A
Creality K1 32
Ender-3 V3 Se N/A
ELEGOO Neptune 4 Plus N/A
FlashForge Adventurer 5M Pro N/A
LulzBot TAZ Pro N/A
Prusa Research MK4 N/A
Raise3D Pro3 HyperFFF N/A
UltiMaker S5 N/A
S7 N/A
Zortrax M300 Plus N/A

The data shows that of the 15 device spec sheets examined online, only three specified the maximum flow rate.

That’s not good, and shows how confusing this industry is at the moment. Note that even within a manufacturer, not all models will specify the maximum flow rate. It may be that some manufacturers do not wish to publish this specification, as their models might fall below their competitors.

Could everyone please publish maximum flow rates so we can compare devices properly?

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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Meet the mastermind behind NozzleNerds.com: GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.


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