Reducing Print Time

FDM 3D Printing is a slow fabrication methodology, however these custom settings can reduce print time significantly whilst having no noticeable impact on quality.

0.0 When to Use These Settings

These settings are aimed at reducing the print time for long (20+ hour prints). Students should already be aware of how orientation and bed layout will influence print time.

Figure 0.0 - Easily Achieve Significant Print-Time Reductions (Madeleine Thorpe)

0.1 Orientation

Generally, a smaller object footprint will reduce print time. Students should also pay mind to orientation to reduce the support material required.

Figure 0.1 - Object Orientation will change the amount of support material required

0.2 Bed Layout

Reducing the space between objects will also reduce print time. The print-head or extruder of a 3d printer will need to move in-between objects. Reducing the distance the extruder needs to move will reduce the overall print time. Make a judgement call with regards to this setting. If a reduced spacing between objects will result in a singular raft, this will increase the likelihood of warping. Particularly with a long print.

Figure 0.2 - Large spaces in between objects can increase travel, and therefore print time

1.0 Settings Overview

The following settings will result in a reduced print time. The use of the minfill print mode will reduce print time but due to the way that Makerbot resolves 3D infill patterns, this setting fails 99% of the time. Once this feature has been fixed these settings may become redundant. You can download various acceptable print settings to suit your needs here and the following adjustment can be made for speeding up printing time.


Reducing Print Time

Recommended Setting

Print Mode



Infill Density



Support Angle



Support Density



Layer Height (Shell)


0.3 mm

Layer Height (Infill)


0.3 mm

1.1 Infill

  • Reduce infill density to 7%

    • The default infill density for balanced prints is 10%, however it can be reduced to 7% to save print time.

1.2 Layer Heights

  • Increase Shell Layer Height to 0.3 mm

    • The default infill density for balanced prints is 0.2 mm, in theory this change alone will reduce print time by roughly 1/3

  • Double Check that the Infill Layer Height has also changed to 0.3 mm

1.3 Supports

  • Reduce Support Density to 10%

    • Makerbot's default support density of 16% is easy to remove and provides adequate support for overhangs, however a small tweak down to 10% will provide adequate enough support for these objects.

  • Alter the support angle to 65°

2.0 Further Steps

The following steps can also be taken to reduce print time.

2.1 Custom Supports

If the model only requires point supports, custom supports in Meshmixer can also be used to reduce print times: