10 suggestions for saving filament, cash and surroundings

We’ve already proven you a couple of recommendations on easy methods to use each final meter of filament. For instance, not way back, we ran a contest on Printables.com, the place you uploaded nice initiatives utilizing the final 5 (or much less) meters of filament. We predict that this subject is stuffed with potential so we determined to compile an inventory of a number of helpful tricks to save materials (and cash) that you just is perhaps focused on. It is sensible that among the following examples will probably be utilized in very particular methods but it surely’s nonetheless good to maintain them in thoughts to avoid wasting the surroundings and your pockets.

1. PrusaSlicer settings

PrusaSlicer is a strong instrument for printing each visible and technical components. We positively advocate studying easy methods to use Knowledgeable mode – with it you must be capable to print each great-looking and useful components with minimal errors. Anyway, we don’t need to overwhelm you, so we’ll share the necessities of saving filament when printing visible components. First, go to print settings, scale back the variety of backside layers and select infill that saves materials. PrusaSlicer 2.5.0. (and newer) has Lightning infill which is by far the perfect sort of material-saving infill. When you don’t like this sort, there are others that work virtually in addition to the lightning infill – help cubic, for instance. Remember the fact that each of those infills are appropriate for visible fashions solely – technical components want stronger inside help. And bear in mind that saving infill, usually, could result in print failure. Printing some constructions (or supplies) could trigger materials build-up that will get in the best way of the nozzle. When you print giant and sophisticated fashions, don’t lower infill at any value, you don’t need the print to fail in half.

The lightning infill could not look good but it surely saves a number of materials

2. Attempt printing with out helps

Print helps mixed with advanced fashions considerably lower print velocity and eat a number of materials. Many 3D fashions could be simply printed with out helps by rotating them the correct means or slicing them in two (or extra components) in PrusaSlicer. A mannequin lower in half could be simply glued collectively and visual seams will disappear with postprocessing. In spite of everything, loads of visible fashions are being sanded and painted anyway so masking any seams isn’t going so as to add a lot onerous work to it. However for those who nonetheless insist on printing the mannequin in a single piece, we recommend utilizing the paint on helps operate in PrusaSlicer. This highly effective instrument enables you to make helps solely the place it’s actually wanted.

An instance of saving filament (and time) by spinning and slicing the mannequin

3. Print a removable print helps

This cool trick we’ve already coated in considered one of our earlier articles makes use of the colour change (pause print) operate to offer you an choice to insert reusable print helps. This is perhaps helpful for printing giant portions of fashions with overhangs again and again. You merely print a help construction with one other materials and set a pause print operate proper earlier than printing the overhangs. Then, you add the construction to the mannequin. However bear in mind that for those who print the help construction with the identical materials, it would adhere an excessive amount of to the mannequin and also you received’t be capable to take away it. We propose combining powerful filaments with versatile helps (and vice versa) with a layer of stick glue.

Inserted PLA help construction into versatile filament print

4. Don’t waste filament on ineffective stuff

Sure, you’re studying it proper. Proudly owning a 3D printer at residence ought to include some duties. Considered one of them is resisting the temptation to print each silly little factor that’s obtainable on-line. And but, virtually everyone prints one thing ineffective sometimes. This leads us to a easy query you could possibly maybe ask your self earlier than each print – is that this actually one thing I want or need a lot? Now, we don’t need to pose as an ethical authority right here, particularly once we additionally prefer to print stuff only for plain outdated enjoyable sometimes. Then again, there’s a transparent line between “Oh, this can be a bust of my favourite character, I would like it!” and “I haven’t printed something in two days. I. MUST. PRINT.SOMETHING.” It will be a disgrace in case your 3D printer was an costly rubbish generator.

Just a few useful components (proper) are higher than a bunch of handsome mud collectors (left)

5. Give unused fashions a second life

This requires some inventive pondering however attempt to reuse failed prints, print rubbish and unused prints. Even the only fashions could be reused for an additional goal. It might be even one thing so simple as a blob or MMU2S wipe tower melted by warmth gun (see LARP devices article). There are such a lot of methods and all you want is to be inventive. And for those who’re out of concepts, attempt to give or promote the fashions to another person. You could not be capable to reuse it however different folks could have some concepts on what to do.

Blobs and melted MMU2S wipe towers could also be used as sci-fi props for LARPs, numerous video games and films…

6. Repair failed prints

Everyone offers with failed prints sometimes, nothing and no one is ideal. However don’t fear, some failed prints could be mounted fairly simply. For instance, for those who print a visible mannequin that will probably be painted recently and abruptly the printer nozzle will get clogged, it’s not the top of the world. You may merely measure the peak of the printed half, then slice the mannequin in PrusaSlicer and print the remainder of the mannequin. Then you may glue it collectively, and use putty and sandpaper to masks the failed half. After the paint job is completed, nobody will discover something.

Instance of the failed print restore

7. Use each final meter of filament

There’s one beauty of the Unique Prusa 3D printers and that’s the filament sensor. If it’s plugged in and calibrated, you should utilize it for ending all filament leftovers you could have at residence. We use it on a regular basis, largely for printing giant fashions which can be about to be painted.

Some small fashions printed with Prusament leftovers

8. Use recycled filaments for printing

Have you ever heard about our Prusament PLA and PETG recycled? If not, it could be about time to learn our launch articles (PLA and PETG) and maybe attempt printing with them. Our recycled Prusaments are made out of waste that’s being generated in the course of the Prusament manufacturing course of. Due to this course of we’re in a position to make high-quality filaments which can be cheaper than common Prusaments.

9. Repair your prints with a 3D pen

Do you could have a 3D pen that works with the identical supplies as your 3D printer? That’s nice, you should utilize it for fixing damaged or failed prints!

10. Place a recycle mark on the print

In some conditions, it is perhaps fairly helpful to have a recycle mark on the print. When you finally resolve to throw away one thing 3D printed, somebody can use that mark to determine the kind of filament and re-use it. Sadly, 3D printed supplies (even marked ones) are being sorted as non-recyclable and incinerated within the Czech recycling crops. Nonetheless, there could also be some initiatives that could possibly use 3D printed supplies. And who is aware of what’s going to occur within the close to future? The expertise may lastly make a giant step ahead – and all of a sudden, the 3D printed components will probably be recyclable. So we positively advocate inserting a recycle mark in your mannequin earlier than slicing in PrusaSlicer.

In case you don’t know easy methods to do it, right here’s a brief information: The recycle mark could be added to your mannequin in PrusaSlicer as a half, modifier, or unfavourable quantity (beneficial). Merely click on on the chosen object with the correct mouse button, then select “add unfavourable quantity” and decide an ample recycle mark from the gallery.


Lastly, there are numerous different methods of lowering the worth and environmental influence of 3D printing. Nonetheless, the best strategies are fairly sophisticated in residence circumstances. And but, there are people who find themselves in a position to make their very own recycled filament out of failed prints. It is perhaps a good suggestion to contact an area “lab” or workshop, the place folks typically work on numerous initiatives which can be too giant or troublesome to do at residence. Plus, these amenities are sometimes well-equipped for superior initiatives. A few of them could even have numerous initiatives for amassing and reusing waste from 3D printing. For instance, considered one of such initiatives turns waste from 3D printing into trendy furnishings. Right here in PrusaLab, we work on a number of inside initiatives however we’re all the time engaged on one thing new and if it seems to be good for the general public, we’ll let you recognize for certain.

Examples of assorted methods to recycle 3D printing waste: Furnishings components and recycled skateboards.

Sadly, recycling is kind of troublesome on the planet of 3D printing. Relatively than specializing in reusing rubbish, it’s higher to forestall making rubbish within the first place. Nonetheless, it requires some inventive pondering, which is clearly one thing that the entire group excels in. When you’ve got any concepts, make them occur and share them with others. Each concept counts! And if you wish to find out about our earlier concepts and steps within the technique of sustainability, don’t neglect to take a look at our older article.

Pleased printing!


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