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If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder how long does 3D printer filament last. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers and these models require expensive materials like resin or filament to operate. So how long does filament last, and how to maximize the lifespan of the material when paired with the best 3D printers? Keep reading to find out.
When learning how long a 3D printer can run, you eventually encounter the issue of filament and related materials. Filament ships in one-liter containers, which are just under one kilogram. The lifespan of this material varies depending on how long 3D printing takes. In other words, if you only print the occasional knick-knack, your filament will last months and months. If you print many large and complex objects, you could run out in just one or two jobs.
Shop in bulk or during sales to ensure you always have filament when needed.
This also assumes you understand how thin a 3D printer can print. The thinner the print, the longer the lifespan of the filament.
There are a number of tips worth considering to make sure your filament or resin lasts a long time.
Perhaps the easiest way to extend the lifespan of any spool of filament is to hollow out your print jobs. What does this mean exactly? Instead of solid models, opt for hollowed-out versions. The vast majority of blueprints include an option for a hollowed-out variety, and these objects save up to 75 percent on the filament. That adds up over time. Of course, this is only appropriate for objects that will be able to handle the decreased weight that comes with being hollow.
You want your filament to be available when you need it, so store it correctly to maximize its lifespan. Keep spools of filament in a slightly cooler space than room temperature and keep it away from moisture and extreme heat. Save the heat for the print nozzles when they make contact with the filament.
STAT: You could create a spreadsheet to track your average filament consumption per day (or week, month, year, etc.), account for your custom slicer settings, note the particular density of your material, calculate the exact mass of material per spool, and factor in the performance of each machine you use. (source)
You are going to waste filament as a beginner. There is no way around that. However, as you become comfortable with the 3D printing process, you will begin to accommodate, thus saving filament or resin in the meantime.