As a newbie to 3D printing, this is the question that may have actually been bothering you because that months. You’re constantly on the lookout for materials to publish your models with and have make the efforts polylactic acid (PLA), Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), architecture Acrylic (aka shining glue), and also more.

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But you keep wondering, exactly how long does 1 kg that filament last? How plenty of meters that filament are there in a 1kg spool? exactly how much filament perform you need for an typical Print? How plenty of models can you print with a 1Kg spool? How can you make Filament last longer? and what components can affect it?

Luckily, in the adhering to article, I will certainly answer every one of these questions.

Filament WeightDensityThicknessLengthPrice

Now, before we start, let’s store in mind that the filaments because that standard desktop FDM 3D printers are usually accessible in 1kg, 3kg, and also 5kg rolls called “Spool”.

A conventional 1kg filament spool costs roughly 20-30 us dollars. Yet it can expense significantly an ext in nations with high import taxes.

Now stop answer one question before we obtain into the post itself: Why space these filament spools offered in Kgs rather of Meters/Feet? Well, the prize is simple, the length of filament inside a spool relies on 2 factors, i.e. The thickness of the material and the cross-sectional area, or diameter of the filament.

Let me display you exactly how to calculate the length of a 1kg filament spool v an example. Suppose you have bought a PLA filament spool of 1kg which has a density of 1.24g/cm3 with 1.75mm of diameter. It will contain 252.13 meter of filament (there are countless calculators obtainable on the internet that can perform these calculations because that you). If the price of the spool to be $25 climate it would have price 9.9 cents per meter.

Now, without any type of further ado, let’s get into the write-up itself!


Or in other words, how countless times can I print a solitary object v a 1kg spool?

The easiest way to answer is to calculation (in grams) the weight of the object (including that is supports, brims, rafts, and skirts) girlfriend are around to print due to the fact that you deserve to only print precisely 1kg of material from a 1kg spool.

Let’s assume the the tradition iPhone instance you space printing and selling ~ above the internet weighs 11.8 grams. Climate you deserve to print 1000/11.8 = 84 iPhone instances if friend utilize every one of the filament there is no wasting it.

Similarly, let’s suppose the custom necklace you space making expenses 5 grams then you deserve to print 1000/5 = 500 necklaces. This will certainly only help those civilization who wish to print the very same object multiple time to one of two people gift that to your friends and family or sell it online.

Random Tip: If you are printing many objects that the same size, it is far better to publish them as multiple parts and also then assemble them.

For example, if you want to publish earring shaped pendants (1.25 customs in diameter circle), don’t print one ring with a wall thickness of 0.8 mm, because when you turn it sideways or fall it, its form is walk to it is in distorted; instead, design each earring as a pair of circles through a shared hole on the rim and also join them

How to inspect the quantity of filament the print will require in the slicer software?

Slicing softwares tell you the estimated print time when you load an object’s design document (although it is never accurate), they also tell you how much filament will certainly be required in grams to publish the thing (this is usually rather accurate).

In the figure below, you have the right to see the Cura is telling me that, to publish my thing it will certainly consume 582 grams which is an ext than half a kg. For me, that is always a red flag, and also I stop printing objects that need everywhere near 500 grams.


report this adThe reason is that it will take a most time usually 1 or 2 days (if you have a decent top quality printer it won’t be an worry to begin a print and also leave the printer to end up it on its own) yet the problem is that the print might need you to adjust spools midway and a lot deserve to go wrong while act this.

I’m usually able to overcome such issues by making a few small changes in my architecture or sometimes by even changing the orientation of the thing in the slicing software. Together you deserve to see below, once rotating the thing horizontally, the number of grams necessary to publish this thing dropped indigenous 582 grams to 452 grams.


By making such a small adjustment, I was able to save virtually 130 grams! You should be wondering just how is the possible.

Well, that is simple, by printing the object horizontally instead of vertically, it will need a lot less support. I did simple calculations, I had bought this 1kg spool because that $30, and by do this small adjustment, ns was able to save $4 and also that’s much more than 1/10th of what ns paid because that the spool.

How deserve to you make Filament last longer?

There are four ways you have the right to do that, for this reason let’s discuss each of lock in well detail.

Reduce the size of the 3D ModelsReduce the use of Brims, Rafts, and also SkirtsReduce the usage of supports (if at all possible)Reduce the Infill

1) reduce the dimension of the 3D Models

Every time makers are print something large without carefully thinking why they have to print the that huge there is a progressive decrease in details once you increase the size, but there will certainly be a ten folds rise in material cost, time consumption, and many various other things too which make it difficult to proceed 3D printing larger objects

Either don’t publish as often or don’t print huge size object. Over there is no suggest in printing big objects, smaller sized ones likewise look just as good, if not cooler. If friend think that human being get impression by see large-sized prints, don’t forget the they likewise get impression by seeing finer intricate details on smaller objects as well.

I will say it again, over there is no allude in printing huge objects and they have to only it is in printed as soon as you need to print a 1:1 prototype or part. Therefore, shot to control the temptations and constantly ask yourself, execute I yes, really to print it this big?

2) alleviate the use of Brims, Rafts, and also Skirts

Source: Simplify3D
A dress is a regime of filament extrusion that you can set in her slicer to perform right prior to the start of your printing job. It consists of an summary that surrounds your print and also is aimed in ~ ensuring that the extruder is properly primed and that a continuous flow of filament is extruded when the thing starts printing.

A skirt also helps the user in identify if the device is well-calibrated. If you room not satisfied through the top quality of the lines being inserted on the build plate, you can adjust the bed before it affects her object.

A brim consists of a skirt that is fastened to your model. The is useful for enlarging the surface ar of the very first layer, thus improving the adhesion of the model to the build plate. The is attached come the design is additionally its main disadvantage, because you need to be careful not to damages the model when removing the brim.

Finally, the raft is a latticework that gets printed beneath the object. By law so, your model will just be in contact with the raft and not through the build plate. This function is greatly used as a means to protect against warping as soon as printing with ABS. It takes part time to print and consumes a nontrivial lot of filament, so only use it once necessary.

The main benefit of skirts is the they don’t consume as lot filament together rafts and also brims. Top top the various other hand, and also in comparison to brims and rafts, skirts carry out not improve your great adhesion. Since they room not attached to the object, they carry out not make the bottom surface larger.

To be clear, I’m no saying the you have to avoid utilizing these functions at all costs. In fact, I always use a skirt the 3 present on my default profile. Also, as soon as I’m concerned around the thing getting loosened because that only has a little contact surface, i don’t twin guess even if it is to add or not a brim.

The key takeout of this referral is the you must properly pick when to usage a raft, a skirt, or a brim based on the details object you are about to print.

3) reduce the use of support (if at every possible)


Those brand-new to 3D printing frequently fail to identify the prominence of supports. They offer as a structure for parts that are daunting or impossible to print otherwise and can even improve the high quality of an progressed print.

Not everyone can design awesome 3D designs and manage to save on filament costs; that an acquired skill that takes time and experience to master.

A many 3D models top top Thingiverse have too many supports because the Thingiverse find hardly takes into account exactly how much printing material is wasted top top them. Yet there is no factor why you have to not make basic adjustments that have the right to save girlfriend time and money.

It’s not also that difficult, together you witnessed in the example above, ns was able to save $4 worth of filament by just rotating my architecture from vertical layout come horizontal layout in the slicing software.

Slic3r and also other Slicing software allow you come customize the thickness of the support material. This is a very effective technique to reduce exactly how much material is needed, or in some instances prevent friend from needing support product entirely.

4) mitigate the Infill

Infill is the amount of material used within a model. When you choose the infill percentage, this is just how much of that portion of material will to fill in the gaps between the walls exterior the print.

While it’s technically possible to print with 100% infill, us did discover that there room some services to printing v less. Because that starters, any kind of parts that need support – devices or various other objects with overhanging pieces – will frequently print better at reduced infills. As soon as it involves infill percentages, countless experts advise versus using anything end 50%. Some even encourage you come stick v 20% infill and below.


But that no secret that low-cost printers have trouble printing high-quality parts. V a big amount that infill, you will do it get an ext strength and durability the end of your device but you’ll also sacrifice all at once print time.

For most applications, percentages above 50% space not necessary. However, if you are looking for strength and durability, a 60%-infill develop should be sufficient to assistance your needs.

These references are made to ensure the you gain a solid and stable publish without including too much weight. This is particularly important when you’re printing big models, as they generally need fairly a little of infill to stay sturdy.

The main trouble when do the efforts to decision what infill pattern to use, but the honeycomb and also hexagon patterns are usually an excellent picks to do this.

The honeycomb-shaped infill is the fastest and least material-intensive pattern.

To make a hole clear figure, we have the right to use infill to create room while maintaining a solid external shell. Essentially the honeycomb infill is the strongest and also a good choice if strength is vital for your model.

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For miniatures or models whereby strength might not matter much, the hexagonal infill pattern can be the best one to go with.