This guide will discuss how to choose the right infill percentage for a print. If you're not familiar with infill patterns, please click here to read more.
Picking the right infill helps save you time, money and most importantly, gives the part the balance between strength and functionality.
Simple Guidelines To Follow
If you're new to 3D printing, please follow this guide to get started. Pick the infill percentage based on your design:
- Display models such as miniatures - 15%
- Prototype part - 20 - 30 %
- Functional part - 50 - 70%
- Functional part to endure stress load - 100%
- For calibration - 100%
Infill Percentage Affects Power & Material Usage
Infill percentage matters when producing durable objects, and it can also affect the cost of making the object.
More infill means more material usage and uses more power usage.
When To Use 10 - 15% Infill
For any display models that aren't made to withstand impact or point load, 15 - 20% infill are recommended to hold the structural integrity of the object. Any additional infill percentage doesn't make the model any stronger or worth the time or material.
When To Use 20 - 30% Infill
20 - 30 % infill is the standard amount for producing a standard part such as prototyping. There isn't an exact percentage guideline to follow, but these numbers are a good starting point.
You may have a design that has certain parts that benefit from 20 - 30% infill. Simply print them separately and put them together.
When To Use 50% Infill
50% infill is recommended for any part that is designed to withstand stress, and it will print a part to be functional for mechanical purposes.
If the object fails at 50% infill, the solution is to try a higher infill up to 70% or even 100% based on the application. Another solution is to increase the shell thickness to increase the strength.
When To Use 100% Infill
100% infill prints are generally used for calibration or follow the instruction issued by the designer.
Typically 100% infill means solid internal without any hollow void. These are parts designed to withstand significant forces, where strength is the most important factor above cost or anything else. Usually, anything beyond 60 - 70% has a diminishing return on the strength.
This will cost the most and takes longer to print especially for large models.
Shell Thickness (Wall Thickness)
Infill percentage is not the only setting that contributes to the strength of the printed object. The shell thickness (Also known as wall thickness) and the orientation of the print pattern matter as well.
The user can increase the shell thickness from the standard two layers to four layers, which will reduce the infill percentage without compromising strength.
In some designs, increasing shell thickness actually makes stronger parts based on the geometry. Certain areas of the object may benefit from increased shell thickness, while some areas of the object benefit from a particular infill pattern.