3D Printing, Research

Print Time Estimate Way Off???

Update: Thank you to user outsourcedguru for sharing the following useful information that I will be looking into ASAP:

If you use OctoPrint as a web service for your 3D printer, there’s a very good plugin for this called OctoPrint-PrintTimeGenius which does an excellent job of indicating truthful status throughout the entire print.

So I’ve been having this odd issue lately with the Cura Ultimaker print time estimates seeming to be WAY off, and so I decided to actively track a print and see what was going on. I tried reading about it on forums but the time estimate calculations seemed complicated af so I’ll just investigate the old fashioned way by using personal anecdotal evidence.

If you haven’t already figured it out, I have little to no idea what I am doing

Cura Ultimaker started off by estimating my viking hat print (scaled at 30%)  will take 2 hours 20 minutes. When printing the stabilizing base layers the estimated remaining print time went as high as 60 or 70 hours. Then it gradually backed down into a more realistic number at around 1.5 times the initial estimate. So my 2 hour 20 minute job was supposed to finish in 3 hours 22 minutes when I was 25% into the print.

Are you confused yet?

At 80% the estimated print time was down to 2 hours and 45 minutes. I read in different places that when the printer is printing it estimates the remaining print time based on how quickly the current layer is printing. Meaning the beginning structure layers that take FOREVER to print would logically elevate the estimated print time to be several times that of the actual print length.

How about now?

The final print clocked in at 2 hours and 35 minutes. Close to 10 minutes of it was heating up to temperature, performing the start up actions, and printing the base structure. So really it ended up being off by about 5 minutes, which is roughly 3.5% margin of error.

Surely your brain must be mathed-out by now

Based on this print and my limited research it seems like Cura is doing an adequate job at estimating the print length, but I won’t close out this blog post yet though. Not until I’ve had more time to research and print to compare estimations vs their actual print times. I’m also going to update my firmware and see if it has any effect on the print speed.

I legit have no idea what I am even doing anymore

So it’s been a few more days and I learned that placing multiple objects to print at the same time is way more efficient. Instead of printing each of the Harry Potter objects individually, I fit them all onto one print and had a total print time of 1 hour and 27 minutes!

With that, I think I’ll leave this here. I definitely didn’t go too crazy into detail, but I’m not going to worry about it. I’m printing small objects anyway, and I’m sure I’ll continue to learn about these sort of things naturally as I progress on this 3D printing journey.

Here’s a bunch of cat pictures for making it to the end:

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