3D Printing Tech Tips: Infill Percentage and Pattern Explained
What is Infill Percentage? In 3D printing, the term “infill” refers to the structure that is printed inside an object. It is extruded in a designated percentage and pattern, which is set in the slicing software. Infill percentage and pattern influence print weight, material usage, strength, print time and sometimes decorative properties. Generally speaking, the higher the infill percentage, the stronger the print, but the longer it takes to print. In most cases, 5% – 15% infill is sufficient. 100% infill is very rarely used.
What is Infill Pattern? When using any infill percentage, a pattern is used to create a strong and durable structure inside the print. There are several different infill pattern options, each with advantages and trade-offs between print time, strength, and material usage. 3D printing software provides infill pattern selections for users to choose. For example, Simplify3D provides users with six infill pattern options, including the most popular honeycomb and triangle infill patterns. New patterns allow a user to configure the interior of the part exactly to their specifications. New infill patterns include:
– Fast Honeycomb
– Full Honeycomb
To test the six fill patterns, download the Internal Fill Pattern Show Model at Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:962563 Varying combinations of infill percentage and pattern can influence strength, material usage, and print times. Sometimes, in order to improve the mechanical performance of a 3D printed part, it comes at the expense of print speed, affordability, and quality. If you are interested in learning more about the influence of infill percentage and infill patterns on 3D prints, check out 3D Matters recent study, which reveals some interesting results.