Thursday, May 3, 2018

Accurate Cura 3D Print Time Estimate Solution!

As most anyone who has been following my blog over the years already knows I am a big fan and user of 3D printing.  I am constantly working on some project that requires my design skills and knowledge of this subject so I thought I would pass on something that many users will find helpful if not at least interesting.

I recently upgraded my 3D printer setup and along with this have had to also change my 3D printing software to make the things I create. I am currently using the Ultimaker Cura 3D print slicing software.  My opinion of this software has been improving over the past few weeks as I learn new things about using it with my Creality CR-10 S4 printer.  

With this new setup I have come across something that from the start kind of confused and annoyed me while using the software.  

Here a screen shot of a part that I am at this very moment 3D printing using Cura.  In the lower right hand corner of this image is an estimate of how long it will take to 3D print the part that you see here. Cura tells me that it should take 5 hours 18 minutes to make it.  In actuality the prints always take longer.  I did some research online and found out that most 3D printers take the Gcode and loads up several lines at a time and then it gets sifted through the processor and finally the print is made.  This process adds extra time to making the part so I was never sure when my part would actually finish. 

With a little more testing on my part I have come up with the answer that I was looking for from the start. I made several different 3D printed parts and kept a log of the Cura time estimate and the actual time it took to make the parts.  I then took the Cura time and converted it to minutes so 5 hours 18 minutes would convert to 318 minutes.  Then I took the actual build time of the part which was 5 hours 54 minutes and converted it to just minutes......354 minutes.  With these number I then divided 354 minutes by the 318 minute estimate.  This gave me a number 1.114. This number I use now to get the correct time estimate for my 3D printed parts.  I take the Cura time estimate for any 3D printed part and times it by 1.114 and it gives me the correct time it will take for my 3D printer to make the part.  I have checked this several times now and it works or it's at least a lot closer than what Cura has been telling me.  I will keep a log of 3D prints and times then get an average so I will have a ball park figure to work with in the future. 

So if you would like to know the exact time or something at least a lot closer than the Cura time estimate do the math for your 3D printer to come up with your conversion number. Again mine being 1.114 may not be the same as what you will come up with but at least I know it works for me. It helps me know now what amount of time I will actually have to wait to get my part made.  Hope this will help you as much as it now helps me.  

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