Recommended 3D Printer settings

There are many 3D printers, filaments, and project types out there, so the variations of 3D printer settings are almost limitless. This page contains recommended settings for the most common 3D printing jobs, printers, and materials.

Printing materials

Filament material Shore A hardness Shrinkage Platform adhesion Advantages
PLA Blue painters tape  Less warping, No heating bed required, Eco-friendly, Odorless
ABS Kapton tape or Hairspray  Prints at higher temperature, Durable, Requires less manual finishing, Process in acetone for polished finish, UV resistant
PETG Blue painters tape or Kapton tape or Glass bed  Hydrophobic (does not absorb moisture), Odorless, Environmentally safe, Easy adhesion to a number of surfaces, No heating bed required
PPLA Blue painters tape or Kapton tape  Less warping than PLA, Eco-friendly, No heating bed required, Odorless
TPE 85A (very soft)  1.2 – 3.0% Blue painters tape or Kapton tape  Flexible, Easy to clean, Will adhere to most surfaces
TPU 94A (pretty soft)  0.8 – 1.8% Blue painters tape or Kapton tape  Flexible, Easy to clean, Will adhere to most surfaces
Filament material Strength Ease of use Odorless Felxibility Chemical resistance Abrasion resistance
PLA  [][][][  [][][][]  [][][][][]  [][][
ABS  [][][][]  [][][][  [] [  [][]
PETG  [][][][][  [][][][][  [][]  [][
PPLA  [][][][  [][][][][  [][][][][]  [][][
TPE  [][][]  [][][]  [][][][][]  [][][][][]  [][][]  [][]
TPU  [][][]  [][][][]  [][][][][]  [][][][][  [][][][]  [][][][][]

Printer settings for filament type

Filament material Nozzle temperature range (recommended) Build platform temperature range (recommended) Print speed
3D Solutech PLA
1.75 mm  and 3 mm
190-220 °C
(205 °C)
0-60 °C
(50 °C)
50 mm/s
Hatchbox PLA
1.75 mm  and 3 mm
180-210 °C
(195 °C)
0-60 °C
(50 °C)
50 mm/s
Hatchbox ABS
1.75 mm  and 3 mm
210-240 °C
(225 °C)
55- 85 °C 50 mm/s
Hatchbox PETG
1.75 mm  and 3 mm
230-260 °C 55- 85 °C 50 mm/s
Hatchbox PPLA
1.75 mm  and 3 mm
180-220 °C 55- 85 °C 50 mm/s
Hatchbox TPU
1.75 mm  and 3 mm
180-210 °C 55- 85 °C 30 mm/s

Printer settings for job type

For the best look, select the closest recommended layer height for your printer. See Layer Height below for the explanation.

Job type Layer height (mm) Fill density (%) Print speed (mm/s) Minimal layer cool time (sec)
Decorative 0.1 15 50 3
Light duty, mainly straight pull (casing, rotor blades)  0.1 30 50 3
Light duty (fast printing of parts with low load, where vertical surfaces are not visible) 0.3 30 50 3
Medium duty (shafts, casing with load) 0.1 50 50 5
Medium heavy-duty (structural elements with high load, lighter weight) 0.1 70 50 7
Heavy duty (structural elements with high load, motor brackets) 0.1 100 50 10
Extra heavy duty (nuts, bolts, gears, arms) 0.1 100 20 10

Layer height

The 3D printer extrudes the melted material layer-by-layer to build the object, so you will always see horizontal lines on the side of the print. The stepper motor, that controls the Z axis, moves the head or the platform in small steps. Every printer has a minimum resolution, that is the distance the head or the platform moves for a single step of the stepper motor. The stepper motor cannot stop between steps, so that is the minimum distance the head or the platform can move. If you select a layer height that is a multiple of the minimum resolution, the lines on the side of the product will be nice and even. If the layer height is not exactly the multiple of the minimum resolution, you will see lines in waves, that is called aliasing. Regular ink printers use the same technique to compensate for the not perfect harmony between the physical resolution of the printer, and the resolution of the printed picture. The following table contains the recommended layer heights for the most common 3D printers. The print quality is significantly reduced when the layer height is greater than 80% of the nozzle diameter. In the case of the usual 0.4 mm nozzle diameter, the maximum recommended layer thickness is 0.32 mm.

Cura, the popular slicer program works in microns and truncates the layer height to three decimal digits. The numbers in bold will be correctly represented in Cura, the rest can produce slightly smaller objects on the Z (vertical) axis.

Monoprice Select Mini
0.043750
0.087500
0.131250
0.175000
0.218750
0.262500
0.306250
0.350000

Spool weights

To help you to estimate the amount of remaining filament on the spool, the following table contains the weight of the empty spools.

Product Empty spool weight
Hatchbox 1kg 310 g

 

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