Clever Ways to Save Consumables in 3D Printing

Clever Ways to Save Consumables in 3D Printing


3D printing has revolutionized the way we bring ideas to life, allowing us to create intricate and complex objects with ease. However, like any manufacturing process, 3D printing comes with its share of consumables, such as filament, resin, or powder, which can contribute to production costs. As the 3D printing community continues to grow, the need to optimize material usage becomes increasingly essential. In this article, we will explore five ingenious ways to save consumables in 3D printing, minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency.

Reduce the Size of the Model

One of the most straightforward and effective methods to save consumables in 3D printing is by reducing the size of the model. The material consumption is directly linked to the size of the object being printed; hence, smaller models result in less material being used. Designers and engineers can scale down the size of the model in the XYZ direction or adjust specific dimensions to achieve the desired outcome without sacrificing quality. By carefully considering the size of the model, 3D printing enthusiasts can strike a balance between material conservation and meeting project requirements.

Embrace Skeletonised Models

Another savvy approach to economize on 3D printing materials is by employing skeletonised models. This technique involves hollowing out the model, effectively reducing its volume and, consequently, the material consumption. However, hollow models present unique challenges that demand attention. Designers must strike a balance between wall thickness and structural integrity. Thinning the wall too much can compromise the model’s strength and lead to breakage in critical areas. Additionally, the curing process may trap resin inside the hollow model, obstructing drainage. To overcome this, drainage holes must be thoughtfully incorporated to facilitate resin flow and optimize material usage.

Optimize the Model Structure

Optimizing the structure of the 3D model is crucial to enhance the printing success rate and conserve materials. Designers can strategically adjust the outer wall thickness to achieve a lighter model that consumes less resin without compromising its overall strength. This optimization becomes particularly significant in pull-up 3D printers, where gravity and tension play a role, especially in larger models. By thoughtfully refining the model’s structure, 3D printing enthusiasts can achieve the perfect balance between material efficiency and the desired outcome.

Avoid the Use of Stands and Bottom Rafts

One common practice in 3D printing is the use of stands and bottom rafts to provide stability during printing. While these supports serve a critical function, they can also contribute to increased material consumption. A smart approach to conserve consumables is to avoid or minimize the use of stands and bottom rafts whenever possible. By strategically designing the model to print without extensive supports, one can save precious material and optimize the printing process.

Embrace Integral Printing

Integral printing offers an innovative way to reduce material consumption by printing the object in one seamless piece. By skipping the need for assembly processes, integral printing streamlines production, minimizes material wastage, and enhances overall efficiency. Embracing integral printing not only saves consumables but also simplifies the manufacturing process, making it an appealing option for complex projects that demand material optimization.


As the 3D printing industry continues to evolve, material optimization becomes an essential aspect of the manufacturing process. By implementing clever strategies like reducing model size, using skeletonised models, optimizing the structure, avoiding unnecessary supports, and embracing integral printing, 3D printing enthusiasts can significantly save consumables and reduce waste. As the community comes together to explore innovative solutions, the future of 3D printing shines bright with possibilities of sustainable and efficient production practices. By adopting these resourceful methods, we can create a more sustainable and cost-effective 3D printing ecosystem, propelling the industry towards a future where creativity and efficiency coexist harmoniously.

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