3D printers can take a while to print an object, and some prints may even take days to finish. While 3D printers are robust and resistant to stress from overworking, it’s critical to know when to let your 3D printer rest.
You should let your 3D printer rest every once in a while. If you have a reliable 3D printer and maintain it well, it can print for days without rest. However, it is usually best to give it a few minutes to cool between print jobs to avoid overstressing it or overheating.
Let’s discuss when and why you might need to allow your 3D printer to rest. I’ll let you know when to keep printing and when you might want to take a break to get the most out of your 3D printer without overworking it.
How Long Can You Run a 3D Printer?
You can run a 3D printer as long as you want, and many people print week-long jobs with no issues. However, you’ll likely need to add more filament and keep an eye on your printer the whole time. So, it’s best to pause the print when you have to leave the room in most cases.
3D printers can run indefinitely, and there’s no documentation out there on how long you can run one job. I’ve successfully run week-long prints without wear and tear on my printer, and most people agree that long print jobs are no problem.
Although there’s no upper limit on how long you can run your 3D printer, you’ll still need to add more filament to a big job. It’s also always best to watch the printer if any errors occur.
So, although you can keep the printer going, leaving it running is a bit impractical if you want to ensure that your print is successful. You never know when the filament will jam, and in the rare case of an electrical fire, you’ll want to be there beside your printer.
Can You Run Your 3D Printer Overnight?
You can run your 3D printer overnight, but you should never leave it unattended. Watching your 3D printer isn’t just safer. It will also allow you to correct any printer errors for failures before they ruin your print.
There are many reasons why you should never leave your 3D printer running overnight. Some of these include:
- You may run out of filament
- The filament may jam
- Your print may topple over
- Your filament may start oozing out of the nozzle
- Your printer may start an electrical fire
Watching your printer allows you to catch all of these issues early and prevent them from damaging your print, printer, and your home. So, it’s always best to stay in the room with your printer while using it.
Can 3D Printers Start a Fire if You Don’t Let Them Rest?
3D printers can overheat if you don’t let them rest. If your printer is poorly made or assembled incorrectly, it may overheat or start a fire after prolonged use. While rare, electrical fires happen. You can avoid them by purchasing a printer that runs for long periods without overheating.
There are two main reasons your 3D printer might overheat or start a fire.
Firstly, you may have a low-quality 3D printer with cheap solder or lousy wires. These printers are prone to overheating and sparking fires since the electrical connections are not resilient enough to conduct electricity for long periods. When you shop for a 3D printer, always go for a trusted brand and know the safety risks before you boot up.
On the other hand, poorly assembled 3D printers are not safe to use. Suppose you put your 3D printer together yourself. In that case, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have connected all of the wires correctly and enabled any safety features that your printer has. If you fail to put your 3D printer together correctly, you risk setting your house and printer on fire, and it will be all your fault.
So, cheap and poorly assembled printers will overheat and potentially start fires. In contrast, a high-quality printer that you have put together correctly can run indefinitely without overheating.
How Long Should I Let My 3D Printer Rest Between Print Jobs?
You should let your printer rest at least 10 minutes between print jobs. Giving your printer a long break is not necessary. Still, I recommend allowing it to cool down for a few minutes to avoid overstressing the machine and make it last as long as it can.
3D printers are like any other machine, and they can benefit from a break every once in a while. For example, although you can run your computer for months and years on end without shutting it down, the device will last longer if you give it a break every once in a while. The same concept is true for 3D printers.
When you use your 3D printer, wear and tear naturally happens as the motors work to keep everything moving. Giving your printer some time to cool down can help minimize that wear and tear.
In addition, keeping your hot end hot for a while may decrease its lifespan. Although allowing your printer to rest may not have entirely noticeable benefits, it will help each mechanism inside the device last longer.
So, to get the most out of your printer and help it stay in excellent condition, you may want to consider giving it a short break to cool down after every print job.
3D printers don’t need breaks, but they can benefit from cooling down between print jobs. Still, running your printer for extended periods also means that you’ll have to watch it for errors or electrical fires, and you’ll have to keep feeding in the filament.
So, generally, you should pause the job any time you need to leave the room and allow your printer to cool down for around 10 minutes between print jobs. That way, you’ll keep your printer running at its best performance and avoid print failures and fires!
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I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.