How long does it take to 3D print a phone case?
It takes about 2 or 3 hours to print a basic 3D phone case. However, cases with a more complicated design and use heavier materials will take considerably longer.
This guide will cover various components you can add to the case to influence 3D print production times and factors that affect print times.
How Long Does it Take to 3D Print a Phone Case?
Assuming you have a simple design and only use one color in thin material, it can take 2 to 3 hours to produce a 3D phone cover.
If you have never done a 3D print before, creating a simple 3D phone case is an excellent way to get some practice with 3D printing.
However, if you want your phone case to include additional colors, a thicker material that will endure, and even texture, the manufacturing process will take considerably longer.
As for how long a more complicated phone case will take to print, that is determined by the number of features you choose to include and the intricacy of your design.
What Will Affect Printing Time?
Several elements influence how quickly it will take.
The more texture and design details you add to the design, the longer it will take to print.
The following factors will determine the precise printing time:
- What type of design do you choose to work with
- If you choose more than one color
- The materials you use
- Whether you add texture to the design
- How many cases you print at once
- The specifications of the printer
The Design You Choose
The complexity of the design has an impact on how long it takes to print.
A basic design does not require a lot of extra elements, and it can be printed right away.
Because most individuals choose to utilize 3D printing for all of the customization options, your design will almost certainly slow down the production process.
How Many Colors You Use
The most time-consuming factor when it comes to printing is the use of color.
If you use more than one color, the printer will require each color to dry before switching to the next color.
The longer you repeat this, the more time it takes.
The Material Used
There are several materials available to use in your 3D phone cover.
- PLA: One of the most popular 3D printing filaments. It is simple to use and eco-friendly, but may not be as thick or robust as desired for a phone case.
- ABS: ABS is durable, can withstand higher temperatures, and is a fantastic option for a robust phone cover that lasts longer, but will take longer to print.
- Nylon: Nylon is an option, but you will need to invest in upgrades and it isn’t the greatest for phone cases as it retains moisture and can easily be destroyed.
Regardless of which filament you use, the surface material you choose will have an impact on the texture.
If you want to add texture to your phone case, you will need a material that can manage texture.
Keep in mind that this characteristic will add to the overall printing time as well.
Read More: Best ABS Filament. Here are our top ABS filament picks, why we like them, and how you can use them!
How Many Cases You Print
The more cases you print at once, the longer it will take to complete the process.
Your 3D printer may work on parts of the phone case in batches, which ultimately will help to speed things up.
Even if the average time per case is lower, printing 10 cases compared to 1 will take longer because of the increased processing time and surface area.
Does the Printer Type Make a Difference in Printing Time?
The type of 3D printer you choose will affect how quickly the print takes.
Even with all of the intricate features you want to add to your smartphone cover, some powerful printers may print faster.
But the amount of time it takes to create something is determined by several factors, not just the type of printer you use.
Read More: Best SLA 3D Printer. We put the top SLA printers to the test, and here are our thoughts and recommendations!
The thickness of the Material You Use
The type of case you select will have an impact on how quickly it prints.
The thicker materials will keep your phone safer but they do limit the printer’s ability to start up as well, slowing things down.
Using thinner materials can improve the printing speed, but thinner filaments may also fracture more easily.
There are many factors that will determine how quickly you can print your phone case. Some of these include:
- The base or supports you have to use for the FDM technology on the printer
- The thickness of the layer
- Thickness of filament
- The material you choose to use for your case
- The temperature of the print nozzle
There are several filament thicknesses to select based on how you want your case to appear.
The thicker the filament, like with anything, will aid in the creation of a more durable case that won’t break, but the increased volume may add to printing time.
The temperature of the print nozzle should be higher when printing with PLA as PLA melts and molds better at a higher temperature.
However, if it is too hot, the filament may melt right through, resulting in a mess.
Thankfully, most printers let you customize the temperature setting.
Now that you know how to make a 3D phone case, let’s see one in action!
The video below illustrates how to make a 3D printed customized phone case using a Fusion 360:
A simple 3D phone case may be printed in a few hours or so with the appropriate printer and modest design modifications.
Likewise, a quick phone case constructed from flimsy plastic and in one color with no texture can be completed in a few hours.
But the more details, more colors, and the heavier the materials used to make the case the longer it will take for your phone case to print.