How Much Filament Does a 3D Printer Use Per Hour – Step by Step Guide

Welcome to our step-by-step guide on how much filament a 3D printer uses per hour. If you’re curious about filament usage rates, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the factors that influence filament consumption, estimate filament usage for different printers, and provide tips on optimizing filament usage to reduce printing costs. So, let’s dive in and discover the fascinating world of 3D printer filament consumption!

Factors Affecting Filament Usage in 3D Printing

When it comes to 3D printing, filament usage can vary depending on several factors. Understanding these factors can help optimize filament consumption and reduce printing costs. Here are some key considerations:

  • Print Speed: The rate at which filament is deposited during printing directly affects filament consumption. Higher print speeds generally result in more filament usage, while lower speeds can help conserve filament.
  • Infill Percentage: The infill percentage determines the internal structure of the print. Higher infill percentages use more filament, while lower percentages save on material but may compromise print strength.
  • Model Size and Complexity: Larger models typically require more filament compared to smaller ones. Additionally, complex models with intricate details may also use more filament due to the amount of material needed to capture the fine features.

By optimizing these settings and adopting efficient design practices, you can effectively reduce filament consumption and achieve more cost-effective 3D printing.

Factors Affecting Filament Usage in 3D Printing

FactorImpact on Filament Usage
Print SpeedHigher speeds result in more filament usage, while lower speeds conserve filament.
Infill PercentageHigher infill percentages use more filament, while lower percentages save on material, but may compromise print strength.
Model Size and ComplexityLarger and more complex models generally require more filament due to the amount of material needed to create detailed features.

By carefully considering these factors and making informed choices, you can optimize filament usage in 3D printing, resulting in cost savings and efficient use of resources.

Estimating Filament Usage for Different Printers

To estimate the amount of filament a 3D printer will use for a specific print, it is important to consider the filament usage rate of the printer itself. Different printers have varying filament usage rates, which can impact the amount of material required for a particular project. Regular printers like the Ender 3 or Prusa MK3 typically use between 5.5 g and 7 g of filament per hour, while Core XY printers like the Bambu lab P1P or Voron 2.4 can consume between 20 g and 25 g per hour.

Estimating filament usage can be done using a filament usage calculator or by manually calculating it using the filament usage formula. These calculations take into account factors such as print time, print speed, and filament diameter. By accurately estimating filament usage, you can better plan for material requirements and reduce the risk of running out of filament during a print.

Filament Usage Comparison for Different Printers

Printer ModelFilament Usage per Hour (grams)
Ender 35.5 g – 7 g
Prusa MK35.5 g – 7 g
Bambu lab P1P20 g – 25 g
Voron 2.420 g – 25 g

By understanding the filament usage rates of different printers, you can make more informed decisions when selecting a printer for your specific needs and accurately estimate the amount of filament required for your prints.

Understanding Filament Consumption Costs

Filament consumption costs are an essential consideration when it comes to 3D printing expenses. The cost of filament can vary depending on the type and brand, ranging from inexpensive options to more premium choices. However, it’s important to look beyond the initial price tag and consider the overall cost-effectiveness of your prints. Optimizing filament consumption is key to minimizing printing costs and maximizing value.

One way to optimize filament usage is through efficient print settings and design practices. By adjusting parameters such as infill density, layer height, and print speed, you can achieve a balance between material conservation and print quality. Minimizing failed prints and wasted filament also contributes to cost savings.

To make informed decisions about filament consumption costs, it’s essential to track and manage your printing expenses. This can be done by monitoring filament usage and estimating material requirements for each print. By keeping a record of filament consumption, you can gain insights into your printing habits, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your printing costs.

Key Considerations for Optimizing Filament Consumption Costs
1. Print Settings and Design: Optimize print settings such as infill density, layer height, and print speed to achieve a balance between material conservation and print quality.
2. Minimize Failed Prints and Wasted Filament: Ensure proper calibration of your printer, use quality filament, and practice efficient print bed adhesion techniques to reduce the chance of failed prints and wasted filament.
3. Track Filament Usage: Monitor filament consumption and keep a record of material costs to inform future printing decisions and identify areas for improvement.

By understanding the impact of filament consumption costs and implementing strategies to optimize printing expenses, you can make the most of your 3D printing journey while minimizing costs and maximizing value.

Measuring Filament Usage for Print Jobs

Measuring filament usage during print jobs is essential for tracking and managing filament consumption. Keeping track of filament usage can help with budgeting, estimating material requirements, and optimizing print settings. Some 3D printers may have built-in features that allow for tracking filament usage, providing valuable data for monitoring and analysis.

To measure filament usage, you can use filament scales or filament usage monitoring systems. Filament scales accurately measure the weight of the filament spool before and after the print job, giving you the exact amount of filament used. Filament usage monitoring systems, on the other hand, track filament movement and calculate usage based on the length fed into the extruder.

By measuring filament usage, you can gain insights into the efficiency of your printing process and make informed decisions to optimize filament consumption. Tracking filament usage enables you to identify patterns, assess the impact of different print settings, and make adjustments as needed. This data can also help manage filament inventory and ensure you always have enough material for your printing projects.

Benefits of Measuring Filament Usage

There are several benefits to measuring filament usage for print jobs:

  • Cost management: By tracking filament consumption, you can better manage printing costs and budget for future projects.
  • Efficiency optimization: Measuring filament usage allows you to identify areas of improvement and optimize print settings for better efficiency.
  • Material conservation: Understanding how much filament is used for different prints can help you conserve material and reduce waste.

Example of Filament Usage Tracking

Let’s take a look at an example of tracking filament usage using a filament scale. Suppose you start with a 1kg filament spool and print a model that takes 7 hours to complete. Before starting the print, you weigh the spool and it measures 994g. After the print is finished, you weigh the spool again, and it now measures 987g. The difference in weight is 7g, which indicates that the print job used 7 grams of filament.

Print JobPrint TimeInitial Filament WeightFinal Filament WeightFilament Used
Model A7 hours994g987g7g
Model B12 hours1020g1005g15g
Model C5 hours1005g997g8g

In the example table above, we can see the filament usage for three different print jobs. By tracking filament usage in this way, you can compare the efficiency of different models, adjust print settings, and make more informed decisions for future prints.

Techniques to Reduce Filament Usage

When it comes to 3D printing, optimizing filament usage is crucial for minimizing waste and reducing costs. By employing the right techniques and settings, you can conserve filament while maintaining the quality of your prints. Here are some techniques to help you reduce filament usage:

1. Optimize Print Settings

One of the key ways to reduce filament usage is by optimizing your print settings. Adjusting parameters such as infill density, layer height, and print speed can make a significant difference. By finding the right balance between strength and conservation, you can minimize the amount of filament used while still achieving the desired print quality.

2. Design Efficient Models

The design of your 3D models also plays a crucial role in filament conservation. By designing models with efficient use of space and minimal support structures, you can reduce the overall amount of filament required. Consider using advanced infill patterns like gyroid or honeycomb, which provide structural stability while using less material.

3. Proper Nozzle Sizing and Calibration

Ensuring that your printer’s nozzle is properly sized and calibrated is essential for accurate filament deposition. If the nozzle is too large or not calibrated correctly, it can lead to over-extrusion and unnecessary filament usage. Regularly check and calibrate your nozzle to minimize filament waste.

4. Monitor Filament Usage

Tracking and monitoring filament usage can provide valuable insights into your printing process. Consider using filament usage monitoring systems or filament scales to measure the amount of filament used for each print job. This data can help you identify patterns, optimize print settings, and manage your filament inventory efficiently.

By implementing these techniques, you can effectively reduce filament usage and minimize waste in your 3D printing projects. Not only will this help you save costs, but it will also contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly printing process.

Considerations When Choosing Filament

When embarking on a 3D printing project, selecting the right filament is crucial for achieving the desired results. Factors such as the intended use of the printed object, desired characteristics, and budget all play a role in filament selection. It’s essential to understand the properties and characteristics of different filaments to make an informed decision.

Common filament options include PLA, ABS, PETG, and TPU, each with its own unique properties. PLA is a popular choice for beginners due to its ease of use and wide range of colors available. ABS is known for its strength and durability, making it suitable for functional parts. PETG combines the best of both PLA and ABS, offering strength and ease of use. TPU, on the other hand, is a flexible filament ideal for producing objects that require elasticity.

When choosing filament, it’s important to also consider the specific requirements of your print job. For example, if you need a heat-resistant object, you may opt for a filament like ABS or PETG. If you require a highly detailed and smooth surface finish, resin-based filaments like SLA or SLS may be a better choice.

Comparison of Filament Properties

FilamentStrengthFlexibilityPrint DifficultyHeat ResistanceSurface Finish

Tips for Optimizing Filament Usage

When it comes to 3D printing, optimizing filament efficiency is essential for reducing waste and maximizing cost-effectiveness. By implementing a few key strategies, you can minimize filament consumption without compromising the quality of your prints. Here are some tips for optimizing filament usage:

1. Print at optimal speeds

Each 3D printer has an optimal speed range for specific filament types. Experiment with different print speeds to find the sweet spot for your printer and filament combination. Faster speeds generally result in higher filament consumption, so aim for a balance between speed and efficiency.

2. Choose the right infill density

The infill density determines the amount of material inside your print. Higher infill percentages result in more filament usage. Consider the purpose and strength requirements of your model when selecting the infill density. For objects that don’t require high structural integrity, lower infill densities can help conserve filament.

3. Design for material conservation

Efficient design practices can go a long way in reducing filament waste. Minimize the need for support structures by designing models that can be printed without excessive overhangs. Optimize the use of space by hollowing out models where appropriate. By carefully designing your models, you can significantly reduce filament consumption.

4. Calibrate your printer

Regularly calibrating your 3D printer ensures accurate filament deposition. Proper calibration minimizes print failures and reduces the need for reprints, therefore reducing filament waste. Take the time to fine-tune your printer’s settings and ensure its extrusion and movement are correctly aligned.

By implementing these tips, you can optimize filament usage, reduce waste, and maximize the cost-effectiveness of your 3D printing projects. Keep experimenting and refining your print settings to find the perfect balance between filament efficiency and print quality.

Understanding the Basics of 3D Printing

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a fascinating technology that allows the creation of three-dimensional objects by layering material on top of itself. Unlike traditional manufacturing methods where material is removed, 3D printing builds objects from the ground up. This revolutionary process has opened up a world of possibilities in various fields, including engineering, design, medicine, and more.

The additive manufacturing process involves several key components working together. These include the printhead or extruder, which melts and deposits the material layer by layer, creating the object. The build platform or bed provides a stable surface for the object to be formed on. The control system coordinates the movement of the printhead and the build platform, ensuring precise deposition of the material. The frame and mechanics of the 3D printer provide structure and stability, allowing for accurate and repeatable prints. Additionally, cooling systems and bed leveling and calibration systems contribute to the overall performance and quality of the printed objects.

Different types of 3D printing methods are available, each with its own strengths and applications. Fused deposition modeling (FDM), the most common type, involves melting and extruding filament materials such as PLA or ABS. Stereolithography (SLA) uses a liquid resin that is cured by a UV light source, producing highly detailed and precise prints. Selective laser sintering (SLS) utilizes a laser to fuse powder materials together, resulting in strong and complex objects. Binder jetting involves depositing a binding agent onto a powdered material, solidifying it layer by layer.

With the basics of 3D printing now clear, we can delve into other aspects of this exciting technology, such as the factors influencing filament usage, optimizing print settings, and selecting the right filament for your projects.

Essential Steps in Setting Up a 3D Printer

Setting up a 3D printer correctly is crucial for achieving high-quality prints and ensuring safe operation. Here are the essential steps you need to follow:

1. Identify the Type of Printer Kit

Before assembling your 3D printer, make sure you have identified the type of printer kit you have. Different printers may have specific assembly instructions, so it’s essential to determine the specific model and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

2. Follow Assembly Instructions

Carefully read and follow the supplied assembly instructions included with your 3D printer. These instructions will guide you through the process step by step, ensuring that you assemble the printer correctly and avoid any potential issues during operation.

3. Check for Level and Square Alignment

Once the printer is assembled, it’s essential to check for level and square alignment. This ensures that the print bed is properly positioned and level, which is crucial for achieving accurate prints. Use a leveling tool, such as a bubble level or an auto-leveling feature if available, to calibrate the bed.

4. Calibrate the Printer

Printer calibration is another critical step in the setup process. This involves adjusting settings such as the nozzle height, extrusion rate, and temperature to achieve optimal print quality. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to calibrate your 3D printer properly. This step may require some trial and error to achieve the desired results.

5. Lubricate Moving Components

To ensure smooth and precise movements, it’s essential to lubricate the moving components of your 3D printer. Apply a small amount of lubricant, such as machine oil or grease, to the appropriate areas as recommended by the manufacturer. Regular lubrication will help prevent excessive wear and ensure reliable performance.

6. Select Appropriate Print Speed

Choosing the right print speed is crucial for achieving optimal print quality and minimizing the risk of failed prints. Depending on your printer and filament type, you may need to adjust the print speed in the slicer software. Experiment with different settings to find the optimal balance between print speed and quality.

7. Feed Filament into the Extruder

Finally, make sure to properly feed the filament into the extruder of your 3D printer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to load the filament correctly, ensuring that it is securely held in place. Proper filament feeding is essential for consistent extrusion and successful print jobs.

Finding and Creating 3D Models for Printing

When it comes to 3D printing, finding the right models to print is crucial. Fortunately, there are various resources available to source 3D models for your printing projects. Websites like Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, TurboSquid, GrabCAD, and Cults3D offer vast libraries of 3D models that can be downloaded in different file formats such as STL, OBJ, and 3MF.

To create your own 3D models, you can start with beginner-friendly software like TinkerCAD. This intuitive online tool allows you to design basic 3D models using simple shapes and tools. As you gain more experience and expertise, you can explore more advanced software like Fusion 360 or Blender, which offer a wide range of design capabilities and features.

Choosing the Right Slicing Software

Once you have your 3D model ready, you’ll need slicing software to convert the model into machine instructions (Gcode) for your 3D printer. One popular slicing software is Prusa Slicer, which supports a wide range of 3D printers and offers advanced settings to optimize your prints. Other slicing software options include Ultimaker Cura, Simplify3D, and Slic3r.

In addition to slicing software, it’s important to consider other factors when preparing your 3D models for printing. This includes setting the appropriate print orientation, adding supports if necessary, and adjusting the level of detail and resolution to balance print quality and printing time.


In summary, sourcing 3D models for printing can be done through various websites that offer a wide selection of downloadable models. Additionally, you can create your own models using beginner-friendly or advanced 3D modeling software. To prepare your models for printing, you’ll need slicing software to generate the necessary instructions for your 3D printer. With the right resources and tools, you can find or create the perfect 3D models to bring your ideas to life through 3D printing.

sourcing 3D models
ThingiverseLarge community, wide variety of models
MyMiniFactoryHigh-quality curated models, premium options
TurboSquidProfessional 3D models, suited for commercial use
GrabCADEngineering-focused models, CAD files
Cults3DUnique and creative models, user-submitted designs


In conclusion, understanding filament usage in 3D printing can help optimize print settings, conserve resources, and reduce printing costs. The amount of filament a 3D printer uses per hour can vary between 5.5 g and 25 g, depending on factors such as print speed, infill percentage, model size, and complexity.

To estimate filament usage for a specific print, you can use slicing software like Prusa Slicer or manually calculate it using the filament usage formula. It’s important to consider filament consumption costs when choosing the type and brand of filament, as well as the overall cost-effectiveness of your prints.

To minimize filament waste, techniques such as optimizing print settings, designing models with efficient use of space, and using advanced infill patterns can be employed. Regular calibration of your printer and practicing efficient print bed adhesion techniques can also help reduce failed prints and wasted filament.

By understanding the basics of 3D printing, properly setting up your printer, and selecting the right filament for your needs, you can embark on your 3D printing journey with confidence. Experimenting with different print settings, tracking filament usage, and monitoring material costs can further optimize your printing process and ensure successful prints.


1. How Much Filament Does A 3D Printer Use Per Hour?

On average, a 3D printer uses between 5.5 g and 25 g of filament per hour.

2. What Factors Affect Filament Usage In 3D Printing?

Filament usage is influenced by factors such as print speed, infill percentage, model size, and complexity.

3. How Can I Estimate Filament Usage For Different Printers?

You can use a filament usage calculator or slicing software like Prusa Slicer to estimate filament usage for specific prints.

4. What Are The Considerations When Choosing Filament For 3D Printing?

Consider factors such as the intended use of the printed object, desired characteristics, and your budget when selecting filament.

5. How Can I Optimize Filament Usage In 3D Printing?

Tips for optimizing filament usage include adjusting print settings, designing models with efficiency in mind, and monitoring filament consumption.

6. What Are The Essential Steps In Setting Up A 3D Printer?

Setting up a 3D printer involves identifying the type of printer kit, following assembly instructions, calibrating the printer, and properly feeding the filament into the extruder.

7. Where Can I Find 3D Models For Printing?

You can explore websites like Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, and TurboSquid to find a wide range of 3D models for printing.

8. What Are The Basics Of 3D Printing?

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that builds objects layer by layer using material, unlike traditional manufacturing.