3D printing is, without a doubt, a fun hobby to have. But the whole process of 3D printing can be a bit time-consuming. Completing a 3D printing project can even take days to turn out well. So, you may need to opt for printing your models overnight to keep them in good condition.
Now, does pausing a 3D print overnight cause any issues? And if you can do it, how does it work? These are some questions that are pretty common regarding this matter. Here, I will be answering all your questions, and you will get to know whether this works or not.
So, if you are thinking of going for a more extended project and want to pause your prints overnight, stick with me till the end for all the information. Let’s get started.
Is it possible to pause a 3D print?
The answer is yes; you can pause a 3D print process. While 3D printers can effortlessly run for hours, it’s good to give them a resting period at times. Sometimes that can become a necessity for different causes.
For example, when you sleep at night, you may not want to keep the printer running and cause loud sounds. This may cause disturbance in your sleep. Or, if you don’t want to keep the printer unattended, you can pause the print while you are away from the printer. These are reasons to pause the printer for a while till you get back to the process.
You can simply do that from the UI options whenever you are ready to resume the printing process. You will find a resume option when you open the UI. This resumes the printing process from where it left off. If you are not sure where to find this option, you can refer back to the user manual of your printer.
Long story short, you can pause a 3D printer from printing midway with the settings it has. However, there is a certain duration for pausing your 3D printer. Let’s go through that very quickly.
Can you pause your 3D printer for as long as you want?
Yes, generally, it’s possible to pause your printer for infinity. If the 3D printer is stable and in the same place, the printer can get back to the process without any issues whatsoever. However, there is a catch here.
When you are resuming the printing process, you will have to be aware of the mismatch of the layer that can happen. This mostly depends on the print resume feature of your printer in particular.
However, the usual time for pausing isn’t as long as you want. Usually, you may need to pause the printer while you are sleeping or away from the printer. This means it can go from somewhere around a few hours. Let’s say you sleep for 6 hours; you can then pause your prints for that duration while you have a sound sleep.
There is an issue with keeping your printer paused for a longer duration. The problem is that print can easily fall off. And the chances of prints falling off get higher with the duration of the print pausing.
Leaving the print in pause too long tends to cool down the printer completely. This results in the prints losing their adhesion from the print bed. When that happens, the prints become significantly easier to fall off the print bed.
Another failure you may encounter with pausing your 3D prints is the warping issue. Pausing the prints for a long time and a lot of times can cause noticeable differences in the temperature. As you may already know, when the temperature changes of the 3D printer aren’t constant and move around a lot, your 3D prints will go through a warping issue.
So, if you are wondering what’s the perfect time for pausing your 3D printer, then I have to say, you shouldn’t do it for long hours. If you have a 3D printer with quality components, then at most, you can go for an overnight pause in your 3D printing process. Anything more than that can impact the prints or the printer.
Things to try for easing the process
Well, there are several things that you can try out to make sure the pause doesn’t impact your prints too much. These are mostly precautionary steps that you can take against the potential problems of pausing your 3D prints.
You can pause the printing process while keeping the 3D printer on. This way, the bed stays warm, so you won’t have to worry about the 3D prints retaining their shape. There won’t be any lack of adhesion on the bed with a warm bed. So, there will be fewer chances for your prints to fall off.
To avoid the warping issues, you can simply use an enclosure. An enclosure will help the 3D printer keep the temperature changes in check. For the most part, the temperature will be consistent with an enclosure, so you won’t have to worry about that whatsoever.
The last trick you can use to use proper pauses is to break down the printable parts. Instead of going for one big print, if you have the option to break down the different parts, then do it. Breaking down the parts will give you the option to print them in shorter times and have the necessary pauses. Also, smaller parts don’t go through a lot of problems with warping or changing shapes.
You can simply try these things to minimize the problems you may encounter with too many pauses on your 3D prints.
To sum up, pausing a 3D print overnight shouldn’t be that big of a deal. While it can impact the print, it doesn’t ruin the whole thing either. If you have a good-quality printer, then you won’t have to worry too much about pausing your prints at all.
Also, there are things that you can do to make sure your prints don’t get affected that much. Your prints won’t be flawless or as perfect as you would have without any pauses. That’s just something you have to live with.