How Long Does 3D Printing Filament Last?


If you’re new to 3D printing, you might ask yourself exactly how much a single roll of filament can provide. Because filament spools are offered by mass rather than length, there are no precise solutions. To help you out, we will explore some of the metrics that you can use to understand how long your 3D printing filament will last.

Make Your Estimations

Many factors go into establishing the length of time a spool of filament will last. In reality, it is entirely up to you. One of the first things to consider is how often you print. Think about what exactly you manufacture. At any given time, how many reels of filament do you use? Is the 3D printer manufacturing hardy pieces, or merely cosmetic elements?

The longevity of a reel can be estimated in various ways. Create a spreadsheet to monitor how much filament you use on average every week. To track your usage, account for your specific slicer parameters, note the densities of your filament, compute the precise quantity of material for each spool, and factor in the performance of each machine you use.

For the Casual Printers

Let’s look at how long 3D printing filament lasts for a recreational 3D printing enthusiast. Some DIY printers who engage in more than simply 3D printing are instructors building teaching props or parents making occasional gifts.

The bottom line is if you 3D print infrequently, you are most likely in this group. Let’s suppose you print the equivalent of two Groot figurines every month (or three to four Benchys per week). Allowing for some wiggle room, this project takes about five to nine hours of printing every week. Under these conditions, you can expect to experience a filament loss of 50-80 grams in a single week, which means that a single spool will typically last 15-25 weeks. That’s a lot of filament!

The Bottom Line

We’ve tried to give a relatable answer to how long a spool of filament will last, but in reality, it depends! Specifics are unique to each maker, but you can use our method explained above to estimate how long your material will last. You can also keep a tally or spreadsheet of your prints to know exactly how much material you’ve printed, and how much you have left until it runs out.

If you want to conserve your material as much as possible, consider reducing wall count and infill, and eliminating the need for printed build plate adhesion and support.

We hope you have enjoyed our recap of how long most 3D printer filaments will last! If you are looking to get some top quality nylon 3D printer filament, be sure to reach out to Filamatrix today!

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