One of the most annoying issues when printing with PETG is finding the right speed balance.
Technically, this material requires a low speed to achieve good results. Yet, too low printing can result in blobs and stringing.
The best PETG print speed is between 30 and 60 mm/second. Factors that influence this setting include the filament quality and size, the temperature of the nozzle and build plate, cooling settings, and even the room temperature. The type of printer you’re using and its location can also affect the setting.
Factors That Influence PETG Print Speed
PETG is one of the most difficult 3D printing materials, especially for beginners. This popular thermoplastic is a highly hygroscopic filament that absorbs moisture from the air like a sponge.
Moisture can have a negative effect on printing, affecting everything from the melting point to adhesion.
In addition, PETG has a high melting point and requires extrusion temperatures over 230°C in most cases. Hence, printing at high speeds is nearly impossible.
Here’s how these factors – and others influence print speed.
1. Filament Thickness
Filament thickness is the first thing to consider when trying to figure out the best print speed for your PETG project.
As you can expect, a thicker filament needs more time to reach the optimal extrusion temperature. Hence, it must spend more time in the hot end.
As a result, a thicker filament requires a lower print speed. In this way, it has enough time to reach extrusion temperature so that you can prevent layer separation.
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If you’re using thinner filament, instead, you can set a slightly higher print speed.
2. Filament Quality
Another filament-related factor that can influence print speed is PETG’s quality. Poor-quality filament may either require a longer time to reach extrusion temperature or it may reach extrusion temperature faster, oozing and becoming stringy.
Based on this, you should decide how to adjust the print speed.
If the filament is too viscous and doesn’t adhere well to the build plate or extruded layers, you should slow down the print speed and increase the nozzle temperature. If the filament is oozing, you can speed up printing and reduce the nozzle temp.
3. Nozzle Temperature
Presuming you’re printing with high-quality filament, the nozzle temperature can also influence print speed.
As explained above, if the temperature is low – or if the hot end is older and takes too much time to melt the filament properly – the filament requires a slower print speed for proper adhesion.
On the contrary, if the temperature is high and the filament is oozing, you might want to set a slightly faster print speed.
4. Bed Temperature
While PETG is an overall fussy material, one of the things it’s not fussy about is bed temperature.
When melted at the right temperature and printed at the right speed, this filament has no trouble adhering to any bed – cool or heated as it may be.
However, if a low nozzle temperature pairs with a cool bed, you have to reduce print speed to increase adhesion.
Likewise, you may have to increase print speed if the bed and nozzle temperatures are both too high. In this case, the oozing material could lead to an array of problems from oozing to elephant foot, stringing, and blobbing.
5. Fan Settings
Cooling also impacts PETG printing speeds, with a fast fan speed requiring slower printing to prevent layer separation and warping.
Turning off the fan completely is also possible, but if the filament is too hot when extruded, it could result in stringing and oozing.
6. Room Temperature
Room temperature has about the same effect on printing with PETG as the cooling fan has. A constant room temperature and a printer calibrated correctly for that temperature result in no influence whatsoever on the print speed.
However, if the temperature in the room drops, it can lead to layer separation. If it raises, it could result in oozing.
If you can’t keep the temperature constant in the printer room, it is recommended to invest in a 3D printing enclosure.
7. Printer Location
Beyond room temperature, you should also consider the location of the printer.
If it is located near open doors or windows, or under an extractor fan that could lower the temperature in the room, you should set a slower print speed.
8. Printer Type
Lastly, the hardware you use can influence the print speed for PETG, as well as all other settings.
Most 3D printers require similar speeds, but if you’re using anything other than Creality or Prusa, you should check the instructions for your type of equipment.
Best Print Speed For PETG Filament
Considering all types of 3D printers and all the factors mentioned above, the best print speed for PETG filament is between 30 and 60 mm/second.
This range gives you plenty of wiggling room for fine-tune adjustments based on your actual conditions. It also works best for most PETG brands and printer types.
While the sweet spot for most users is around 44 to 50 mm/second, you’ll be able to tweak things as necessary while staying within the range.
That said, keep in mind that some PETG brands allow faster printing speeds with good – but not exceptional – results. In some cases, you can go up to 100 mm/second, the same as PLA.
7 Tips For Optimizing PETG Print Speed
Knowing what the best print speed for PETG is won’t do you much good unless you know how to adjust and calibrate the printer.
Otherwise, you may still end up with failed prints. Follow the steps below to avoid losing time and wasting material.
1. Fine-Tune Print Temperature
The first thing to consider when calibrating your printer for PETG is the nozzle temperature. This filament has a high melting point and requires an even higher temperature to become soft enough for proper extrusion.
For this reason, you should start calibrating the temp from a basepoint of 230°C. Lower by 5°C at a time if you notice oozing, or increase by 5°C at a time if you notice adhesion issues until everything is just right.
2. Fine-Tune Bed Temperature
PETG doesn’t necessarily require a heated bed, but if you do want to heat the build plate to improve first-layer adhesion, don’t go overboard.
Around 60°C to 65°C should suffice.
Note: Some PETG brands require a hot bed; in this case, you should set the build plate at the temperature indicated by the manufacturer, and adjust from there. As a rule of thumb, a too hot bed might result in elephant foot, while a too cold one in poor to no bed adhesion.
3. Adjust Cooling
To optimize print speed and reduce printing time, you could also adjust cooling. Typically, PETG requires no cooling and a very slow print speed for the first layers, to ensure bed adhesion.
After that, you can set the fan at a speed of around 50%. This is the best setting to ensure proper layer adhesion while cooling down the material fast enough to allow for a faster print speed.
4. Keep Room Temperature Constant
Since the room temperature can affect results and influence printer calibration, you should place the machine away from open doors and windows and in a room where you can maintain a constant temperature between 77°F and 98°F.
5. Use Thinner Filament
Printing with thinner filament is generally better when working with PETG for more reasons than one – including an optimized print speed.
Thinner filament reaches its glass transition point faster than the thicker type, and heats up to extrusion temperature faster.
Yet, after extrusion, the thinner layer has a better adhesion and cools down faster, allowing you to set a higher print speed without worrying about delamination.
6. Adjust Layer Height
One thing to keep in mind is that while PETG requires a slower speed (due to its heat retention characteristic), it doesn’t require thin layers.
That’s because the material has such a good adhesion when the printer is calibrated correctly that it needs no squishing whatsoever.
Knowing that can help you optimize speed by increasing layer height to about 0.28mm.
7. Keep Filament Dry
Printing with wet PETG can result in a variety of problems ranging from poor bed adhesion to stringing. All these issues can affect print speed, requiring you to make adjustments to save your model.
To maintain the print speed optimized, it is best to dry the filament before use. There are various methods you can employ, from a filament dryer to the kitchen oven and beyond.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does PLA print faster than PETG?
Yes, PLA prints faster than PETG.
While it generally prints best at speeds around 60 mm/second, it can go as high as 100 mm/second without running into any of the problems you may encounter when printing PETG at such speed.
How fast can the Ender 3 print PETG?
According to Creality, users should maintain a speed between 30 and 50 mm/second when printing PETG on Ender 3.
The sweet spot is around 40 mm/second for most projects, in ideal printing conditions.
The best PETG print speed is about 30 to 60 mm/second, depending on your printer, filament quality, environmental conditions, and printer calibration. We hope this guide can help you find the right print speed for your project.