MakerBot claims its Desktop 3.8 prints designs 30% faster and with stronger structural support.
3D printing speed is affected by several factors, including how you arrange a build on the build tray, how you slice the STL code, and what fill patterns you use to support the object during the build. Since it’s a metric users want, companies continually work to improve a printer’s build speed.
MakerBot’s Desktop 3.8 software upgrade includes new infill patterns that increase printing speed and enhance the strength of the object. One of the new patterns is the diamond infill. In tests, designs like the Brilliant Cut Diamond by Cymon found on Thingiverse, printed stronger and 30% faster than with the Desktop 3.6 software.
This diamond infill pattern lets the extruder move faster during turns. Diamond infill is also extruded more consistently than other infill patterns, making it structurally stronger.
Contributing to the speed improvement is the variable layer height feature introduced in MakerBot Desktop 3.7. With variable layer height printing, the inside of a 3D print, or the infill, can be 3D printed at a thicker layer height than the outer layers, or the shell. The more an object is printed at that higher layer height, the faster the print will be overall.
In addition, MakerBot has added a feature to the upgrade that will estimate when your print will finish.
Other features of the software upgrade include one-click 3D printing, which automatically starts the print once the slicing has finished. You no longer need to wait for this step.
MakerBot recommends that after installing Desktop 3.8, you should also upgrade your 3D printer to Firmware 1.8. Taking advantage of the fact that MakerBot 3D Printers are Wi-Fi connected, Firmware 1.8 allows you to update to future firmware versions right from your 3D printer.