It depends on how much filament is used. Small flat key chains may take 10-20 minutes. Large objects can take hours. Most printers would take 5+ hours to print an object at the maximum size of the print bed.
Many of our teachers set up their 3D printers to print throughout the school day while they are teaching and working. Some also set their printers to print overnight - remember that your printers can continue printing while you are sleeping!
Settings that affect print time include:
1. Quality – you can adjust the height of each layer between about 100 to 500 microns (that’s 1/10th to ½ millimetre). The thinner layers take longer but produce better quality, smoother prints; and
2. Infill – solid objects can be ‘honeycombed’ rather than filled up. This speeds up the print and saves filament.
Note that one of the most time consuming parts of 3D printing is setting up a print – unlike paper printing, jobs cannot be sent to the printer and queued as each job must be removed from the printer before the next one can start.
Many of our teachers nominate their more enthusiastic students to help manage their 3D printing workload. This can be a win-win for all - teachers then have an extra pair of hands to help manage their printing and students enjoy taking on the extra responsibility and leadership.
You can also chat to your teaching colleagues and come up with a system to manage the 3D printing for your unit or building. Remember that many hands make light work!