Printing time optimization for a patient specific skull model

Dear friends,

I am looking for a way to optimize printing time for a patients' skull model, beside choosing optimal orientation (best printing time- when the base of the skull faces towards the tray, 1d 4h 29m).

It is important for me to maintain a high level of details in the area of the orbits- the patient fractured his right orbit.

I have added a few pictures of the model in attached PDF.

Do you have any ideas/insights-
-How can I modify the STL, or change GrabCAD configurations, in order to get the shortest printing time?
-Is there a methodology to optimize a part/model in order to reduce printing time?

I will be grateful for your help and experience,

-Segmentation- 3D Slicer 4.8.1
-Post-processing- Meshmixer 3.4.35
-Printer- uPrint SE Plus

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1 Answer

There are a few options:
1 - Obtain a printer which works faster.
2 - Obtain more printers and distribute portions of the job to each.
3. Reduce the size/scale of the object being printed.
4. See if you can slice the model in half (height wise) so you can build the top and bottom halves at the same time. When done, the pieces get bonded back together.
5. The focus is on the eyes, so trim another half inch or so from the top and bottom of the model.
5b. Alternatively, cut more material from the back of the skull if possible. Any reduction in material used is going to help reduce the build time.
6. Get a printer with a larger X/Y print bed size so you can breakup a 4" tall model into say four 1" tall models which are all built at the same time.

I'm really not too familiar with FDM systems, but I found that models with many small segments (i.e. gear teeth) would really slow down the stereolithography build times. You might see if your software defines what is taking the most time, then consider options to optimize the model.

If the file is enormous (hundreds, or thousands of megabytes), you might see if reducing the facet count helps to reduce build time, or processing time.

Optimizing print time is all about reducing model height in most systems. Other systems like SL or Polyjet printers also have preferred model placement, and rotation on the platforms. I don't think it applies as much to an FDM system, but if there is any way to reduce the movement distance of the print head, you'll save time.

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