The print speed defines at which speed (in mm/s) the print head moves while printing. Based on this setting, Cura will also calculate how fast the filament must be extruded. A higher print speed will lead to a shorter print time. But keep in mind that increasing the print speed means that you might have to increase the temperature as well, to ensure the plastic is properly melted.
Although you can choose one overall print speed for the complete print, it’s also possible to use different print speeds for specific parts of the print:
- Infill speed: The speed at which the infill material is printed. Since (visual) quality of the infill is not important, you could use a higher speed for the infill. But keep in mind that this might affect the strength of your print.
- Outer wall speed: The speed at which the outer walls are printed. Printing the outer wall a bit slower usually results in a better surface finish.
- Inner wall speed: The speed at which the inner walls are printed.
- Top/bottom speed: The speed at which the top and bottom layers are printed. A lower speed increases the reliability of closure of the top layers, especially on large area prints.
- Support infill speed: The speed at which support structures are printed. The quality of the support is usually not that important, so a higher value can often be used here.
- Support interface speed: The speed at which support roofs and bottoms are printed. Since these need to adhere to the model properly, they are printed quite slow.
This is the speed at which the print head moves when it’s not extruding, so when the print head is moving from one point to another. A higher travel speed decreases the chance of filament leaking from the nozzle, resulting in a cleaner object. On the other hand a too high speed means that the nozzle can hit an already printed part so fast that it might damage of deform by the hot nozzle. This can be prevented by using Z-hop when retracting though.
Initial layer print speed
With this setting, you can specify the speed for the first layer of the print. By default a low speed is used for the bottom layer, so that the material sticks well to the build plate on the first layer.
Initial layer travel speed
With this setting, you can specify the travel speed for the first layer over the print. Keep this setting low to keep the nozzle from pulling the print of the build plate, especially with detailed bottom surfaces.
It’s also possible to adjust the speed at which the skirt or brim is printed. Usually, this is similar to the initial layer speed.
This setting changes the speed for all build plate moves during the print. This includes all layer changes and z-hops. Normally the z-speed is at maximum and capped by the firmware of the machine.
Number of slower layers
This setting defines the number of layers it takes to reach the print speed from the bottom layer of the print. The speed will linearly incline over the number of layers specified, based on the Initial layer speed and print speed. A higher value decreases the chance of warping, but can also increases the print time significantly.
In the example above the number of slower layers is set to 4, which means that after the fourth layer the set print speed settings will be used.
Equalize filament flow
This setting allows thin walls to be printed at a higher speed than normal. This way, the extrusion is lowered on the printed part, making it equal to the volume it should extrude.
Enable acceleration control
Acceleration is a very important part in printing. Just like a car, the printhead needs to accelerate to get to the speeds as explained above. The acceleration reduce the speeds set in the firmware, making the print a little slower, but more accurate. Disable the setting to get the maximum acceleration.
Enable jerk control
Jerk defines the speed of the printhead before performing a hard stop. Just like a car, the printhead needs to stop completely at some points. Compare it to hitting the brake completely: when you do this at too high speeds it feels uncomfortable. The jerk settings reduce the speeds set in the firmware, making the print a little slower, but more accurate. Disable the setting to get the maximum jerk.