Conceptually, FDM 3D printing is a fairly simple process: you define a set of volumes in 3D space, then the slicing software slices through the model at increasing heights, determines where the inner and outer walls are, and then fill in the interior volume sparsely to join the walls and support the upper layers that are added last.
But as you’ll quickly discover, when models get larger and more complex, print times can quickly explode. One trick for large models with simple shapes but very low structural needs is to use the so-called ‘vase mode’, which traces the outline of the object in a thin vertical spiral. But this is a weak construction scheme and only allows for limited modeling complexity. With that in mind, here it is [Ben Eadie] with a kind of middle-of-the-road technique (video, embedded below) that some may find useful to save time and printing material.
The idea is to use the vase mode print, but by manipulating the casing of the model, adding partially cut-out slots around the perimeter, and more importantly, adding a slot that goes all the way.
You first need a model that has an inner shell that roughly follows the shape of the outer shell, which you could produce by hollowing out a solid, leaving a bit of thickness. By making the width of the slot equal to half the thickness of the spout size and stopping the slots the same distance from the outer shell, vase mode can be used to trace the outline of the shape, complete with support ribs between the inner and outer walls of the shell.
Because the slot is narrower than the extrudate, the walls of the slot will merge into a single solid rib, binding the walls of the objects together, but critically, still allowing it to print in a continuous spiral without any traditional stuffing. It’s an interesting idea, one that might have some merit.
There are other ways to toughen up the printed parts, like using surface textures, but if you’re fine with the skinny cover, but want to have a little fun with it, you can hack the g-code to do something really cool. shapes