Infill Percentage VS Strength: How to Balance?

Infill percentage vs strength is an important and often overlooked factor to consider when 3D printing. It can have a significant impact on the strength of the printed object, but how much should you use? Finding the balance between the conflict of infill percentage vs strength is key when 3D printing. Through this article, I will delve into the details of why infill percentage matters, as well as provide tips and advice to learn how to find the right balance between infill percentage vs strength. So, let’s dive into this.

What is infill in Fused Deposition Modeling?

FDM(Fused Deposition Modeling) is a popular 3D printing technology that uses thermoplastic material to create three-dimensional objects. Infill is an essential aspect of FDM 3D printing, as it determines the internal structure of the object being printed. The infill represents the density of the object’s interior, which can vary between 0% and 100%.

The infill percentage directly affects the part strength and weight of the object being printed. An object with a higher infill percentage will be stronger but heavier than one with a lower percentage. It is crucial to strike a balance between strength and weight while using FDM 3D printing technology. The application and purpose of the 3d printed functional parts must be considered when choosing the best from different infill percentage.

Which Pattern Should I Choose for Infill FDM 3D Printing Process?

Infill FDM 3D printing is an essential aspect of the additive manufacturing process. Choosing the right pattern for infill can improve part strength, reduce weight and minimize printing time. With so many options available, it can be challenging to decide which pattern you should choose.



One of the most popular infill patterns for FDM 3D printing is the honeycomb pattern. This unique structure consists of hexagonal cells that are connected to one another, creating a strong and lightweight lattice structure. While this type of infill might not be suitable for every print job, it’s perfect for objects that require both strength and lightness. Such as drone frames or RC car parts, includes visual parts.


Triangular FDM

The triangular pattern is widely recognized as one of the strongest infill patterns for FDM 3D printing due to its interlocking structure that provides excellent bonding and stability. This infill type is also known for its ability to distribute stress evenly across an object’s surface, making it ideal for creating robust structures.


Wiggle FDM

The Wiggle pattern is an advanced infill algorithm that creates a crisscrossing effect within the object’s interior layers. This pattern provides great structural support while also being aesthetically pleasing due to its unique look. The Wiggle Pattern works by creating small zigzag lines within each layer of your print, which provides excellent structural support without using too much material. This results in a stronger and more durable print with reduced printing time and lower costs compared to other infill patterns. In comparison to other commonly used patterns such as honeycomb or rectilinear, Wiggle has been shown to provide superior strength at lower infill percentages.


Rectangular FDM

One popular infill pattern for FDM 3D printing is the rectangular pattern. This involves laying down rows of rectangular shapes in a grid-like fashion within the interior of a print. The rectangular shape allows for easy stacking and helps prevent warping or distortion during printing. Because this pattern has less empty space than some other patterns like honeycomb or gyroid, prints with rectangular infill tend to be stronger overall.

Infill Percentages Recommendation You Should Consider

Choosing best infill percentage is one of the key factors that determine the strength and durability of 3D-printed objects. Generally, infill refers to the interior structure of a 3D model, which determines its solidity and support. Choosing infill percentages range from 0% to 100%, with higher infill percentages for 3d printing process resulting in stronger and more durable prints.

Figurine & Model Prints

For figurine and model prints, an infill percentage between 0% to 15% is usually recommended for FDM printing using PLA or ABS filaments. This may vary depending on the complexity of your design and what you intend to use it for. If you want to create a display piece that won’t be handled much or exposed to stress, then a lower infill percentage might suffice.

Standard Prints Recommended infill percentage for FDM is between 15-50%. This range strikes a balance between strength and cost-effectiveness. At this level of infill, you can expect your prints to have sufficient structural integrity while keeping material usage at a reasonable level.

Flexible Prints:

The recommended infill percentage for flexible prints in FDM varies depending on several factors such as layer height, nozzle size, and filament type. But you can have 1-100% for any kind of flexible 3d printed parts. Higher infill percentages lead to stronger prints with reduced flexibility while lower percentages produce more flexible prints but at the expense of structural integrity.

Functional Prints:

When choosing the right infill percentage for functional prints, there are several factors to consider. The first is the level of strength required for your intended use case. Higher infill percentages will generally result in stronger objects with greater structural integrity, while lower percentages can save time and material but may not be as durable. Other factors include print speed, surface finish requirements, and support structures needed during printing.

For most functional prints, a medium-range infill percentage of around 50-100% is recommended.

What Should You Consider Determining Infill Percentage?

Determining the right infill percentage is crucial when it comes to 3D printing. It determines the amount of material that will be used for filling up the empty spaces inside a print.

  • One of the most important factors to consider is the intended use of your printed object. For instance, if you are looking to create a model with high structural integrity or durability, you will need a higher infill percentage.
  • Another key consideration is the layer height and nozzle diameter of your printer. When using printers with smaller nozzles and thinner layers, higher infills may be required to achieve structural stability in your prints.
  • If aesthetics are more important than function, such as with decorative objects or prototypes that won’t be subjected to stress or wear and tear, lower percentages may suffice.


It is clear that there is a balance to be found in the infill percentage vs strength relation of a 3D-printed model. The higher the infill percentage, the stronger the model but with a commensurate increase in printing time. The user must decide on what combination of strength and printing time is acceptable for their particular application. With some experimentation, it is possible to find the best compromise for any given project.

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