Fastest 3D Printers Benchmarked: Top Printers Ranked By Output Time

There’s no doubt about it. 3D printers have been getting a lot faster and that’s a good thing. Models that used to take hours to complete can now be done in minutes. And the technical improvements are not limited to expensive printers either. Even basic machines can be found with stock installations of speedy Klipper firmware, Volcano nozzles and samples of high-flow PLA filament.

To find out which FDM-style (filament) 3D printer offers the best combination of quickness and quality output, we performed a timed print test using standard settings, max acceleration and no restrictions on flow. We used the standard nozzle with no hardware modifications as we tested more than a dozen models from leading manufacturers such as Creality, Bambu Lab and Prusa. 

All of these are among the best 3D printers for speed and ease of use, but they’re not all created equal. We saw print times ranging from 13 minutes to 41 minutes and huge quality differences in the output of our test model.

Below is a table summarizing our findings. Note that the Sovol SV06 is included to show how slow an old-school, unaccelerated printer performs.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Printer Time to Print (minutes) Cooling Ringing Layers Default Print Speed Max Speed Max Acceleration
Creality K1 Max 13:50 fair no rough near overhangs 300 600 20000
Creality K1 13:54 fair no rough near overhangs 300 600 20000
Bambu Lab P1P 17:44 fair no good 270 500 20000
Bambu Lab P1S 18:00 fair no little rough 270 500 20000
Bambu Lab A1 Mini 19:17 Good none excellent 270 500 10000
Sovol sv07 19:24 good none fair 250 500 8000
Elegoo Neptune 4 20:00 Good none acceptable 250 500 5000
AnkerMake M5c 20:04 good none good 270 500 5000
AnkerMake M5 23:00 fair trace ok 250 500 5000
Biqu Hurakan 24:31 good slight rough 60 150 3000
Prusa MK4 27:06 good none good 170 300 4000
Prusa Mini + 28:47 rough none decent 140 200 4000
Anycubic Kobra 2 32:00 excellent slight good 150 300 3000
Creality Ender 3 V3 SE 41:00 good none good 180 250 2500
Sovol SV06 59:00 excellent none perfect 60 200 1000

The fastest printer in our fleet is the K1 Max, which beat other brands by nearly 5 minutes with a 13 minute and 50 second Speed Benchy. The K1 Max has a top speed of 600 mm/s and max acceleration of 20000 mm/s.

Test prints were performed with the same standard filament: Inland’s gray PLA. We choose this filament because it is widely available, affordable and brutally honest in photographs. It actually exaggerates layer lines and other imperfections rather than hide them.  

Why use a Speed Benchy?

Why use a Speed Benchy?

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

There are many variables that go into fast 3D printing besides acceleration and flow rates. The type of filament, choice of slicer, size of the model and how well tuned your printer is can all affect speed. We had a difficult time finding one testing model that would work with every slicer and every printer, so in the end we turned to the humble 3D Benchy

3D Benchy was created to test and tune the quality settings of 3D printers. It has difficult overhangs, precise curves and doesn’t waste a lot of filament.  A “Speed” Benchy also uses the same quality setting to keep the playing field fair. 

Every printer on this list can create a beautiful Benchy given about 45 minutes and sensible settings. However, none of our high-speed 3D printers could pull off a Benchy when all settings were 500mm/s, the top speed listed for several of these machines. Yes, we tried.

A 500mm/s Speed Beachy from the Bambu Lab P1P.  (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Parameters Used for Tom’s Hardware Speed Benchy

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Nozzle .4mm
Layer Height .25mm
Line Width .5mm
Walls $2.00
Top/Bottom Layers $3.00
Infill 10% Grid
Material Temp 230 C
Build Plate Temp 60 C
Infill Speed 300mm/s
Outer Wall Speed 200mm/s
Inner Wall Speed 300mm/s
Top/Bottom Speed 150mm/s
Travel Speed 500mm/s
Initial Layer Speed 60mm/s
Combing Not in Skin
Cooling 100%
Minimum Layer Time $0.00
Build Play Adhesion Skirt, 1 line
Max Volumetric Speed $50.00
Slow printing for better layer cooling OFF

None of the printers were able to produce a perfect specimen at full speed, which was expected. But the photos show how close each was able to get.

Creality K1 Max

Creality K1 Max

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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Core XY, Klipper
Acceleration 20000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 600 mm/s
Nozzle K1 (21 mm)
Speed Boat Time 13 minutes 50 seconds

Beating other brands by nearly 5 minutes (and the K1 by a mere 4 seconds), the K1 Max produced a boat that was a bit stringy and rough on the lower layers, but very solid by speed boat standards. Some edges are a bit rounded off due to excessive input shaping, but there is no ringing and the top of the smokestack and overhangs are well-defined.

Creality K1

Creality K1

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core XY, Klipper
Acceleration 20000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 600 mm/s
Nozzle K1 (21 mm)
Speed Boat Time 13 minutes 50 seconds

Only 4 seconds slower than its larger sibling, the K1 prints a Benchy that is well-defined for Speed Boat rules despite being a bit stringy and rough on the lower layers. Like the K1 Max, which uses the same slicer and firmware, the edges are a bit rounded off from excessive input shaping. All in all, it’s a great printer for fast prototyping.

Bambu Lab P1P

Bambu Lab P1P

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core XY, Bambu OS
Acceleration 20000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 500 mm/s
Nozzle Bambu (10.6 mm)
Speed Boat Time 17 minutes 44 seconds

The P1P produced a beautiful speed Benchy with a tiny smudge from cooling issues on the bow, a little stringing but absolutely no ringing.

Bambu Lab P1S

Bambu Lab P1S

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core Cartesian, Bambu OS
Acceleration 10000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 500 mm/s
Nozzle Bambu (10.6 mm)
Speed Boat Time 19 minutes 17 seconds

The fastest bed slinger by a few seconds, the A1 Mini produced a Benchy that was not only amazingly fast but super clean. There’s no ringing, the edges are well-defined and the layers are very smooth.

Sovol SV07

Sovol SV07

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core Cartesian, Klipper
Acceleration 8000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 500 mm/s
Nozzle K1 (21mm)
Speed Boat Time 19 minutes 24 seconds

A very nice – for speed – print with a few rough spots on the corners. The Sovol SV97’s ridiculously large auxiliary curtain fan earns its keep with very decent overhangs.

Elegoo Neptune 4

Elegoo Neptune 4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core Cartesian, Klipper
Acceleration 5000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 500 mm/s
Nozzle Spider (16.8mm)
Speed Boat Time 20 minutes 0 seconds

This is a very good print by the Neptune 4. It has some rough layers and gaps in the cabin’s corners, but is incredibly good considering the speed.

AnkerMake M5c

AnkerMake M5c

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core Cartesian, Klipper Inspired
Acceleration 5000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 500 mm/s
Nozzle Anker (17mm)
Speed Boat Time 20 minutes 4 seconds

The AnkerMake M5c struggled with the columns that form the Benchy’s cabin, but otherwise this print is remarkably good without stringing or ringing about the porthole. Layers on the hull of the boat are very nice.

AnkerMake M5

AnkerMake M5

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core Cartesian, Klipper Inspired
Acceleration 5000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 500 mm/s
Nozzle Anker (17mm)
Speed Boat Time 23 minutes 0 seconds

The AnkerMake M5 wasn’t originally built for this level of speed – it originally had a ceiling of 250 mm/s before a firmware update gave it this fast mode. It’s good enough for drafts, but little else.

BIQU Hurakan

BIQU Hurakan

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core Cartesian, Klipper
Acceleration 3000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 300 mm/s
Nozzle MK8 (13mm)
Speed Boat Time 24 minutes 31 seconds

The Hurakan was the first bed slinger we received with Klipper preinstalled, but now its speed is less remarkable. Lack of cooling holds it back, but on the bright side, there’s no ringing to be found.

Prusa MK4

Prusa MK4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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Core Cartesian, Klipper
Acceleration 4000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 300 mm/s
Nozzle V6 (12.5mm)
Speed Boat Time 27 minutes 6 seconds

The MK4 recently received new firmware that released its inner speed demon. The walls are nice and neat, overhangs are pretty good and there’s no ringing. The Input Shaping firmware allows the MK4 to cut its run time in half.

Prusa Mini+ (with Alpha Input Shaping Update)

Prusa Mini+ (with Alpha Input Shaping Update)

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core Cartesian, Klipper Inspired
Acceleration 4000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 200 mm/s
Nozzle V6 (12.5mm)
Speed Boat Time 28 minutes 47 seconds

The Prusa Mini+ is getting Input Shaping stuffed into its tiny board, and the Alpha version of this incredible update is out for the adventurous to sample. The results are still a bit shaky – the corners are pretty messy – but this really breathes new life into a fan favorite.

Anycubic Kobra 2

Anycubic Kobra 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core Cartesian, Marlin
Acceleration 3000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 300 mm/s
Nozzle Volcano (21mm)
Speed Boat Time 32 minutes 0 seconds

The Kobra 2 gets all its speed upgrades from a sturdy frame and new metal parts. It’s not as fast as a Klipper printer, but that keeps it well within the cooling power of its new fan for well formed overhangs.

Creality Ender 3 V3 SE

Creality Ender 3 V3 SE 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Core Cartesian, Marlin
Acceleration 3000mm/s²
Max Print Speed 300 mm/s
Nozzle Spider (16.8mm)
Speed Boat Time 41 minutes 0 seconds

The Ender 3 V3 SE claims to be faster than previous Enders, but that’s not saying a lot. This print is very clean and looks fantastic in person.

The Basics of Motion

The Basics of Motion

3D printers create three-dimensional objects using layers of melted plastic extruded by a hot nozzle. The three dimensions are plotted with X, Y and Z coordinates, with X and Y covering lateral movements and Z taking the vertical. 

There are three main types of motion systems for 3D printers: Cartesian, Core XY and Delta. 

Cartesian: Named after the mathematical coordinate system, this style uses three linear axes – X, Y, and Z – to move the print head. Each axis has its own motor and works independently. The system can be quite heavy, especially when the Y axis is used to move the build plate. Cartesian printers have been popularized by Joseph Prusa’s i3 style machines – like the MK4 – and its many clones. Our favorite budget printers are usually Cartesian, such as the Neptune 3 Pro.

CoreXY: This style of printer uses two motor-driven belts that work together to control the way the print head moves in both the X and Y directions. The system is complex, but more efficient and lighter weight, which allows for fast, precise movement. The Bambu Lab P1S is a good example of a Core XY printer.

Delta: Tall and slender, deltas have three spindly arms connected to the tool head which work together in a complex dance. The nozzle moves by changing the height of these arms, allowing it to reach different points on the circular build area. Delta printers are faster due to their light weight and comparatively fewer moving parts – the build plate is stationary and there’s no heavy gantry to move up and down. 

Hotend Flow, Cooling and Firmware

Hotend Flow

All 3D printers need to melt filament before squeezing it out of the nozzle in a desired shape. High speed printers need to melt more filament faster in order to avoid disastrous gaps – called under extrusion – in the layers. 

Higher flow rates can be achieved by increasing the melt zone in the hotend. Printers like the Creality K1 use a longer Volcano style nozzle to maximize flow. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Cooling

In order to print fast, a 3D printer needs adequate cooling systems to make sure each layer of plastic is solid before adding more on top of it. Poor cooling can result in saggy overhangs, sloppy bridging, blurred details and poor layer adhesion.

Cooling is provided by fans attached to the printer and pointed at the fresh layer of plastic as it’s laid down. A few years ago, a printer might have one cooling fan on the tool head and call it a day. As we’ve strived for faster speeds, we’ve moved to bigger, more efficient fans. Additional fans have also been added to the sides or back of printers, like the large gantry mounted fan of the Elegoo Neptune 4

Firmware

Your printer’s firmware is a big player in print speed. Traditional Marlin has been slow to add speed improvements, which has led to more manufacturers embracing Klipper. Klipper uses more advanced motion algorithms – and requires a bit more processing power – to make your printer faster. Before the introduction of the FLSun V400, the only way to get Klipper was to install it yourself. Now many manufacturers are using Klipper as a stock firmware.

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