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Power usage study

A project log for How to win at 3D printing

Adventures with an Ender 3

lion mclionheadlion mclionhead 09/20/2022 at 04:370 Comments

The Ender 3 came in at 322W when starting up & 60W when printing PLA with a 50C bed & 230C nozzle.  The power supply was only rated for 300W.  When heating the bed & nozzle simultaneously, it dumps the full output & probably browns out.  

This brings up the question of how practical a 300x300mm bed is.  Even if the print is 10x10mm, the entire bed has to be heated.  So if you're paying for electricity instead of using solar panels, you'd need a smaller printer for smaller prints & a bigger printer for bigger prints.  If electricity is unlimited, you could use a bigger printer full time.

Printing TPU with a 260C nozzle & no bed heating burns 65W.  10 hours of printing burned 0.650kW hours.

The idle printer burns 7W.  With the motors on, it burns 22W.  Motors + 260C nozzle heating burns 65W.  Motors + 260C nozzle + 65C bed heating burns 330W as the worst case PETG setting.  Once at steady state, it oscillates between 65W & 300W with the worst case PETG temperature settings.  300W seems to happen when the bed is heating.  The nozzle heating seems to be proportional while the bed heating is binary & sucks most of the power.

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