Today I’m going to introduce a new type of filling for your 3d prints, the gyroid infill. When it comes to infill patterns in 3d printing, we are used to dealing with simple geometric figures. The most famous and used to this date is Grid pattern, straight lines, honeycomb, and cubic. The choices are obviously not limited to these 4, but these are certainly the most used. There are some main differences between them, which affect the resistance and the maximum printing speed. Every now and then, slicing softwares are trying to implement a wider choice of usable infills for different reasons. For example, let’s look at Cura. They introduced a type of infill to minimize retraction and a new kind called quarter cube to reduce the material but maintaining the same resistance).
Now another infill has been around for some time, and it’s time to take a look at it.
A gyroid is a natural structure present in the wings of butterflies, microorganisms, or more simple in nature. It is a structure that allows excellent rigidity and resistance associated with low density, therefore less weight. It is also present within the membranes within the cells.
In 2017, MIT researchers investigated the possibility of using the gyroid shape to transform two-dimensional layer structures, such as graphene, into a three-dimensional structure, with low density and high tensile strength. During the tests, it was found that 3D objects with a gyroid structure could benefit major resistance and structural integrity.
Upon learning of this news, Supermerill, one of the developers of Slic3r, immediately got to work and integrated the Gyroid infill among the other possible choices. It is implemented in PrusaSlicer as well.
From the experiments conducted, it is reasonable to conclude that gyroid increases the pure mechanical resistance and a little the compressive strength.
When to use the gyroid infill?
If your printed object requires only mechanical strength, try gyroid infill as it will increase the overall integrity and resistance of the piece along with the outer shell.
Otherwise, if the 3D printed objects require transverse compression force or in both directions, use the cubic infill, as it will fill along 2 axes, x and y.
If the print requires only perpendicular compression force, use the triangles infill.
If your limiting factor is the weight, but you can’t compromise the structure, then gyroid is the best choice!
3D printing gyroid infill
Using a gyroid infill does have some benefits looking at a structural aspect. Also, it looks very satisfying, and it creates some cool effects using translucid filaments. On the other side, it has a few downsides that need some attention.
Is gyroid infill faster?
One aspect that you have to consider is printing time, gyroid infill increases printing time by at least 15%, so before you start that 1-day print, I suggest you evaluate if it’s really worth it. In terms of filament usage, the consumption is pretty much the same as using grid infill. Other than that, I recommend using a good layer cooling to guarantee that the infill is printed correctly. The pattern has some little overhangs, nothing too much, but with lower density and big objects, it could create some problems and could ruin all the purpose of this infill.
Gyroid infill advantages
As I said, the main advantage is an overall resistance and better toleration of all kinds of forces.
It is assumed that this type of infill has better characteristics against breaking than the common types of infill we know.
A test conducted by an author named Martin is found here. He printed test examples and subjected them to bending to test the resistance against shear stress.
The advantages of gyroid infill over the tested infill types are:
- high shear strength
- low weight (so less filament needed).
On top of these advantages, Gyroid infill prints relatively b compared to some other infill types and is close to isotropic (uniform in all orientations), meaning that, is very suitable for flexible prints.
Cura gyroid infill
Cura can slice the models using this type of infill, and it’s easy to use, you just have to select it, and it’s done. It is pretty straightforward as any other type of infill, but you have to take into count some settings that affect the final results.
Cura gyroid infill adjustment
Some parameters need adjustments to reach your desired effect, and those are:
Density is important when using gyroid infill. Usually, you can achieve good mechanic properties with 15% of infill, but if you’re using flexible materials I suggest you lower that value to 10 % or lower to have a more uniform softness around the border.
I suggest lowering the speed to avoid stress on the frame caused by the typical wave shape of the infill, especially when using a high infill density
Gyroid infill TPU
IT is easy to say that if you’re using TPU, the best infill type is gyroid for its isotropic properties. A good way to achieve the best flexible and elastic effect is reducing the shell width as much as possible and using a lower infill density.
Concentric infill VS gyroid
Concentric is mainly used for parts that are supposed to be flexible, just like gyroid, but in this case, my choice is gyroid. For some reason, it’s actually a tiny bit faster than cubic, is sturdier, and way more pleasant to look at.
Concentric is not used mainly for structural support. Its purpose is to attach the bottom with the top in such a manner that it doesn’t create an obvious pattern on the outside walls.
Gyroid infill is another trick to use wisely, which can be really helpful if you want to reinforce the prints without excessive use of material. Moreover, like any natural structure, besides having amazing mechanical properties, it is also beautiful to the eye. In the photos, you can see the harmony of the shapes that gives the feeling of lightness and amazing resistance. This is nature!