Honeycomb Infill In 3D Printing – Strength, Advantages & Disadvantages

Honeycomb Infill is a pattern used inside a 3D-printed object. This pattern, as the name suggests, resembles the structure of a honeycomb seen in beehives. Since this pattern evenly distributes infill across the print it is widely preferred because of its excellent strength-to-weight ratio. It provides high strength and stability to the 3D printed object.

Honeycomb Infill In 3D Printing

Below you can see I printed a cube with Honeycomb infill. You can notice how the infill is copying the beehive structure which helps in giving higher strength compared to other simple infill patterns like Rectilinear infill. I also feel this pattern looks more pleasing to the eyes.

Honeycomb Infill 3D Printed Cube

Honeycomb Infill Settings in Prusa:

Cura doesn’t directly offer a honeycomb infill pattern, which is available in slicers like Prusa slicer. To enable Honeycomb Infill settings in PrusaSlicer, follow these steps:

  1. Start the PrusaSlicer software on your computer and open your 3D models for printing.
  2. Click the “Add” button to select the desired 3D model for printing. Once selected, the model will be shown on the virtual print bed within the software.
    Open STL file in Prusa
  3. On the left side of the interface, navigate through various tabs and click on “Print Settings” to access the configuration options for your print.
    Changing print setting in 3D Prusa slicer
  4. Within the “Print Settings” tab, locate the section labelled “Infill” and click to explore the infill settings.
  5. In the “Fill Pattern” dropdown menu, opt for “Honeycomb” to set the infill pattern for your print.
    Select Honeycomb infill pattern in Prusa Slicer
  6. Beneath the “Fill Pattern” dropdown, find the “Fill Density” slider. Adjust this slider to modify the density of the honeycomb infill. Higher percentages result in a denser, stronger print, albeit consuming more material and requiring additional printing time.
    Fill Infill Density in 3D Slicer
  7. Once satisfied with your settings, click the “Slice Now” button situated at the bottom right of the screen. This action will prepare your model for printing, incorporating the specified honeycomb infill settings.
    Slicing and get your gcode file for 3D printing

How To Add Honeycomb Infill Settings in Cura:

Cura doesn’t have Honeycomb infill but you can add it easily by following the below steps. I personally added and used it in my Cura settings.

  1. Visit the Cura repository on smart avionics’s GitHub page.
    Open release page of Github
  2. Navigate to the “Releases” section on the right side of the page and choose the latest release labelled with a date in reverse number format, such as “20220111.” Alternatively, if you prefer a pre-release version, access the full list by clicking the “Releases” button.
  3. Within the selected version, expand the “Assets” section to reveal the installation files.
  4. Identify and click on the installation file for the chosen version, denoted by the “.exe” file extension.
    Download exe file Honeycomb infill cura
  5. After downloading the “.exe” file, execute it. If a Windows security alert appears, proceed by clicking “Run anyway.” The installer will prompt you for information like the download location, which you can easily complete.
  6. Upon completion of the download, consider renaming the application to avoid confusion with the official version of Cura.
  7. Launch the application. Your slicer profiles and account status (if applicable) from the official Cura version should remain unchanged in this modified version.

Key Advantages of 3D Honeycomb Infill:

Honeycomb Infill is known for its combination of strength, flexibility, and efficiency. Its beehive structure significantly enhances the quality and durability of 3D-printed objects. In the below points, I will explain the benefits of honeycomb infill:

Advantages of Honeycomb Infill

1. Strength and Structural Integrity: Honeycomb patterns are known for their exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. This makes objects printed with honeycomb infill more robust and rigid, which is especially beneficial for functional parts and prototypes.

2. Material Efficiency: Honeycomb infill consumes less material compared to solid infill, while still maintaining structural integrity. This is crucial for reducing material costs and speeding up the printing process.

3. Lightweight Design: The lightweight nature of the honeycomb pattern makes it suitable for applications where weight reduction is a priority, such as aerospace and automotive components.

4. Better Heat and Sound Insulation: The hexagonal cells of the honeycomb pattern create air gaps that can enhance the thermal and acoustic insulation properties of the printed object. This is valuable in architectural models, consumer products, and more.

5. Strong Faster Printing: Honeycomb Infill may not be as fast as Rectilinear or Grid Infill but it’s surely faster when compared to Gyroid or Cubic Infill. So if you are looking for a balance between strength and speed printing, it’s highly recommended to use honeycomb infill.

Disadvantages of Honeycomb Infill:

Now let’s discuss the disadvantages of using honeycomb infill in 3D printing.

Disadvantages of Honeycomb Infill

Time-Consuming: Since honeycomb infill is not a simple infill so it can be time-consuming if compared to infill like rectilinear, grid or lines infill. The complex pattern requires more time to print compared to other infill patterns like rectilinear or grid.

Difficulty in Removal: Honeycomb infill can be difficult to remove if you’re using it as support infill material. Its intricate pattern makes it harder to remove without damaging the main structure.

Limited Applications: While honeycomb infill is excellent for certain applications, it’s not always the best choice. For instance, it may not be suitable for models that require a high level of detail or precision.

Using Honeycomb Infill Design To Create 3D Model:

Honeycomb infill despite being an internal structure can be used to create 3D models itself. This is because it has an aesthetically pleasing design and an incredibly strong structure. This unique combination of beauty and strength makes it a great choice for creating a wide variety of 3D print models.

Using Honeycomb Infill Design To Create 3D Model

Now let’s look at some designs of 3D print models that have used the honeycomb structure. These designs will give you a clear idea of how they can be added to your own projects. You can use them as an inspiration for your projects. So lets begin:

1. Honeycomb Lampshade:

Below you can see three beautiful lampshade that are created using honeycomb structure. They look nice and are inspired from visual appearance of honeycombs. These lampshades are able to create a soft light and bring a cozy feeling to the environment.

Lampshade Using Honeycomb Infill Structure

2. Honeycomb Pen And Pencil Holder:

Next inspiration we have using Honeycomb infill design for pen or pencil holder. You can easily hold multiple pens in a very small space. This pen holder is not just about functionality, but also about bringing a piece of nature’s beehive wonder to your desk.
Pen Stand Using Honeycomb Infill Structure

3. Honeycomb Wall Decor:

Next, we have Honeycomb-inspired wall decor which has the added functionality of using it as a keychain holder or wall shelf. It’s designed with a series of interconnected hexagonal shapes, copying honeycomb, which gives it a modern and stylish look.

Wall Decor Shelf Using Honeycomb Infill Structure

4. Honeycomb Phone Backcover:

Lastly, we have a few phone back covers of iPhone and Samsung phones that use Honecomb-inspired design. These phone covers not only look aesthetically pleasing look but also have a robust structure that offers enhanced protection for your device. The honeycomb pattern provides an excellent grip too reducing the chances of accidental slips.

Phone Cover Using Honeycomb Infill Structure

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