Can You Pause a 3D Print Overnight? How Long Can You Pause For?


If you wonder whether you can pause a 3D print, you are not alone. 3D prints can last many hours, and even days in some cases, so being able to pause a 3D print would be very important.

You can pause a 3D print directly from your 3D printer control box, through your 3D printer file instructions in your slicer, or through control software like OctoPrint or Pronterface. Most people pause 3D prints from the display screen by using the “Pause Print” option.

Keep on reading on more information about pausing your 3D prints, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Can You Pause a 3D Print?

While it is not recommended that you pause prints, it is very possible to pause a 3D print. Even though 3D printers are designed to run for several hours, it may become necessary to pause prints for several reasons.

Some users are not comfortable leaving the printer running unattended for most of the day when they will be at work. Others consider running it overnight to be too loud since it may disturb people’s sleep.

As soon as you are ready to resume your 3D printing, open the UI and initiate resume. This will undo the pause command and return the 3D printer to the printing state.

If you don’t know where the pause print option is on your 3D printer, kindly read the manual.

You’ll notice a pause option on the user interface (UI), and this can be used to do following:

  • Disable heating elements
  • Changing filaments
  • Changing colors after a certain layer
  • Embed various objects into a 3D printed object
  • Move the printer to a different location

How Long Can You Pause a 3D Printer?

It is possible to pause your 3D printer for as long as you want, as long as the 3D print stays in place and isn’t removed from the bed or jolted. There may be a mismatch on the layer depending on how well the printer resumes. People usually pause a 3D printer for a few minutes to a few hours.

Some 3D printers are going to perform better with pausing, especially if they are proven among 3D printer hobbyists, like the Prusa Mk3S+ or the Ender 3 V2.

The main goal with how long you can pause your 3D printer is being able to keep your 3D print from moving off the print bed.

The main reason why a 3D printer should not be paused for too long is as one user puts it, after leaving the printer to cool down totally, his print lost adhesion and failed.

The longer you leave a 3D printer paused, there is a higher chance of the print falling off.

For the most part, failures that happen from pausing a print occurs from warping which is when there are significant temperature changes in the extruded plastic.

For more information on how to pause a 3D print watch this video on pausing an Ender 3. The main thing you want to do is to make sure you initiate the SD card so you get the resume option.

Some people have mentioned that they paused a 3D print overnight. Their recommendation for doing this is that all the parts of the 3D printer must be in good condition.

Upon confirmation, you can turn off the machine, allowing you to take a long pause without any major negative impact.

Some users have paused their 3D prints for several hours and still successfully resumed the print. As long as your print stays in one place, you can pause it for a long time. Using adhesives can make your 3D prints stay in one place better.

To be on the safe side, some users recommend that you pause the print but keep the machine on. This can keep the build surface warm. As long as the build plate is warm, it won’t be too hard for the print to retain its shape.

To slow down the change in temperature, you may use an enclosure or a material that is known not to warp as much. The faster your 3D prints cools down, the more chance it has to warp and change shape. This could eventually  lead to losing adhesion from the build plate.

You may also choose to break your 3D prints into smaller parts. This will ensure that you have a hard pause between printing each part without impacting the overall design negatively.

After that, you can simply bond the parts together using superglue or another strong adhesive.

Do 3D Printers Need a Break?

A 3D printer doesn’t need a break as long as it is maintained properly and has good quality parts. Many people have printed for 200+ hours without any issues, so if you have a reliable 3D printer, your 3D printer won’t need a break. Make sure your 3D printer is lubricated well and has fresh belts.

3D printers are designed to run for hours and hours at a stretch, with some users confirming that they have kept it running for up to 35 hours. Others have 3D printers that can run for more than 70 hours.

Some 3D printers are better than others at running for longer periods of time. You want to test how your 3D printer runs because some can handle 3D printing for plenty of time while others might not do so well.

If you have a cheaply made 3D printer that isn’t very well known, you might just have a machine that won’t run for so long without needing a break. A popular and reliable 3D printer that has been tried and tested is a lot more likely to not need a break.

These have high quality designs and cooling systems that make sure the 3D printer doesn’t run too hot and can handle constant movement.

As long as everything is fine and no prior faults have been detected, your 3D printer should keep working flawlessly, even for an extended period.

If your 3D printer is not well maintained or has come of age, it may be beneficial if you subject the printer to short breaks at intervals. 3D printers are designed to be long-lasting, but not every part.

Each 3D printer should have Thermal Runaway Protection installed, which is a safety feature designed to protect your printer, your home, and the environment around.

The Thermal Runaway Protection works by checking the readings from the thermistor. If this firmware detects a more-than-required temperature, it automatically stops or pauses the printer until it cools off.

If after an extreme temperature is noticed the printer continues working, it could set the home on fire so having this protection is important, especially when running for long periods of time.

Can I Pause an Ender 3 Printer Overnight?

Yes, you can pause an Ender 3 printer overnight by using the “Pause Print” feature within the control box. Make sure not to click “Stop Print” instead because this will end the print altogether. You’ll be able to easily resume the print in the morning.

You can even turn off the whole 3D printer and still resume your 3D print but you have to make sure you initialize your SD card, so your 3D printer recognizes that there is a print to resume.

On confirmation, it brings the nozzle back to temperature and on top of the previously paused 3D print to continue from where it stopped.

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