The infill pattern is the parameter that determines how the 3D printer will fill the inside of the 3D printed model, meaning that if you were to cut the model open, you would see the infill pattern you have selected inside.
While the infill pattern may not seem like a significant element, as it is not visible from the outside, the infill pattern you choose has a substantial impact on the durability of the model and the time it takes to print it.
Today, we will take a deep look at one of the most widely used infill patterns in 3D printing, known as the gyroid infill pattern, which has a reputation for providing a considerable degree of strength and robustness to the model with its unique geometry.
So, what is the gyroid infill pattern in 3D printing?
The gyroid infill pattern is a wavy-looking pattern based on the gyroid surface, primarily known for being one of the strongest infill patterns in 3D printing that provide an equal amount of resistance across all directions while offering a reasonable strength-to-weight ratio.
Moving forward, we will analyze the gyroid infill pattern in more detail, find out the cases where it’s appropriate to use gyroid infill, discuss how strong this infill pattern is, and finally, take a quick look at the steps required to activate it in popular slicers such as Cura and PrusaSlicer.
What Is the Gyroid Infill Pattern in 3D Printing?
While the gyroid infill pattern is an infill pattern you will find in most popular slicers, such as Cura and PrusaSlicer, the name may not make a lot of sense if you aren’t familiar with gyroid structures.
The gyroid infill pattern is an infill pattern based on the unique geometry of the gyroid surface, which provides the 3D printed model with a high degree of strength.
Alongside the high degree of strength it brings to the table, here are some of the other advantages of the gyroid infill pattern:
- It offers an equal degree of resistance against forces coming from any direction due to its isotropic structure.
- It prints faster than the strong infill pattern options such as honeycomb and rectilinear at equal infill percentages.
- It uses less material than the strong infill pattern options such as rectilinear and honeycomb at equal infill percentages.
On the flip side, here are some of the disadvantages of the gyroid infill pattern:
- The slicing process takes much longer as the gyroid surface is geometrically complex.
- Entry-level printers may struggle to print the gyroid infill cleanly due to the intricate extruder movement involved.
When To Use the Gyroid Infill Pattern?
As each infill pattern has its strengths and weaknesses, it’s undeniable that understanding when to use an infill pattern is one of the most vital skills in 3D printing, with the situation not being any different in the case of the gyroid infill pattern.
We highly recommend using the gyroid infill pattern whenever shear strength is your top priority, such as scenarios where the model has the possibility to be under load from all possible directions and needs to resist these loads as best as possible.
While the shear strength it provides is the primary benefit of the gyroid infill, the fact that it doesn’t use as much material and take as much time to print as the other strong infill patterns such as honeycomb makes gyroid infill an appropriate choice for most cases where strength is at least somewhat of a concern.
How Strong Is the Gyroid Infill Pattern?
Strength is the first thing that comes to mind when the gyroid infill pattern is the topic, as strength is where this particular infill pattern really shines and provides a better alternative than the rest.
The gyroid infill pattern is one of the strongest infill patterns in 3D printing alongside honeycomb and rectilinear, meaning that you can’t really go wrong with it if you’re looking to print a model where shear strength is the top priority.
While infill patterns such as rectilinear and honeycomb provide the model with a higher level of resistance against perpendicular forces, compared to the gyroid infill pattern, the resistance levels drop dramatically against transverse forces.
On the other hand, the gyroid infill pattern offers an equal amount of high resistance against both perpendicular and transverse forces, making it the infill pattern that provides the highest level of shear strength.
How to Activate the Gyroid Infill Pattern in Cura?
As Cura supports the gyroid infill pattern out of the box, activating it through Cura’s interface is a straightforward task that won’t take too much of your time.
Below are the steps we recommend taking to activate gyroid infill in Cura:
- Click the Navigate tab on the top of the Cura window.
- Click the rightmost pane to open the Print Settings menu.
- Type “infill pattern” into the search input in the Print Settings menu.
- Locate the Infill Pattern label, and choose Gyroid from the dropdown menu.
How to Activate the Gyroid Infill Pattern in PrusaSlicer?
The gyroid infill pattern is a part of the set of infill patterns PrusaSlicer offers by default, meaning that all you have to do to activate this pattern is select it from the corresponding menu.
Here is a step-by-step guide you can follow to activate the gyroid infill pattern in PrusaSlicer:
- Click the Print Settings tab on the top of the PrusaSlicer window.
- Click the Infill entry on the left pane.
- Click the dropdown menu next to the Fill Pattern label and choose the Gyroid option.
There is no doubt that gyroid infill is one of the best infill options for 3D printed models in scenarios where durability is the primary concern since the gyroid geometry provides a more robust infill structure than most of its alternatives.
To quickly recap, the gyroid infill pattern takes its name from the gyroid surface, which has a unique geometry that allows the infill to provide the model with a great degree of durability regardless of the direction of the tension.
Combined with the fact that the gyroid infill takes much less time to print compared to honeycomb and almost a similar amount of time as rectilinear, and that it uses less material than both of these infill patterns practically makes it the most efficient infill pattern where strength is the number one priority.