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Let's say, I want to print a box for putting game tokens in.

It is an empty cube, but the top layer is missing.

I do not need full walls. It could have holes in it resulting in a mesh structured wall, like a fence or a shopping cart.

What pattern should I use for the best object stability and print speed? What programs can I use to design this? (I do not want to manually add 100 holes in my design).

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you already have a 3D modelling program that you are happy using? $\endgroup$ – Andrew Morton Jan 14 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ bear in mind that the slicer will usually beef up the plastic around a hole, so you won't save as much time as you might think. I often hollow stuff out or "drill holes" in it, but that's more to reduce plastic costs than print time. Might look into meshmixer to post process if you don't want to do it in the design phase, but really it doesn't take long to copy and paste a few holes into a grid; i can make 100 holes in a min... $\endgroup$ – dandavis Jan 14 at 18:54
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Holes in vertical walls will make it take significantly more time to print, not less. Rather than being able to make a continuous path around the box on each layer, keeping the print head at the desired speed the whole time, the printer will have to run around each connected component of the layer separately, slowing down, retracting, speeding up to travel, slowing down at the destination, unretracting, and speeding back up each time.

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    $\begingroup$ simple example: a cube takes 23 minutes. The same cube reduced to a lattice of the same size takes 31 minutes (and bumps into minimum layer time issues). $\endgroup$ – Trish Jan 15 at 12:19
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Definitely the speed will be worse after adding holes (or the quality otherwise, if object's skin is printed fast), though some filament savings may appear.

But regarding "object stability": because adding holes will normally cause the slower printing (because of "skin structures" around holes), then walls might get bit stronger or have better layer adhesion (comparing to line speed, the material, the printing temperature, etc.). Then stability might indeed improve, especially when walls are thin. Or may be reduced, depending on the pattern :) Also number of walls may count (n * nozzle diameter) or lack of skin overlap - then printing holes would support consistency of the structure. Thus the question of stability may be significant. Construction sience would most probably lead to triangles.

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