Please reference the following page on Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5600770

This is an insert for a bandsaw (the replaceable part that the blade passes through in the middle of the bandsaw's table), with holes to allow for dust to fall down and also be pulled down by airflow from a shop vacuum or dust collector.

I am modeling my own version of this with my specific dimensions, but I thought I'd ask if it would be easier for the 3d printer to do round holes instead of the hexagonal ones.

(For reference, the printer that I have access to is a Prusa i3 MK3S+, with a 0.4 mm nozzle).

Edit: The fluidity of movement being better for circles is what I was expecting. When doing a circle, each small segment of straight line is only slightly different than the previous one, whereas the hexagonal hole would require abrupt changes. In my case, the final appearance is not critical since it's just to let dust fall through. The version with circular holes might be a bit stronger as it removes a bit less material. I used OpenSCAD to create the model, since my geometry is pretty straightforward. I was starting to mess around with FreeCAD (out of curiosity) but then I remembered that in OpenSCAD I used the trick of 'facet numbers = 6' to get the hexagons, so I just changed those to 60 (thank goodness for being able to define and use variables) to have the same placement of holes. Pic of both versions side by side

The printer isn't mine, it's in a public library and I don't want to abuse it so I will only print the one with circular holes.

  • $\begingroup$ similar: 3dprinting.stackexchange.com/q/18603/8884 $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Nov 24, 2022 at 21:13
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Consider to post your creation to one of the resources such as Prusa's Printables, especially if you'll include your .SCAD file. I may not need to create the bandsaw cover, but I would enjoy to see your OpenSCAD work, as I'm still new at it, six years after I've started. $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Nov 24, 2022 at 23:01

1 Answer 1


The g-code that drives a 3D printer, with some exceptions, converts circles to multiple segments of straight lines, very short straight lines. There is going to be a greater amount of math to be performed on many circles, while one could consider that if the hexagonal segments are sliced in a suitable manner, the result is going to be more linear, with lower demands in the mathematics aspect.

That's one aspect of the difference. Another aspect is the fluidity of movement. You may get a smoother extrusion with the circles as the travel distance versus speed is going to be more uniform in creating a circle, while creating a hexagon will result in a speed change at the corner.

It's only one person's opinion, but I feel that it's half of one, six dozen of the other. You get a trade-off from the processing load with a hexagon, but you might get a better appearance with the circles.

If you are creating your own design (good!), would it be more difficult to create one of each? What program are you using to create this work?

  • $\begingroup$ Depending on your slicer and possibly printer firmware, there are ways to generate arc G-code that would make circular paths like this a lot more efficient. e.g. Cura or Octoprint plugins. $\endgroup$
    – Bob
    Nov 25, 2022 at 3:45

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