I don’t have a 3D printer myself but I have worked as a lead artist in a company that use several 3D printers for prototyping.
There are several factors that control the printing time of a 3D model. And it’s not the model details.
The most important factors in my opinion are:
- Size (Material Volume)
- The printers print resolution
About point 1: The more printing material is used for a model, the longer it needs to be printed and the higher the material costs.
About point 2: The lower the printers actual printing resolution, he faster the printing session, but the worse the result. It works the same like paper prints. Fine print resolution needs more time.
If you want good results for really small objects you should look for printers or printing services who are offering resolutions below 200 microns (0.2 mm). Better are services who are offering 100 microns or less.
But the same here: The higher the resolution the more expansive it is and the kind of material plays a role too. A gold print will always be more expansive…
When I’m ready with my complete model set I will send some assets to shapeways and show you the print results here.