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3d printed formula 1 boat propeller image
  • Guidlines

    These guidelines are here to help you through the basics of designing for 3D printing. When designing a part please consider the build process to achieve several desired attributes…

      1. Print ability
      1. Strength
      1. Economic production

    Need further assistance or prefer us to design it for you, please contact us here.

  • Size and Orientation

    Our largest build envelope is 290mm x 250mm x 320mm (x,y,z), this is the largest single object we can currently produce however larger parts can be split or sliced and printed separately to be fixed again post printing. For FDM (fused deposition modelling), orientation of the part can play a big role in its strength, FDM parts are strongest along the x and y axis and lesser on the z axis due to the way the machine layers the material. Also worth noting, if strength is a high priority Clone3D offers a finishing service that dramatically increases FDM part strength by up to 400%.

  • Solid

    All surfaces to be printed must be solid/closed and with a minimum thickness of 1mm, i,e a wall 1mm thick must have 6 adjoining sides, our printers will not print anything below 1mm cubed. In short the smallest object we can produce is a 1mm cube.

  • Accuracy or Resolution

    Our printers are capable of 0.1mm Z axis layer height, that’s 10 layers per mm! This fine resolution is great for really small objects or very complex geometry. For medium to large parts, 50mm cubed and above, best results are achieved at 0.15-0.25mm layer heights. X and Y axis tolerance is within 0.05-0.20mm, small objects or complex parts will be within 0.05mm and larger less complicated parts are within 0.20mm.

    • If this is too much shop talk, don’t worry, at Clone3D we will sort all this out for you at printing time, insuring you the best result possible for your object.
    • If you have any special requirements for your print, please let us know, we are happy to tailor the print to your needs.
  • Clearances

    A minimum tolerance of 0.05mm is required for snug or snap-fit applications, for larger parts of 50mm cubed and above it is suggested to be 0.20mm, this should be applied to printed-in-one hinges and moving parts too.

  • Fillets and radius

    Fillets and radius are what turn a sharp edge into a round, these are not necessary however when used correctly they offer…

    • strength to your object by increasing the surface area at the join,
    • less support material used in the build process (well discuss this next).
    • Aesthetics, a better looking object.

    Design fillets by adding the inner fillet radius and the wall thickness dimensions, this value will be the outer radius. By doing this you guarantee an equal wall thickness around the created curve..

  • Overhangs and support material

    This section applies to FDM printing only. These rules do not apply to SLS.

    As with most 3d printers FDM needs some type of support material to hold and support the part while its being built. Designing your part so that it requires little to no support material in its build cycle will be much cheaper and faster to produce.

    Follow these tips for less support material and a cheaper print…

    • Avoid or reduce horizontal flat surfaces
    • Bevel lead ins to horizontal flats, 40-90 degree angles require no support, this is a key one to remember when designing
    • Orientate the object to best suit low support, this means flat closed surfaces to the bottom.
  • Text

    Minimum text sizes for best results…

    • X and Y axis, laying flat, no less than 16 point boldface,
    • vertical text or the Z axis should be no less than 10 boldface.