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…
- Print ability
- Economic production
Need further assistance or prefer us to design it for you, please contact us here.
Our largest build envelope is 600 x 600 x 400mm (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 and SLS orientation of the part can play a big role in its strength, FDM and SLS parts are strongest along the X and Y axis and lesser on the Z axis due to the way the machine layers the material. For SLA and MJP this is not the case, for these technologies all axis are close to equal regardless of orientation.
All surfaces to be printed must be solid/closed surface, if the model includes thin walls these should be no less than 1mm although in some circumstances using SLA or MJP they can be as thin as 0.1mm. For FDM it is advised to stick to a minimum of 1mm however you should avoid between 1.1-1.9mm, instead making the wall 1mm or 2mm+.
Our printers are capable of 0.032mm Z axis layer height for MJP, 0.05-0.15mm for SLA, 0.1mm for SLS and 0.2-0.4mm for FDM. Fine layer resolutions are great for really small objects or very complex geometry. For medium to large parts economic results are achieved at 0.1-0.4mm layer heights. X and Y axis tolerance is within +/-0.05-0.5mm, small objects or complex parts can be within 0.05mm and larger less complicated parts can be within 0.5mm.
- 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.
A good general rule of thumb…
0.1mm: Interference fit
0.2mm: Slide fit
0.3mm: Loose fit
These can vary with part geometries, remember 3D printing is a prototyping tool and adjustments may need to be made to account for shrinkage across the part.
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 truer to design print and better finish.
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..
As with most 3d printers SLA, MJP and FDM technologies 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 cheaper and faster to produce.
Follow these tips for less support material and for some print technologies 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.
Minimum text sizes for best results…
- X and Y axis, laying flat, no less than 10 point boldface,
- vertical text or the Z axis should be no less than 6 boldface.