Optimize Designs for Better 3D Printing
Stratasys posted on December 17, 2012 |

All design requires consideration of the manufacturing method, even for digital manufacturing. Some key considerations when 3D printing using your method of choice are:

  •   Conserving support material
  •   Ensuring feature strength
  •   Reducing build time

This is easy if you use a few basic design tips demonstrated in these images of a housing design.

This part will be built on a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) system. You can see that we've incorporated as many 45-degree angles as possible, including the teardrop-shaped circular holes, since FDM can build overhangs as deep as 45 degrees without support material. This conserves time as well as support material since the print head has less to build on every layer and the part requires little or no post-processing.

Another consideration was strength. In the third image, you can see a close-up of some cone-shaped bosses. 3D printing’s flexibility lets you add strength in a targeted way wherever you need it, so we've taken advantage of that here.

As with any technology, if you keep 3D printing's properties in mind during the design phase, you'll learn to take better advantage of it, and the result will be better parts. 

Teardrop Shaped Circular Holes

Cone Shaped Bosses

This is a Sponsored  Post by Stratasys

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