General, Tips, Tutorials
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2 years ago

Top 10 Tips For Designing Models In 3D Printing

Kacie Hultgren scenic designer who uses her 3D printer to build scale models for set designs. Following are Top 10 Tips for designing models in 3D printing.

1. 45 Degree Rule

Recall 45 degree rule, support material will be needed for overhangs that are substantial than 45 degrees or intellectual modelling tricks can be used to get the model to print.

2. Design To Avoid Using Support Material

Support material can leave horrible marks on the outside of your prints, however, support algorithms are improving all the time. Design your models so that they are 3D printable without support, in order to avoid support material which is time consuming.
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3. Add Custom Supports

Mouse ears, helper disks and cones designed are into your model to help it print without the use of computer generated supports. Some of the exceptional examples of this design technique are Tony Buser’s “Mouse Eared Rocket Fincan” and Pretty SmallThings “Windsor Chairs”. Rafts can be tough to remove and also mar the bottom of your prints but depending on your software / printer configuration.

4. Know Your Printer’s Limitations

Get information about your model. Are there microscopic towers and small features that are too small to be printed in plastic on a desktop 3D printer? Thread width is an essential variable that the printer can achieve but it is often unnoticed. Thread width is defined by the diameter of your printer’s nozzle. Most printers have a 0.4mm or 0.5mm nozzle. Circle illustrated by a 3D printer is always two thread widths deep: 0.8mm thick with a 0.4mm nozzle to 1mm thick for a 0.5mm nozzle. As Kacie stated in the video, the rule of thumb is “The smallest feature you can create is double the thread width.”

5. Fit Tolerances for Interlocking Parts

Design in your fit tolerance for objects with numerous interlocking parts. Getting correct tolerances can result in different problems. Here are some Kacie’s tips for creating correct tolerances: use a 0.2mm offset for tight fit (press fit parts, connecters) and use a 0.4mm offset for lose fit (hinges, box lids). To define the right tolerance for the thing you are creating, test it yourself with your specific model.

6. Use Shells Properly

Additional shells on characteristics models like small text should not be used as it will make the details vague.

7. Optimize for Thread Width

Plan the walls of your model to be one thread width thick if you are making compliant models or need very thin characteristics. For more samples on utilizing this technique, examine Hultgren’s collection of “Flexible Inspiration” model collection on Thing verse.

8. Orient for the Best Resolution

Adjust your model for the best resolution possible for that particular model as models can be sliced into pieces if required and then reunited. Z resolution can be handled only fused-Filament Fabrication printers. Thread width determines X and Y resolution. Verify the model orientation is capable of printing those features if it has fine characteristics.
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9. Orient for Stress

Verify to orient your model to minimize stress on the part by orienting the model if you want to keep prints from any disruption when force is applied. In order to make sure, the print lines are perpendicular to point of the pressure being applied.To print large models, ABS principle is applied which can be divided along the Z-axis as they cool on the build platform during printing.

10. The “Holy Grail”: Print and Place Designs

“Holy Grail” are multiple combined parts of FFF desktop machines contained in Print in place designs. Guidelines on how to confront “print in place designs”: pull design elements to platform, use bridges for captive parts and gap print carefully are mentioned in Hultgren’s tips.
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