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How to Design Parts for 3D Printing?

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What is 3D Printing?

3D Printing is an additive process of making three-dimensional objects. Traditionally, subtractive methods were used to design items of demand, but with time, 3D printing technology has made everything a piece of cake. You need to make a blueprint of your desired product, 3D printers will design a similar object, without requiring massive tools. It helps you to create proofs of concept and prototypes.

Pros of using 3D Printing technology:

3D Printing is an advanced technology with a lot of benefits over subtractive techniques. Some of these benefits are listed below:

Ø  3D Printing is a much more efficient prototyping technique than subtractive technology. It increases the speed of production of prototypes.

Ø  Using 3D printing technology, you can design more complex designs that are very difficult to create using traditional methods.

Ø  3D Printing is a very cheap technology. 3D printing technology requires 3D printers and raw material. You will get rid of labor using 3D Printing technology.

Ø  If you design your product using 3D Printing technology, there is no waste of raw material. 3D printers use the exact amount of raw material that is required for that product. So there is no excess raw material left.

Cons of using 3D Printing technology:

3D Printing is an advanced technology, but it has some disadvantages also. Some of these disadvantages are listed below:

Ø  3D printers restrict your object size. You cannot make objects of massive extent due to small manufacturing chambers of 3D printers, limiting the size of items.

Ø  3D Printing technique comes with copyright issues. People can copy your design and can make fake and counterfeit products.

How to design parts for 3D Printing?

The subtractive technique uses a bulk of the material and then sharpens that bulk to make your desired object. Whereas using 3D printing technology, you start with nothing and then add material on top of itself to make a particular object. Aas we know that there are many free 3d printing software. We are going to explain to you the method of designing parts using 3D Printing technology in the following:

·        Wall thickness:

Wall thickness is an essential thing while designing some products. Every 3D printer has a minimum wall thickness. Make sure that when you create an object, the minimum thickness for any part should be at least 1mm. The thinner the region, the higher the chance something goes wrong in Printing.

·         Bridges:

A bridge is a plastic material connecting two parts of your model. A bridge is not required in all the printing models, but some products require a bridge. You have to keep the length of the bridge as small as possible. If there is a considerable distance between two anchoring points, the bridge will need support. So it’s better to shorten the length.

·         Holes:

While making holes in your model, keep in mind that 3D printers do not make precisely the same hole as you desired—3D printers design the circle of your hole as a polygon. The vertices of this polygon touch the circumference of your hole’s circle. Always create your hole diameter a bit larger than your desired one because 3D printers make the hole a bit smaller. Also, keep in mind that you can increase your hole’s size if it comes out to be small, but you cannot decrease your circle’s hole diameter.

·         Overhang:

An overhang is any part of a print that extends outward, beyond the previous layer, without any direct support. An overhang can usually be printed up to 45 degrees without loss of quality. You cannot avoid overhang in some cases. So try to reduce it. Make it as small as possible. We suggest you to prefer a bridge to overhang.

·       Fillets and champers:

The fillet is a technique in 3D modeling to round or flatten edges of rectilinear objects. In 3D Printing, thin parts are weak and brittle. These parts are very delicate and can get broken. So to make these parts strong, we suggest you use fillets and champers. Fillets form a curve on the connecting portion of that attached part. It strengths the fragile protruding part.

·         Orientation:

Orientation is the most crucial part while designing any model. Orientation gives shape to your product. You should orient your product in such a way that there is either no need or a little need for support. You can remove overhang if you technically orient your product. Good orientation can not only increase the strength of your product but also beautify its appearance. Make sure that you optimize your product for strength and appearance.

Our verdict:

The additive technology is the future of our manufacturing industry. Attempts are in progress to decrease the cons of 3D Printing. 3D Printing is far better than the subtractive technique. We suggest you read and follow all the above instructions to get a better and optimized product.

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