Design for 3D Printing

Automotive Emblem Designed to be 3D Printed.

Designing parts that are intended to be 3D Printed requires special considerations during the design process. 3D Printing is an Additive Manufacturing technique where parts are constructed layer by layer, from the bottom up or top down. As such, generally speaking, each layer’s outline must not extend beyond the previous layer’s outline at any point. Parts must be designed with this in mind.

Many 3D Printers allow the use of “support material” during printing, which allows for parts to be printed that break the above guideline. This makes printing parts with cantilevers and ledges possible, for example. However, few 3D printers that have the “support material” option actually implement the use of support material effectively. Most of the time the support material has to be broken, cut, or sawed off of the part. This either damages the part or requires a significant amount of finish work to clean the surface where the support material was attached.

When designing parts for 3D Printing, it is important to know the capabilities and limitations of the 3D Printer that is going to be used.

For projects, large or small, we will discuss all of the important design aspects with you and suggest modifications, if necessary, to insure that you receive your desired result.

We can deliver design files in all of the most common formats (.stl, .step, .iges, and .sldprt).

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