how to design for 3d printing | Photoshop Services

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how to design for 3d printing | Photoshop Services


Completely different 3D printing processes have completely different capabilities and completely different design restrictions. On this article we’ll speak about key design issues that apply to all 3D printing processes. For course of particular tips click on right here.

We are going to assume you have already got some data about 3D designing and modeling. The particular design software program you utilize to create your 3D mannequin doesn’t matter. If you’re fully new to 3D modeling, there are various wonderful software program to introduce newcomers to 3D design that additionally provide a powerful line of video tutorials that will help you perceive the fundamentals.

You are watching: how to design for 3d printing

Maintain this infographic close to you whereas designing and use it as a fast reference:

3D Printing Design Rules
Click on right here to obtain the <i>3D Printing Design Guidelines poster</i> in excessive decision for <em>free</em>

Digital vs. Bodily

An important factor to recollect whereas designing for 3D printing is the truth that your digital design will turn out to be a bodily object. Within the digital design surroundings, there are not any legal guidelines of physics to stick to, comparable to gravity.

Something could be “drawn” in 3D on a digital canvas, however not all the pieces could be 3D printed.

Every 3D printing course of has its personal limitations. Listed here are crucial design issues that apply to all of them that you must be mindful:

Common Design Consideration for 3D Printing


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All 3D printing processes construct elements layer-by-layer. Materials can’t be deposited onto skinny air, so each layer should be printed over some underline materials

Overhangs are areas of a mannequin which can be both partially supported by the layer beneath or not supported in any respect. There’s a restrict on the angle each printer can produce with out the necessity of assist materials. For instance, for FDM and SLA this angle is roughly 45o levels.

It’s a good apply to restrict the overhangs of a mannequin, as layers printed over assist often have a rougher floor end.

3D Printing design rules poster
Picture displaying the impact of accelerating angle on overhang high quality for FDM printing

Wall thickness

The second factor to bear in mind when designing a component to be 3D printed is wall thickness. Each 3D printing course of can produce precisely options which can be skinny as much as a sure level.

For instance, think about you might be an engineer who designs dangle gliders for a residing. You’ve give you an ideal, new design that you’ve determined to 3D print scaled down for testing. 3D modeling applications let you mannequin the sailcloth of the wing, however you’ll encounter issues while you would attempt to 3D print it, as its thickness could be extraordinarily small.

As apply, at all times add thickness to your fashions. Partitions with thickness better than 0.8 mm could be printed efficiently with all processes.


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One thing that’s usually simply neglected whereas designing a 3D mannequin is the truth that the supplies used for 3D printing undertake bodily change: they’re melted, sintered or scanned with a laser and solidified. The heating and cooling of fabric may cause the elements to warp whereas printing.

Massive, flat surfaces could be particularly liable to warping. Warping can usually be prevented by utilizing appropriate machine calibration and having satisfactory floor adhesion between your half and the print mattress. Your Hub will have the ability to provide extra recommendation on design strategies that can be utilized to attenuate the probability of warping.

apply is to keep away from massive flat surfaces and add rounded corners to your 3D fashions.

Key design considerations for 3D printing | Hubs
Black ABS in 200 micron displaying warping of the underside left nook</a>.

Degree of element

When you find yourself making a 3D mannequin with intricate particulars, you will need to be mindful what’s the minimal characteristic measurement every 3D printing course of can produce. The minimal degree of element is related to the capabilities and mechanics of every 3D printing course of and to the chosen layer top.

The method and supplies used will have an effect on the pace and price of your print, so figuring out whether or not smaller particulars are essential to your mannequin is a crucial design choice.

Key design considerations for 3D printing | Hubs
Marvin printed in 200 microns FDM, 100 microns FDM, SLA and Materials Jetting (from left to proper)

Guidelines of Thumb

  • Keep away from overhangs in your design when attainable, by utilizing angles smaller than 45o.
  • Add at the least 0.8 mm wall thickness to your fashions.
  • Keep away from massive flat surfaces and use rounded corners to keep away from warping.
  • Determine what’s the minimal degree of element your fashions require and select a 3D printing course of accordingly.
Course of Particular Tips

Are you designing with a selected 3D printing course of in thoughts? Observe the hyperlinks beneath to learn the complete tips for every of them:

  • Find out how to design elements for FDM 3D printing
  • Find out how to design elements for SLA 3D printing
  • Find out how to design elements for SLS 3D printing
  • Find out how to design elements for Materials Jetting 3D printing
  • Find out how to design elements for SLM/DMLS 3D printing

Or obtain the poster that summarises all key design issues that we ready for you:

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Key design considerations for 3D printing | Hubs

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