If you are already using additive manufacturing, this blog post will help you to optimize your 3D printing experience, save money and get the best 3D printed project possible. What are the best 3D printing tips for 3D printing enthusiasts and professionals? Let’s discover the checklist you need to follow to get the best 3D printed object possible.
Following these few tips will help you to get a perfect file for 3D printing, and avoid the most common 3D printing errors making your file non-printable. Indeed, as an online 3D printing service, we know the most common mistakes made by our customers, and today, we tell you how to avoid them.
1 – Choose the best 3D modeling software
Choosing a 3D modeling software adapted to your needs and to the specificities of your project is essential. A program adapted to your projects and to your sector will be the best start you could possibly have.
But, how to choose between 3D modeling software? We know it, choosing an adapted 3D software is not that easy. But there are plenty of programs now available on the market. If you are working in architecture, chemistry, in the automotive or in the medical sector, there is necessarily a modeling software for you. Using adapted tools will help you save time and create the best 3D model.
2 – Choose a material adapted to your project
You might not want to use the same materials or finishing for a prototype and for a finished product. Do you need to use a rubber-like material, something slightly flexible, or a rigid material resistant to stress?
By checking our material pages, you will see all the specificities of our 3D printing materials, from Nylon PA12 to Titanium, and get all the information to make a good choice, according to the nature of your project.
3 – Carefully follow the design guidelines
Before finishing the design of your future 3D printed project, you will have to choose the material you want to use, to create the adapted design.
On each of our material pages, you will find details about the design guidelines for the material you want to print with. All the materials are different, with different properties, different constraints, but overall different design guidelines! Double-checking these design guidelines must be your new habit if you want to get the best results possible while using 3D printing technology.
On our pages, you will find all the information you need. Minimum spacing and clearances, the minimum wall thicknesses, etc. All of these will ensure the quality of your parts. What are the risks if you don’t respect these design guidelines? You will not get all the benefits of the 3D printing technology or your part might break during or after the printing process. Respecting the design guidelines will ensure your print quality.
It might look good in your 3D software, with a good render and dimension accuracy, but it doesn’t mean that all the parts of your object can be printed.
4 – Repair your files
In order to get a 3D printed object, you need to get a good 3D model. If you are not used to 3D design for 3D printing, you might come with a 3D file with too many errors to be 3D printed. That is why, before sending your file to our online 3D printing service, you can use a repairing tool on software such as Meshlab or Netfabb, enabling to rearrange your object quite smoothly.
You can also use Sculpteo’s website to repair your 3D file automatically. Indeed, once your 3D file is uploaded, you will see the errors in the viewer and you will be able to modify your project directly inside your 3D modeling software. Some errors can be repaired automatically with our repair function such as reconstructions, but for bigger ones, you will have to rework your file.
5 – Hollow your part
On the Sculpteo website, we also offer some useful tools for your project. For example, to save money on your printed objects, did you know that you can hollow them? In just a few clicks, you can save money on your order. But why is this hollowing technique interesting?
By putting holes on your part, you can hollow your part and remove all the powder inside of the object. This will have two effects: reduce the price of your order, and reduce the weight of the 3D printed part, as it is using less material.
6 – Check the solidity of your parts before the printing process
Before sending your project to our 3D printer, we recommend you to check the solidity of your part. Indeed, creating a good 3D model is not the only thing you need to do. You also want your model to be 3D printable with our machines, in order to avoid iterations with our customer service, and this way save the back and forth time.
This is why you need to take into consideration their limitations, such as the minimum width for your objects. To avoid any risks, be sure that all the small parts of your design do not go under 2mm, as they would break easily while being prepared for you. Once again: follow the design guidelines to avoid any of these problems.
Once your 3D file is uploaded on our website, you can use our Solidity Check tool. This feature will help you to see the fragile points on your 3D model. You will have the possibility to thicken these points directly on the website.
7 – Mind the orientation of your part
The orientation of your part in the 3D printer can affect its surface. The choice of the orientation will be made according to the final use of the part. On some angles, the part could suffer from “staircase effect”, which is not ideal if it is a visible part of your project.
8 – Think about all the opportunities of 3D printing for your business
How are you using additive manufacturing? For production? Prototypes? Or maybe for R&D? This cutting edge technology can actually be useful on many more levels and you are maybe not embracing its full potential. 3D printing professionals are actually using this technology for more and more different applications inside their business. It is really becoming part of their business strategy. Additive manufacturing can still have some surprises for you and advantages that you don’t know about yet.
We hope that this checklist will help you to get the perfect 3D printed parts. Are you ready to make the most of the additive manufacturing technology? We are waiting for your 3D files to 3D print them and start working with you on amazing projects.