3D Printing: Mistakes to Avoid when Designing a Model

It’s a known fact, especially for first-timers that 3D printing could be a bit confusing. This is because you could not see such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. People use varied software and print in other kinds of materials. This means that they do not only use different printers but also involves different technologies for printing. Thus, this makes it usual to feel lost sometimes and it could even be difficult to design the best model.

Below is a list of the most common mistakes that people make when they turn their 3-D model into three-dimensional prints. Be sure to identify and avoid them.

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Ignoring the Material Guidelines

Every print material is unique. There are some materials that can be strong or brittles, solid or flexible, rough or smooth, light or heavy, and so on. Such means that a specific object should be intended for an exact material. For instance, if you like to print your model in steel, there would be a specific material that for the design suggestions that should be considered such as strengthening the elements, overhanging parts, rounding-off corners, etc. The selection of the printing material pre-determines the basic guides that you should stick to.


Ignoring the Printing Technology

The chemical features of printing materials may differ, as well as the technologies utilized for 3d printing the materials. One best example for this is interlocking parts. In materials such as Alumide, Polyamide, ABS, etc. you could print interlocking parts. But for other materials such as silver, gold, resin, or bronze such is not likely. The reason is not really the material, but the tool that is used to print them.


Ignoring the Wall Thickness

Although information regarding the wall thickness can be found in the guide, it still worth stressing it one more time.

Problems that are related to the thickness of the wall are some of the most common explanations why there are some models that could not be printed. At some point, the wall thickness can be too thin. When this happens, such a wall makes a small part on the models that could not be put into print or can be very delicate and may break off immediately. There are also instances when the walls are very thick which generate a lot of internal pressure and can cause the piece to break or crack.


Ignoring the File Resolution

Reading the design guide, knowing the material and wall thickness is not enough. For 3D printing, STL is the most popular file format. This means that the design would be translated to triangles in a three-dimensional space. The majority of 3-D modeling software has options to export the design to an STL file and set it into the desired resolution.


Ignoring the Software Guidelines

The community today makes use of different 3D modeling software packages. There are those that are designed to create prints while others are used by 3D artists and the designs would require more editing before offering a printable 3D model. For instance, applying the wall thickness can be automatic in some programs but in others, you should manually set it.

It is always possible to design the best model possible as long as you identify the things that you need you to avoid such as the ones listed above.


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About Author: James