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vibes35 Reviewer says

Hi:)

Thought I would share some information with you all on the specs for 3D printing and the requirements for most all printing processes.

FILE FORMAT : Export 3D model to the .STL (stereolitho)

3D max as well as all major 3D packages will export to this format.

GENERAL GUIDELINES AND SPECS ALONG WITH TOP 10 COMMON MISTAKES & SOLUTIONS :

1. Part design having thin-features less than .030” for Std. SLA and .015”-.020” for High-Res SLA .

SOLUTION : Make sure that there are features no less than .030” for Standard SLA and .015”-.020” for High-Res SLA to ensure features build correctly.

2. Saving the CAD model to STL file in low-resolution setting, resulting in too much faceting in the model.

SOLUTION : Typically, there should be an Edge-to-Edge distance between faces less than .020” for a smoother finish.

3. STL file conversion error resulting from the CAD data having numerous unstitched surfaces rather than solids.

SOLUTION : Make sure that the surfaces in the original CAD model are “water-tight” in that only solids are modeled.

4. Part design having knife edge design where the edge thins down to zero thickness.

SOLUTION : Thicken any thinning/ knife edge features – which often times are found in thread designs – in the model that are less than .030” in thickness for Std. SLA and .015”-.020” for High-Res SLA .

5. Part design with enclosed hollow space, where support materials can’t be removed.

SOLUTION : Add a hole for the internal voids in the model to allow the removal of the support materials.

6. Curvier sections of the part, such as in bottles or lids, with thickness less than the minimal feature size.

SOLUTION : Thicken any features in the model with curvy sections that are less than .035” in thickness for Std. SLA and .025” for High-Res SLA . For curvier sections that are at or near the minimum, even thicker dimensions from the standard tolerance will increase the probability of the part building properly.

7. Parts, assemblies, and threads with improper clearances and mating features.

SOLUTION : Typically, there should be a .015”-.020” clearance between prototype parts, which will differ when it comes to the full production stage.

8. Having small text and logos features in the part model.

SOLUTION : Make sure that the logo and text features are no less than .030” for Standard SLA and .015”-.020” for High-Res SLA in length, width, or thickness.

9. Designing living hinges to function for Rapid Prototypes.

SOLUTION : Living hinge design doesn’t typically function as intended in the rapid prototyping process (with an exception of the NEW SLS Duraform EX). A simple fix would be using a normal piece of Scotch tape to act as the hinge.

10. Saving in the wrong units for the STL file.

Solution: Double check the STL file properties so that the correct unit is selected. The default units for the Quickparts machines are in inches.

PROGRAM SPECIFIC OUTPUT SETTINGS :

Alibre • File • Export • Save As >STL • Enter File Name • Save

AutoCAD • Your design must be a three-dimensional solid object to output an STL file. • Make sure the model is in positive space • Set Facetres to 10 • At the command prompt type STLOUT • Select Objects • Choose Y for Binary • Choose Filename

CADKey • Choose Stereolithography from Export options • Enter the filename • Click OK

I-DEAS • File >Export >Rapid Prototype File >OK • Select the Part to be Prototyped • Select Prototype Device >SLA500.dat >OK • Set absolute facet deviation to 0.000395 • Select Binary >OK

Inventor • Save Copy As • Select STL • Choose Options >Set to High • Enter File Name • Save

IronCAD • Right Click on the part • Part Properties >Rendering • Set Facet Surface Smoothing to 150 • File >Export • Choose .STL

ProE • File >Save a Copy • Set type to STL • Set chord height to 0. The field will be replaced by minimum acceptable value. • Set Angle Control to 1 • Choose File Name • OK

Rhino • File >Save As • Select File Type >STL • Enter a name for the STL file. • Save • Select Binary STL Files

SolidDesigner • File >External >Save STL • Select Binary mode • Select Part • Enter 0.001mm for Max Deviation Distance • Click OK

SolidEdge • File >Save As • Set Save As Type to STL • Options • Set Conversion Tolerance to 0.001in or 0.0254mm. • Set Surface Plane Angle to 45.00 • Save

SolidWorks • File >Save As • Set Save As Type to STL • Options >Resolution >Fine >OK • Save Think3 • File >Save As • Set Save As Type to STL • Save

Unigraphics • File >Export >Rapid Prototyping • Set Output type to Binary • Set Triangle Tolerance to 0.0025 • Set Adjacency Tolerance to 0.12 • Set Auto Normal Gen to On • Set Normal Display to Off • Set Triangle Display to On

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OneManBand says

Nice info, thanks a lot! Have you done any 3D printing yourself? Are these advices coming from your experience or are they froma website? Just to know if it’s 1st hand advice or not :)

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vibes35 Reviewer says
Nice info, thanks a lot! Have you done any 3D printing yourself? Are these advices coming from your experience or are they froma website? Just to know if it’s 1st hand advice or not :)

This information is from a company that does 3D printing- i took a bit of time the other day to call and get some specifics. They sent me some of this info as well.

I personally have not done any 3D printing but it appears to be a relative easy process. KEY being the dims and water tightness of the model. It is net stuff and many places can get a tremendous amount of detail in the model.

:) Thanks I should have mentioned the source in the previous post!! Cheers :)

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MatthiasAndre Reviewer says

Hey vibes35! That is great thanx! You can also download a pdf guide on how to prepare models for 3d print from this page http://www.3dtotal.com/3dprinting/ and find instructions on how to prepare zbrush models for 3d print here http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?t=71266

Cheers!

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vibes35 Reviewer says
Hey vibes35! That is great thanx! You can also download a pdf guide on how to prepare models for 3d print from this page http://www.3dtotal.com/3dprinting/ and find instructions on how to prepare zbrush models for 3d print here http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?t=71266 Cheers!

Excellent!! Thank you

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MatthiasAndre Reviewer says

I just had to dig this one up again and bring it to the top of the list because I think the info in this thread is really useful! :)

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