Print Assemblies in Place
- Instead of printing several parts and assembling them later, the individual pieces are printed already in place.
- This way it is possible to create movable parts that are impossible to take apart.
- Ensure you have enough clearance between parts so that they don't stick together.
- When printing with Ultimaker, aim for small overhangs at the hinges. Consider tapered hinges avoid overhangs.
- One well known example of utilising this method is the Maker Faire Robot by LeFabShop.
Print Parts as Assemblies
- Sometimes it is unavoidable to print large overhangs.
- By breaking your part into separate pieces and assembling them later, you can create geometries that might be impossible to print otherwise
An alternative would be to lie the 'A' on its side, but this is sometimes not possible.
Join Parts of Large Pieces
- Parts have limited size, defined by the printers dimensions.
- A simple way around this, is to print the part in separate pieces and glue them together.
- It is a good idea to add alignment holes. This will make glueing easier and add structural integrity.
Make use of Complexity
- When creating a part in the workshop, every feature requires extra work.
- Some shapes are impossible to cut (e.g. hollow spheres).
- When printing, the complexity and voids of your models do not pose any problem, so make use of them.
- Hollow models require less material (are lighter) and print faster.
Make use of Chamfer/Fillet for Strength
- Similar to "Make use of Complexity": Fillets can easily be implemented to round of edges, which makes them more difficult to break.
- Chamfer will typically create a nicer finish, because fillets have regions of very shallow angles near the horizontal, which are difficult to print.
- Especially useful to reduce stress at perpendicular extrusions and edges.
Check your model for errors before exporting it to a stl file
- Perform a final check to your model before you export it to a stl file. This will save you time by using fewer settings in the Slicer software and will ensure a successful printing.
- Use any 3D printing software you like and you have access to. We really like Blender!
- Key parameters you should check: manifoldness, intersections, area and thickness of model.
- Multi-object meshes can be merged and then be exported as one stl file.
Speed up the printing and calculation times
- When you finish your modelling you can reduce the polygon count to accelerate the printing and the calculation time in your Slicer software.
- Decimate your model by reducing the polygons while preserving most of the features. Then, triangulate that mesh.
- Sharper edges that may distort your printing can be smoothed. Do not smooth them too much if you want to keep details in your model.
- There is a decimate option in most modelling software. Use Decimate Modifier in Blender.