When it comes to generating prototypes or one-of-a-kind parts, 3D printing is typically the quickest and most cost-effective option. If money is a major limitation, this article will show you how to get the most out of 3D printing technology. Before starting your next project, keep these proven techniques in mind to fully reap the benefits of the 3D printing process.
Pick the 3D Printing Technology that Serves Your Business
Based on the project specifications, determine which additive manufacturing technique is ideal for your business. The technology chosen has a significant impact on the 3D print quality, cost and speed with which parts are created. It will aid in the optimization of build times without compromising part requirements. Some require more time to construct, while others require post-processing and cooling times after completion.
Photo by Minku Kang on Unsplash
Focus on the Process of Material Selection
Pricing and lead times heavily influence material selection and volume. Every material’s physical, chemical, or mechanical qualities are different. Some of them are more expensive owing to their features. The materials are linked to technologies with varying design processes and speeds. Some printing technologies produce thicker layers than others, allowing for faster assembly. Photopolymer, for example, is the most cost-effective material for smaller components, while for high-volume projects with reliable functionality, a material like thermoplastic is required, which has its own cost implications.
Scale Down Your Model
You can scale down your model to drastically reduce the cost if the size of your model is not critical, for instance, for a visual prototype. Keep in mind that we’re working on three dimensions! The volume of a 10×10×10 cube is two times that of an 8×8×8 cube. Even a minor reduction in the size of your model can significantly bring down the price of your 3D print to a fraction of what it used to be.
Drop the Requirement for Support Structures
The cost of 3D printed parts can sometimes be reduced even more by removing the need for support structures. Creating components with overhangs frequently necessitates the use of support. As more material gets utilized, the process becomes more expensive. It also demands post-processing to remove the support components and smooth the surface. The first alternative is to create a part with a greater than 45-degree overhang. The second alternative is to divide your model into two or more components that may be built afterwards and do not require any support.
Photo by ZMorph All-in-One 3D Printers on Unsplash
Raise the Layer Height and Resolution
All 3D files are divided into layers, which are then printed one at a time to create the physical item. Like pixels on a computer screen, the height of these layers defines the printed item’s resolution. A low layer height will give you a smooth surface, but it will also take a long time to print your 3D model. Because 3D printing services profit by producing as much material as possible in as little time as possible, the amount of time your part spends in the 3D printer is proportional to the total cost of 3D printing. While raising the layer height will reduce the cost of 3D printing, you should evaluate its influence on the produced item’s aesthetics and function. If your part requires sharp edges to function or needs to fit perfectly with other parts, a lower layer height is better. Similarly, you may minimize the cost of desktop 3D printing by increasing the layer height. This will cut down on the time and materials needed to print your design.
Choose an Online 3D Printing Service
For those new to 3D printing Perth, if you are not sure which technique is appropriate for your business, try looking into online 3D printing services for a thorough overview. That way, you can explore a variety of technologies, printers, and materials without risking wasting a lot of money on something that might not be suited for you. Certain materials like metal can only be manufactured on industrial 3D printers, which are highly expensive. When you thoroughly explore all your options, you can be certain of finding a provider that will assist you in lowering the cost of 3D printing in Melbourne.
To Sum Up
Users should keep these points in mind when beginning the design process. They’ll have a better understanding of their product and be able to make the most of 3D printing’s perks.
Kiran Hurkadli is the director of Zeal 3D Printing. Zeal offers comprehensive digital manufacturing services including 3d printing, CNC machining, and more to help businesses grow faster.