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Wall Thickness

Wall Thickness
In 3D printing, wall thickness refers to the distance between one surface of your part and the opposite sheer surface. For PP, we recommend a minimum wall thickness of 1 mm but living hinges are possible at 0.8 mm. High wall thickness can give you a strong solid surface, while lower wall thickness can create a flexible and expandable surface. For example, thin surface walls are ideal when designing a spring that needs some suspension properties. This makes your part light and flexible. The opposite effect can be achieved by making your surface walls thicker.

Hollowing

Hollowing

If possible, try to hollow out your part. This avoids deformation and discoloration during the printing process. You can either hollow out your part without a surface hole, which means that unsintered powder will remain trapped inside, or you can design a strategically placed hole (two would be even better) so that the unsintered powder can be easily removed after printing. If the part needs to be reclosed, design a lid with a diameter allowing for 0.5 mm play between the part and the lid.

If your part has walls thicker than 5 mm, our production team may hollow out the part to prevent deformation and discoloration. For parts with wall thickness higher than 10 mm wall thickness, this is done by default. In that case, the powder will stay trapped inside.

Holes and Channels

Holes with a small diameter are exposed to a lot of heat during the sintering process. This can cause the powder inside the holes to become fused. To make sure that holes in your parts remain clear, design a diameter of at least 1 mm.

Longer internal channels can be difficult to clear out, especially if the powder is partially sintered together. We recommend a diameter of at least 3 mm for internal channels.

Warpage and Deformities

Warpage and Deformities
We strongly recommend that you do not design large, flat plains in dimensions like an A4 page. In most cases, your model will deform. This process is called “warping”. Even if you create support ribs under your plane, it doesn’t solve the problem. It increases the chance of deformation even more. The key here is to avoid big flat planes.

Interlocking or Moving Parts

Interlocking or Moving Parts
It is possible to print interlocking and moving parts or single-build assemblies in PP. Parts that are printed together should have a minimum clearance of 0.5 – 0.6 mm. If you want to print a chain, spacing between your surfaces is crucial. The more space you can afford the better. The more complex your part is, the more difficult it becomes for us to evacuate unsintered powder from the interior when the part is taken out of the 3D printer.

Assembly

Assembly

When designing parts that need to be assembled, it’s important to maintain enough distance between the parts. A perfect fit in your CAD software does not necessarily ensure a perfect fit after printing because your software ignores the friction present in the real world. Therefore, always leave at least 0.6 mm between the different parts. For parts with large surfaces and wall thicknesses, you will need to maintain even more distance between the parts.

In order to help us print your parts with the best possible dimensions for assembly, please design your files with an orientation equal to the relative orientation of your parts in the final assembly.

Embossed and Engraved Details

Embossed and Engraved Details
For engraved text or surface details, we recommend letters with a minimum line thickness of 1 mm, a depth of 1.5 mm, and an overall height of at least 4.5 mm. Embossed text or surface details should be thick enough that they will not break during production or transport. We recommend letters that have a line thickness of at least 0.8 mm, an overall height of at least 3 mm, and a depth of at least 0.8 mm.

Design Specifications

Minimum Wall Thickness
0.8 - 1 mm
Minimum Details
0.3 mm
Accuracy
±0.3 % (with lower limit on ± 0.3 mm)
Maximum Size
500 x 500 x 480 mm
Clearance
0.6 mm
Interlocking or Enclosed Parts?
Yes