3 Tips For Creating An Effective 3D Printed Object
If you have something that you want created on a 3D printer, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you craft your 3D project and get it ready to have a 3D printing service create the object.
#1 Think Carefully About The Height
When you craft an object to be 3D printed, you need to think carefully about the height of the project. You don't want your project to be close to the max height allowable by the 3D printer. The taller the object you are printing, the greater the chance for cracks in your object near the top layers.
Cracks occur because as the layers add up in height, the object gets further and further away from the heated bed that assist with the cooling process. The heating bad ensures that each layer does not cool off too quickly but has enough time to adhere to the layers above and below it. When your object is too height, it cools off too fast and doesn't properly adhere to the other layers, causing cracks in the upper layers.
#2 Limit Overhangs
Second, you are going to want to limit overhangs in your project. Overhangs have a tendency to start to curl up as they dry. Overhangs on 3D printed objects curl up because there are not layers above or below it to keep it in place; overhangs lack an anchor.
If you can avoid gradual overhands in the object you want printed, you greatly reduce the chance of it curling. If you can't get rid of a gradual overhang, be sure to work with 3D printing services to use a fan to help the overhang dry properly or add an extra support tower to the project to support any overhangs on your project that you'll need to remove once the overhand dries.
#3 Plan For Warping
Other parts of 3D printing that tend to warp are the corners of large, flat objects. For example, if you are printing out a thin, square shape, the corners could warp. Or if you are printing a dome shaped object, the corners of the dome could warp. You can combat against this warping by adding small pads to the areas where warping usually occurs. These pads should only be a couple of layers thick and attached to the area where warping typically occurs. These pads will help support these sensitive areas and help printing warping. Because the pads are so thin, you can then cut them off when your project is finished printing.
Be sure to do a few test runs with your 3D printing service to make sure that everything works correctly before you go through with a full print run of the object.