By Gracie Anderson
The “one size fits all” policy isn’t applicable to 3D printing, which is why mistakes are common in this area. Now for creating seamless 3D printing prototypes, specific skills and technical knowledge are always required. Also, in order to avoid the common errors when it comes to 3D printing, it is vital to know the common issues first.
Not Following the Material Guidelines
Before beginning the process of 3D printing, selecting the proper materials in 3D printing is mandatory. There is an abundance of credible options in 3D printing. It could be resin, ceramic, nylon, ABS to name of few.
All the materials come with features like brittleness, solidity, stiffness, flexibility, and so on. So, while designing the 3D model, it is imperative to keep in mind these qualities because, in every recognized technology of 3D printing, there is a particular kind of material being used.
For instance, let’s focus on the ceramic material. In this case, there are several concerns that should be remembered like overhanging parts, rounding off corners, etc. So opting for the proper printing material requires the basic guidelines in designing.
Also, the material should be fit for the application utilized to have successful outcomes.
The Application of Wrong Printing Technology
3D printing makes use of different printing technology based on the materials created. For instance, substances like Alumide, ABS, and Polyamide are a little difficult to print together. In this case, various advanced printing technologies need to be integrated to make it happen.
“In case of alumide and plastic materials, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology or Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology are employed”, says Alan Cooper, an expert on assignment help for MyAssignmenthelp.com and a 3D modelling enthusiast. For resin or wax materials, methods such as Digital Light Processing (DLP), Stereolithography (SLA), and multijet printers are utilized.
Now the crucial thing to keep in mind is that you can’t assume Silver and Stainless Steel will have similar requirements because they are both metals. They are printed with different technologies, and so some design attributes will vary. However, materials that employ the same technology such as Bronze, Gold, Silver, and Brass (lost wax casting) are more likely to share the same design requirements.
Improper STL files
In the process of designing the 3D model, working with the STL files can be a little difficult because it denotes the outer surfaces of the 3D model which forms the mesh of points, edges and faces and is indicative of the internal volume of the model.
Any error in the STL file can lead to issues such as intersecting faces, bad boundary edges, non-manifold edges and over-refined mesh.
To resolve this issue, always ensure that the STL files are fixed with the help of an exclusive 3D printing software like Meshmixer and Netfabb. In fact, experts in this domain always advise rectifying the issue in the native CAD software first prior to exporting it to STL file. Moreover, Always see to it that the STL file is appropriately designed and exported.
Not Utilizing Image Planes
This is a common problem specifically among the beginners, as they tend to completely overlook the design and composition, and jump directly into Maya.
So if you are a beginner, you can draw up orthographic ideas for buildings and environment assets before proceeding with the design. Not only will it allow you to work at a faster pace, but it also enables you to maintain absolute accuracy, and this leads to efficiency in the process of 3D modelling. In this case, using image planes for every major element that you model, particularly the characters or complex architectural pieces, will work like magic.
Modelling Seamless Meshes
It’s a rather common notion among people that a finished model has to be a single seamless mesh. But it’s not always necessary, and trying to model things utilizing that method will only complicate things further.
Often the experts in this area offer valuable insights on the question of whether an element of your model should be separate geometry or seamless. In this case, think about the way the model you’re creating would be developed in the real world, and model it as close to the reality as possible.
It’s a common adage among the designers that “form follows function”, and this phrase holds some significance here. If you experience a situation where you think it’ll be a lot more convenient to design something separately, then, by all means, go through with it.
Failing to Check the File Resolution
The most popularly used file format for 3D printing has to be STL (Standard Triangle Language). When providing the STL file, it is crucial to select the correct resolution for the file. Basically, STL means that the design is formed within the triangles in a 3D format. Opting for the appropriate resolution will lead to a good quality print.
When the resolution of the file is too less, it denotes that the triangles are too big. This will only create an uneven print, and the print will turn out be “pixelated”.
On the other hand, if the STL file comes with a high resolution, it will be quite complicated to deal with and ultimately upload the file. Similarly, it may also include a great level of details that other 3D printers are incapable of printing.
When you are exporting an STL file, it will be wise for you to select a tolerance of 0.01mm to have a seamless export process.
Not Paying Attention to the Wall Thickness
Although you can find enough details about the wall thickness in the discussed guidelines, it still deserves mention.
Issues related to wall thickness are by far the most prevalent reasons why some 3D models are not printable. In several cases, the wall is too thin. And when the walls are thin, it makes small parts on the model difficult to be printed as it becomes extremely fragile and can break off easily. Similarly, walls that are a little too thick, tend to put too much internal stress and can cause the item to break crack.
Inappropriately Set Up Machines
More often than not, the reason why mistakes happen while carrying out a 3D printing is that of the failure in machine. Problems like nozzles not working, out of filament, etc. are rather common. Hence, it is essential to set up the 3D printer accurately before proceeding with the 3D modelling.
Now some 3D printers are pre-calibrated, other printers are required to be adjusted to function efficiently. Always ensure to go through the instruction manual to set up the equipment properly beforehand.
With adequate understanding and proper training, mistakes in 3D printing can be reduced. The quality of the 3D prototypes can be improved with the help of some trial and error by yourself.
Author Bio: Gracie Anderson is a software developer who is working with a multinational corporation in Australia. She has pursued her B.Tech degree from the Australian National University. She also runs a successful blog on technology and gadgets; she is a ghost writer by choice. She has been associated with Myassignmenthelp for the past three years.