Print Processing Tech Tips: Thin Walls, Damaging Supports

Here at 3D Platform we take pride in our open-market solutions. Our Print Processing Tech Tips series focuses on best practices for processing procedures so you’re guaranteed the perfect print every time.

Today, we’re focusing on thin walls and damaging supports.

Failed_print_thin_walls

Failed Print: The model walls were thin and the part required substantial support structures. The process settings made the walls extremely fragile and the supports did not clearly break from the part.

Problem

Failed_Fixed_prints

Failed print on the left. Fixed print on the right.

Supports can be printed using soluble material or the same material as the printed part. The latter requires setting that allow the supports to easily break away from the part. If the model walls are thin, the part will require substantial support structures. However, if the process settings aren’t set just right, the following issues can occur:

  1. Outside perimeters and infill settings create weak and thing parts
  2. Support structure settings were too dense, without enough separation from the part.

Solution

To achieve strong outside walls with little sign of scarring, take the following steps into consideration:

1. Thin Wall Adjustments

  • Increase the number of outside parameters to match the intended wall width.
  • Increase the infill percentage by 100% to create a solid thin part.

2. Support Structure Adjustment

  • Use two dense support layers with 55% density.
  • Utilize one upper and one lower separation layer to aid in the removal of support structures.
Successful_Break

Fixed Print: Successful print with strong outside walls and little sign of scarring where the break-away support structures were removed

Rule of Thumb: Make sure to only make one adjustment at a time to see the result of each change.

Word of the Day: Gap Fill settings from Simplify3D provide assistance for thin wall models. In this example, the gap fill produced visual resonance and a rough surface finish in the printed part. This was resolved by increasing the number of perimeters to match the wall thickness, instead of utilizing the gap fill function.

For more helpful hints on how to prevent thin walls and damaging supports, check out the full case study.

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