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Best Tips for Lowering Your Design Cost in 3D Printing

We're going to explore the primary principles of designing for mass production 3D printing by guiding you through the process of designing a cube. Traditionally, manufacturing a cube might involve modeling a solid cube and then cutting out a large cavity on one side. However, since this isn't injection molding, we'll keep our cube fully solid.


The first step is to round any vertical edges to create a cleaner tool path for the machine and chamfer any part of the first layer by at least 1 mm to prevent "elephant footing" and ensure a reliable first layer. With these modifications, you have a solid cube, but there's more we can do to optimize it.


How to 3D print a cube

To further refine the design for mass production 3D printing, where auto ejection is used to produce parts as affordably as traditional methods, we need to consider bed adhesion. To reduce adhesion and facilitate easier removal from the bed, we can add a cavity to the bottom of the cube, decreasing the surface area in contact with the bed. This modification not only makes the part more reliable but also significantly reduces costs by eliminating the need for manual removal.


Mass Production 3D Printing, How to 3D Print a cube

Improving the cube further involves addressing the visibility of layer lines. One effective strategy is to design a texture into the cube, using CAD to apply a cross-hatching or random pattern across all faces. This not only hides layer lines but also adds an artistic style to the part, something that would be prohibitively expensive with traditional mold-making but is easily achievable with 3D printing.


3D Printed Cubes

Another design trick is to reconsider the orientation of the print. Instead of printing the cube flat, placing it on a corner minimizes the contact area with the bed and results in more uniform surfaces, as all sides align with the print lines. This approach yields a cube with a uniform outer surface texture, enhancing its aesthetic appeal.


How to 3D Print a Cube

In summary, the key design tricks for mass production 3D printing include rounding edges, minimizing surface contact area, and creatively controlling the surface texture. These strategies not only reduce costs and improve quality but also enable the production of highly reliable and distinct parts in large quantities, as demonstrated here at Slant 3D. For those interested in exploring these techniques further, we have more videos delving into these topics in detail. Don't forget to like, comment, and subscribe for more insights, and have a great day, everyone.




1 Comment


Guest
4 days ago

I love your videos. Does it make sense to put the prints on an edge, if the 3d printer moves the bed?

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