What is the minimum wall thickness I can 3D Print successfully with 3D Polyjet Technology?
This is an interesting question; one I get asked often. There is a second part to this question, and that is, if the wall has draft on it, like you might find on a container, tub or box, etc.
These questions and ones like them I intend to challenge every couple of weeks in my blog. The information here may be useful to designers when they are creating 3D Solid Models of prototypes that will be later 3D Printed.
We must also consider the different technologies available for 3DPrinting. Design guidelines will vary depending on the process chosen. For further information on general design and accuracy guide lines for some of the various 3D Printing technologies that we offer, visit www.neratek.com/3dprinting-materials-and-process
Having just modeled two test pieces that will show wall thicknesses ranging from 0.3mm to 1.0mm vertical to the base, and a second test piece having the same walls thicknesses but angled at 3 degrees to the vertical, this is to simulate 3 degrees of draft (wouldn’t any designer or moulder like to have 3 degrees draft on a product). We acknowledge that drafts less than 3 degrees and even greater in some cases will be present in products, but we settled on 3 degrees as it gives us a reasonable overhang, thus producing a wall that’s layers are not bond directly on top of each other.
Some suppliers advise that wall thickness of less than 1mm are avoided if possible. Let’s see how far we can push this.
So we will start with 1mm wall thickness reducing in 0.1mm increments to 0.3mm for both the vertical and 3 degrees off vertical test pieces. All wall heights are 10mm high and 20mm wide. Again, we fully acknowledge that walls heights and widths will be a lot different than these
values and results will vary accordingly. But let us start with this test and see what we can learn.
I hope to have the parts available for tomorrows update. They are currently printing here at NeraTek.
You can also find further updates on these design guidelines and test progress on our Facebook page. @NeraTek3DPrinting