Troubleshooting Gaps in Thin Prints

by GoEngineer

The world of Additive Manufacturing, or 3D Printing, is growing by leaps and bounds. 3D Printers are becoming more and more prevalent in our lives. Large manufacturing prototypes, work tools, medical devices, or toys for your kids, to name just a few, are examples of this rising industry. The versatile use of 3D printing can simplify and even enrich our daily experience, work or personal. The 3D Printers offered by GoEngineer, produced by Stratasys, give consumers a wide variety of abilities to create the tools and parts they need to be more productive.

The focus of this article is on some of the smaller and thinner parts printed on FDM printers. Many times when creating a model in your CAD software, you pay attention to what you want the part aesthetics to be. However, just because it looks good on your computer screen, doesn’t necessarily mean it will look good on the printing platform.

Let’s use this part pictured below as an example. This was printed on our uPrint SE Plus at a 10 thousandths layer resolution. As you can see, there are gaps between layers on the dome, and there are gaps in the platform as well. How can these be fixed?

*Your layer resolution is important to know as this should effect how you design your part – also, the finer your layer resolution, the more detailed your part will be, and the longer it’ll take to build

*Your layer resolution is important to know as this should effect how you design your part – also, the finer your layer resolution, the more detailed your part will be, and the longer it’ll take to build

  1. Using your CAD Software, thicken the part. If the wall thickness of your build is too thin to allow the plastic to bond, you’ll end up with air gaps. If you thicken the walls, you’ll have enough material to fit into those air gaps to create a more solid part.
  2. If, because of various constraints, you can’t thicken the part, try adjusting your layer resolution in Catalyst. This can create extra/thicker layers in the model that can strengthen your walls and surfaces.
  3. If your resolution adjustment didn’t fix the issue, try changing the orientation of your part. This might use more material (both support and model), but it will allow the plastic to bond with the layer below at different points than it had before.
*You can set the angle of your part in the Orientation tab within Catalyst

*You can set the angle of your part in the Orientation tab within Catalyst

*Notice by just changing the orientation angle, the gaps visible in the part on the previous page are gone

*Notice by just changing the orientation angle, the gaps visible in the part on the previous page are gone

Hopefully these tips will allow you to make parts and prototypes that you weren’t able to imagine having in your hands before. As always, you can call or email our RP Support team for help at 855-470-0647 and RPSupport@GoEngineer.com

Happy Printing!

 

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