Last week we kicked off our webinar series on designing for 3D printing. The first session focused on stereolithography (SL) and it’s available on-demand here.
- Properties of commonly used stereolithography materials
- The unique benefits of stereolithography such as feature resolution and recommended applications
- General design tips for overhangs, support structures, finishes and more
Can you describe the resolution of SL parts in terms of microns?
There are 25 microns per 0.001 in. Normal resolution builds in 100 micron layers, high-resolution builds in 50 micron layers and micro-resolution builds in 25 micron layers.
The minimum X/Y resolution would be 250 microns in normal resolution, 100 microns in high-resolution and 50 microns in micro-resolution.
What’s the cost difference between normal- and high-resolution SL parts?
There’s no set number since it depends on the part’s geometry. But for parts under 1 in., customers will see a relatively low cost difference between normal- and high-resolutions.
Height is a primary driver of cost so once you start approaching 2 to 3 in. build heights it can start to differentiate more dramatically. But, with our instant quoting process it’s easy to compare these costs simply by clicking back and forth and comparing resolutions.
What’s the rule of thumb for wall thickness in hollow structures?
We try to stay above 0.03 in. and a general rule is 0.01 in. wall thickness per inch of the part. For example, a part that’s 8 in., you’ll want to shoot for 0.08 in. wall thickness for a well-supported hollow part.
More 3D printing webinars on the way…
The next webinar on our calendar will be on accelerating medical device development with rapid prototyping, which you can sign up for here. And, in the coming months we’ll have more 3D printing webinars that will focus on designing for selective laser sintering as well as direct metal laser sintering.
By now, you’ve probably come across the term Industry 4.0. And yes, it can seem like just another term in the buzzword dictionary, but many of the world’s leading technology and manufacturing companies — including yours truly — rely on it, every day. It’s how we take your 3D CAD model and turn it into a finished part faster than anyone else.
Download our free white paper to learn how companies are accelerating product development with software and analytics.
It’s important to note that Industry 4.0 isn’t only about 3D printing and new manufacturing processes. Rather, it’s about connecting automated front-end software with back-end hardware for more informed decision-making and efficient execution.
We refer to the link between each of the processes as the digital thread, which is made possible by software and technology.
Download the free white paper to learn how your business can tap into the power of the digital thread and join the next industrial revolution.
DOWNLOAD THE WHITE PAPER
The crew at Protoworks (our R&D program) has been busy. Every day they’re pushing the boundaries to advance new rapid manufacturing processes and materials and expand your design possibilities.
We just rolled out a few new capabilities that we’re excited to share.
2 is better than 1: Overmolding
Overmolding expands on our injection molding offering. At Proto Labs, it’s a multi-step process where we mold a substrate part and place it into a second mold, which then molds another material onto the substrate. It’s called pick-n-place molding.
A look inside our liquid silicone rubber manufacturing facility
Overmolding can aid in dampening vibration, improving grip as well as two-color aesthetics. We are still in the beta testing phase of our overmolding process, but it’s open to everyone.
Visit our overmolding page for design guidelines or to submit a request for parts.
Extra-strength machined parts: titanium
You asked. We listened. Our CNC machines can now mill and turn parts from titanium. With an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance, titanium is most suitable for applications in aerospace, medical and other industries where high performance is critical.
3D printing deserves an in-depth look. Whether it’s determining the right 3D printing process, selecting the right material or understanding design considerations, there’s a lot to think about.
Eric Utley, 3D printing application engineer
We’re kicking off a series of 3D printing webinars with each session focusing on one process so we can really take a close look at what makes each process unique.
Eric Utley, 3D printing application engineer at Proto Labs, will share:
- An overview of stereolithography
- Material options and recommended applications
- Design tips to improve surface finish, reduce cost and other benefits
After the presentation, you’ll be able to ask Eric any questions you have in an open Q&A session.
TITLE: Designing for 3D Printing: Stereolithography
DATE: June 23 at 1 p.m. CDT
REGISTER: Click here to register and attend
Even if you can’t make it, you can still register and we’ll send you a recording and you can watch it on-demand.Also, feel free to forward this invite to your colleagues.
Last week we hosted a quick webinar that explored how designers can use ProtoQuote to improve the manufacturability of their design. It’s available on-demand here.
- How to get free design for manufacturability feedback for your part
- Improving manufacturability by adding draft, adjusting wall thickness and incorporating radii
- How to navigate ProtoQuote for each of our processes: 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding
Top Questions Asked
Will Proto Labs help simplify my CAD file?
Yes, along with our automated DFM feedback, we have a full staff of engineers that will work with you on simplifying your design. Once you upload a 3D CAD file, they will look at it and explore ways of improving overall manufacturability and provide guidance based on your part’s requirements and intended application.
Are there any general design tips to avoid parts having side-pulls or side-actions?
Our free design cube shows the different side-actions that we use to produce parts. And, if you have snap features on your part that might require side-actions, you can cut away that geometry and use a pass-through core to alleviate the need for a side-pull or cam.
We also have resources that discuss implementing side-actions, as well as eliminating the need for them:
What are the material options for opaque materials for lighting applications?
We offer polycarbonate materials that provide transparent options for lighting and other applications requiring transparent materials. We provide multiple PC colors: amber, green, blue, transparent and even infrared.
Look for additional technical webinars throughout the year on various 3D printing, CNC machining or injection molding topics. The next webinar will be part one in a series of 3D printing webinars and we’ll discuss designing for stereolithography.