Designing parts with consistent wall thickness is a fundamental rule of plastic injection molding, and ignoring it can lead to sink, warp and inaccurate or non-functional parts. Yet the functional requirements of consumer, medical, aerospace and industrial products often leave designers little consideration for the material flow and fill properties of plastic, both of which are at least partially determined by wall thickness.
Pay close attention to rib-to-wall thickness ratios. To prevent sink, the thickness of the rib should be about half of the thickness of the wall.
This month’s tip discusses:
- Guidelines to avoid cosmetic defects associated with thin and thick features
- Material alternatives to improve wall thickness consistency
- Important questions to ask about material properties
- The benefits of design for manufacturability analysis
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Tony Holtz, Tech Specialist.
You’re invited to join Proto Labs’ live webinar presentation on rapid manufacturing. The free webinar will be hosted by our technical specialist Tony Holtz and last around 45 minutes with a Q+A to follow.
You’ll hear about the different industrial 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding processes at Proto Labs, and learn which one is best suited for your next project, based on the project’s material requirements, quantities and lead times.
TITLE: Choosing the Right Rapid Manufacturing Method for Plastic Parts
DATE: Thursday, April 21 at 1 p.m. CDT
Unable to attend? Register anyway and we’ll email you the recording afterward!
The left image illustrates resulting corner radii from milling. Consider adding reliefs to sharp corners (right image) to improve fit.
Machining gets a bit more complex every year, and as a result, it can be challenging to keep pace with the do’s and don’ts of part design. But lowering the cost of machined parts while improving functionality can still be achieved by a few relatively simple adjustments to your part design or material selection.
Small tool diameters add machining time so consider removing text or logos from machined prototypes.
This month’s tip discusses:
- Machining corner holes
- Deburring edges
- Avoiding unnecessary text
- Keeping an eye on thin features
- Reducing part complexity
- Selecting material alternatives
READ FULL DESIGN TIP.
We have a saying here at Proto Labs, “Materials Matter.”
To learn more about selecting the right material for 3D printing, download our free white paper.
Indeed, material properties are an especially key piece to consider in the case of industrial 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, which is different from traditional manufacturing methods.
To help you sort through the properties — from tensile strength to yield strength, elongation at break to hardness — we’ve published a comprehensive new white paper, “Selecting the Right Material for 3D Printing.” The paper explores recent improvements and advancements in materials used in 3D printing, and then goes in depth to cover materials that work best for three frequently used technologies: direct metal laser sintering, selective laser sintering and stereolithography.
This new white paper is part of a range of resources in our online library of 3D printing content that includes design tips, case studies, videos and other white papers. We also have a staff of experienced customer service engineers who can discuss design questions that may arise. Find us at protolabs.com or call us at 877-479-3680.
DOWNLOAD WHITE PAPER
Companies in automotive, aerospace, med tech, lighting and a range of other industries are using digital manufacturers for their prototyping and low-volume production supply partners.
Here are five reasons why:
Speed to Market
Depending on the supplier you use, you should be able to get short turnaround times that support multiple design iterations, which is crucial in those early, prototyping stages of a product’s development.
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Automated Quoting Systems
Partner with a manufacturer that offers a helpful quoting system. Our interactive quoting system at Proto Labs provides free, automated design for manufacturability (DFM) analysis, typically in an hour or two. Miguel Perez, a designer with Lockheed Martin, recently commented on our DFM feedback: “The auto-quoting system is amazing. Within a day, you get an answer as to whether you can make the part, whether you need to make changes, etc.” Continue reading