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.
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.
Join us for a webinar on improving part manufacturability. Our technical specialist Tony Holtz will demonstrate how to navigate ProtoQuote to optimize your design for 3D printing, CNC machining or injection molding.
In case you’re unfamiliar with ProtoQuote, it’s our fully automated quoting and design analysis software. Simply put – it makes your life a whole lot easier. It allows you to know exactly how much a part will cost and provides an analysis of your design within hours.
Sign up and learn how to tap into the full potential of ProtoQuote and its design for manufacturability analysis:
TITLE: Improving Manufacturability with ProtoQuote
DATE: Thursday, May 26 at 1 p.m. CDT
LINK: Click here to register!
At the end of the presentation, there will be time for a Q&A session. Have a colleague who might be interested? We’d love to have them join as well. And if you can’t make it at the specified time, you can still register and we’ll send you a recording afterward.
We recently hosted a 30-minute webinar on: Choosing the Right Rapid Manufacturing Method for Plastic Parts. If you missed it, no worries. You can still watch it on-demand HERE.
What did you miss?
We discussed the benefits of rapid manufacturing for plastic components and how to select the correct manufacturing process:
- 3D printing, machining and molding processes and specifications
- Material selection and properties for each process
- Advanced molding materials like thermally conductive plastic and liquid silicone rubber
Top 3 Questions Asked
How long will you keep a mold and do you inform the customer if you’re going to get rid of it?
We’ll store the mold for one year from the last order unless it is requested to keep in storage, and we’ll notify the customer of inactivity to if they would like the mold disposed of or retained in storage.
Is there any limit on volume for injection-molded parts?
No, you can get injection-molded parts in quantities of 25 to 10,000+ with several molds even surpassing 100,000 parts. We have the ability for single and multi-cavity molds dependent on size and complexity.
Can Proto Labs be used for light pipe assemblies in PC, PMMA and silicone?
Yes, we have molded countless parts in those materials for light pipe assemblies. Mold finish should be polished to a SPI-A2 with special attention made to the mold build for ejector pin location, gate location and parting lines.
Look for additional technical webinars throughout the year on various 3D printing, CNC machining or injection molding topics. The next webinar will discus how to navigate through Proto Labs’ design for manufacturability (DFM) feedback.