3D Printing

Industrial 3D Printing: Lower Costs, Better Designs

Industrial 3D Printing: Lower Costs, Better Designs - 3D Activation

What you can do with industrial 3D printing to reduce costs and improve your designs

One of the great advantages of 3D printing is the associated possibility of producing prototypes and small series much more cost-effectively than will ever be possible with conventional manufacturing technologies. However, in order to optimally exploit this potential in industrial 3D printing, product developers and designers must observe a few rules that we have compiled for you here.

Optimization of the design in terms of quality and printability

In principle, similar rules apply to the optimization of the design of 3D printed models as to injection molding, albeit with the difference that additive manufacturing allows far greater design freedom.

With that in mind, you should particularly smooth transitions between adjacent faces or avoid large differences in cross-section and part volume as well as sharp corners, since the latter often cause residual stresses in the finished part. You should also be careful not to plan thin, unsupported walls too high, otherwise there is a risk of buckling or warping. In order to avoid an ugly “step effect”, surfaces with flat angles should also be flattened if possible.

Exploit the freedom of design

After we have already seen in the previous section which design rules of injection molding also apply to industrial 3D printing, in this section we will show you, conversely, how they are possible in this technology design freedom use optimally. So feel free to venture into filigree shapes, such as honeycomb structures or complex matrices. The resulting lightweight forms contribute to significant kerosene savings, especially in aircraft construction (we have already reported on bionics in this context).

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Another example: Holes don’t have to be round in 3D printed designs, they can be printed just as well (if not better) as elliptical, hexagonal or in a free hole shape.

save material costs

When printing larger objects, material costs can be saved as well as printing time if these hollowed out will.

For the same reason, it seems advisable for powder technologies such as SLS, SLM or CJP printing to incorporate air holes in order to be able to remove and reuse excess material that has not been sintered as easily as possible.

Do you have any other questions about design optimization and cost reduction in industrial 3D printing? You can find more information in our requirements for the 3D file – or simply contact us:

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