Setting Correct Infill on 3D Printers for Your Rapid Prototyping Services

 

Getting from paper to proof of concept must be as seamless as possible when you’re working with 3D printing, since a finished prototype is imperative to moving forward with your idea. A few simple settings in your slicing program can change how quickly your G-code runs and how much filament you end up paying to use. Your designs should always include consideration of shell thickness, infill percentage, layer height and pattern. Unlike CNC machining services, the additive process of 3D printing allows you to change how much material you use. Setting correct infill on 3D printers for your rapid prototyping services.

 

Infill percentage and shell thickness are the top two factors in your printing speed. First, you need to know how your product will be used. Is it for sale or for show? Pieces for display can be thinner, with an infill between 15 to 20 percent and a shell thickness two to three times your extruder tip width. Conversely, prototypes that will handle more stress should have thicker shells and an infill of 30 percent or higher. Most slicing software has similar settings options that are easy to navigate.

 

Something you won’t find with most rapid prototyping services is the ability to change your infill percentage at different stages of your print. A new open source software called GBlend is combating that problem by compiling multiple G-code files into one. This lets you select a lower infill rate where the structure allows for it and set a higher rate at stress points, all in the same file.

 

Your infill pattern should also be a top consideration. If there is no need for strength in your print, choose a weaker pattern that uses less material. There are many options, but the following ones represent the range that patterns can have.

  • The Triangle Pattern uses the least amount of space while remaining relatively strong.
  • The Wiggle Pattern allows give when your prototype is under stress.
  • The Honeycomb Pattern is the strongest but also slows down print time.

 

The last setting that will speed up your printing is your layer height. Indeed, the height of each layer will affect how rigid your prototype comes out. A taller layer height will have a smoother look and feel around its corners, whereas shorter layering will produce great detail but require much more time to finish.

 

With each of these options you will be able to save time and money on your 3D printing. Take the time to develop a solid idea of what you’re building; then, implement the proper settings on your slicing software. Use each of these techniques to find a balance between time and precision to create the optimum rapid prototype.

 

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