How to make a 3D design for 3D printing?


In previous articles, we discussed what 3D printing is, how it came to be, its many uses and what everyone should know about it. However, what is the steps to design for 3D printing? What should I pay attention to the most? And what could make things go wrong?

For starters, let us remember some of the things everyone should know about 3D printing. It can be divided into three phases which are the Modelling phase, the Printing phase, and the Finishing phase. All three parts of the process are important, but particularly in this article, we will deal with the aspects related to the Modelling phase.

In the Modelling phase, as we previously established, the 3D designing takes place. The first thing to do would be to choose the object you are going to design: If it is a prototype, you should try doing a scale model which you can then pass through a 3D scanner, if you cannot do so, you will have to rely on CAD tools to help you achieve a satisfactory design of your prototype.

The second thing you should do is to choose 3D printing software which is appropriate for the kind of task you are going to deal with.

There is a plethora of 3D printing software available for all kinds of 3D printers with all kinds of features. You just have to pick the most suitable for your 3D printing needs. Remember that the best is not always the one with the most features but the one which complies with your requirements.

If you are using a 3D scanner to generate your 3D design, you have to make sure that you thoroughly scan the object you are going to design. Remember that any mistake you make when in the Modelling phase, is going to reflect on the quality of the final result. Thus, there are some other things you should consider.

One of the things you should take into consideration when designing for 3D printing is being aware of the limitations of the printer you are working with. Not all printers can be used to print everything, nor use every type of material. Using a material which should not be used with a particular kind of printer can have devastating consequences for both your printer and the design you are trying to print.

Another thing to pay attention to is the specific use of the material you have chosen to print your 3D design. Not all materials are the same; there are some materials with characteristics which can affect positively or negatively the outcome of the object you are willing to print. Thus, it would be a good idea to design the object thinking about the material you are going to use to print it.

Other things that can seriously hinder the progress of your work when designing for 3D printing are not taking enough heed on the features of the design we want to print and not checking that the 3D file for printing is completely fine.

Designing for 3D printing can be an easy task, you just have to pay attention to details and everything will go smoothly. Remember: “the devil is in the details”