Alumide 3D printing design rules
Although Alumide products are printed on the same machine as White Strong & Flexible, the material properties are quite different.
The main difference between the materials is that Alumide is brittle and not flexible. This should be taken into account when you are designing your products. Please note that a product that can be printed in White, Strong and Flexible will not automatically be printable in Alumide.
The most important rules to keep in mind:
- Minimum wall: 0.8mm for Alumide and Polished Alumide
- Minimum detail: 0.6mm for Alumide and Polished (though to get crisp details, we recommend thickening to 0.8mm)
- Minimum wires: 1.3mm for Alumide, and 1.5mm for Polished Alumide (wires are fragile and easily broken, please remember to thicken your wires!)
Note: this is the minimum wall thickness and detail levels that are printable and which can be cleaned. However, parts of a product can still cause problems during handling, cleaning and shipping.
An important step during the cleaning process is shot blasting the products. Shot blasting removes any excess powder that remains on the product after rough cleaning. The advantage: it also gives Alumide its distinctive shiny quality. Straight from the printer the products have mat surface finish. Blasting removes a very thin surface layer, bringing out all qualities of the Alumide material.
When the ratio between wall thickness and length of a part is too small, Alumide can break during these stages of the manufacturing process, due to it being brittle. E.g. a thin rod (like a tank turret) of diameter 1.5mm and length 20mm is very likely to break.
With the data in the material data sheet in hand you could actually calculate the minimum wall thickness needed for you product.