Min Supported Wall Thickness
Min Unsupported Wall Thickness
A supported wall is connected on at least two sides. Walls in your model must meet the minimum measurements to ensure it survives the printing and cleaning process. Thin walls are prone to warping during printing and are fragile to clean. Objects that meet the minimum requirements may still be rejected based on the geometry in which case our production team will communicate with you if the design needs improvements and can assist you to strengthen your model. For large walls or walls bearing significant weight, we suggest increasing the thickness to 1.6mm.
Min Supported Wires
Min Unsupported Wires
A geometry is considered a wire when it is thinner in both unconnected directions than its length. Whether we are able to print the minimal thickness depends on the orientation of the part and whether supports are required on the feature. Our production team will communicate with you if the design is too weak with tips on how to strengthen it. For long wires or wires bearing significant weight, we suggest increasing the thickness to 2mm.
INTERLOCKING AND ENCLOSED PARTS ?
Interlocking parts are possible, but enclosed parts are not. During the printing process, support structures are automatically generated and built around your object to prevent it from warping. These must then be removed so your product is true to the design. It is possible to create interlocking parts, but enclosed parts require support material that is impossible or very difficult to remove.
Print Lines or "Stepping"
A "staircase" effect and print lines, can occur on the surface of your print. These can become more pronounced on curved and angled surfaces.
After printing, aluminum products are blasted with aluminum-oxide-powder (corundum) to clean them. That means small sharp edges will be rounded off.
Edges and overhanging surfaces may be rough. Supports are required for overhangs in order to avoid sagging into the loose powder below. These support structures must be removed with a tool during post-processing. Surfaces which require support structures can be rough or show small imperfections due to the removal process.
Screws and Threads
Screws or parts with threads need to be highly accurate. Printed aluminum parts cannot achieve this. Therefore, a matching screw and nut set printed with the same nominal dimensions will not fit together. If you need a perfect functional threaded part or screw, we recommend thread cutting after you receive your print. A machining allowance must be taken into account according to the "classic" rules of thread cutting..
Design with Accuracy in Mind
When designing holes, textures, small gaps or notches, and filigree details, you will need to consider tolerances based on the accuracy of the process in order for the details to function as intended. Exact sizes cannot be achieved and fine textures will lose detail.
Overhangs on aluminum parts must be reinforced by a support structure. This aluminum support structure must be removed thoroughly and carefully after the build process. The now exposed surface is very rough and requires polishing. Therefore, areas where support needs to be removed must be accessible with tools like pliers and files.
Generally, all parts can be supported, but removing support structures can be impossible if they are in areas which are inaccessible. Additionally, filigree details can often be destroyed during this process. To ensure that all support structures can be removed without damaging the part, do not create filigree complex part details, especially in inaccessible areas.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide hard guidelines here because the amount of the necessary support can only be seen in the data preparation process and varies from part to part.