3D printing wall thickness may vary somewhat from 3d printer to 3d printer and another factor to be considered is material. Getting your model 3d printed just right will become much more complicated initially if the walls of the model are near or below the minimum wall thickness. You might inadvertently cause a hole in your 3d printed mesh (3d printed wall) for example. Or more commonly, make one part just a tad bit too thin which will cause it not to be 3D printed at all.
3D printing with ABS plastic is one of the more popular materials so we’ll use that material as our example 3d printing material. A wall thickness of at least 1mm minimum is a good rule thumb. Generally speaking I’d like to see closer to 2mm thickness when 3d printing especially when using minimum angle support 3d printer settings. However when using long protrusions with counterweight without any support at one end you will probably need to add thickness.
3D Printing Design and Manufacturing Design guidelines are not always the same. If you do not have experience with designing for 3D printing, minimum wall thickness is an often encountered error. In the virtual world of rendering your model you may have any dimension or be as thick or thin as you want. However; if you would like to make a model in the real world using 3D printing keep in mind the minimum thickness rules. After you build your 3d printed prototype you can go back and change the thickness on your 3d design for the manufacturing process. And of course, depending on which manufacturing production process and material you choose you will need to have your design conform to the new rules of thickness and design for the manufacturing process, material and sometimes even the particular manufacturer.
Before you decide to 3D print (and ideally before you start to design your model), you should know the basic guidelines for your printing material of choice. You can find specific information about the required wall thickness for each material in our 3d modeling design guide.
Please keep in mind that the 3d printing wall thickness guidelines stated above are only general guidelines and your 3d print design may vary from within the stated guidelines to outside the stated guidelines. Always check with a professional in regards to your specific project.
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