Design Guidelines

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ADVANCED BUILD OPTIONS, STL FILE REQUIREMENTS AND CUSTOMER AGREEMENT

This agreement sets forth the terms and conditions on which digital manufacturing services, rapid prototyping services and/or quotations for such services are made available via this website. The services available through this website are provided by Paradigm 3D.

It is important you read and understand the advanced options and the guide to quality STL files. By agreeing to these terms and conditions, Paradigm 3D will build your parts based on your selected build options and you accept the results based on these expectations.
Quoting engine update:

Quoting engine update:

The quoting engine has the ability to calculate the optimal build orientation and layer height for
each geometry. These build options will be the default choice,

unless specified by the user.

Please review Paradigm 3D Customer Agreement first

Advanced Build Options

The quoting engine has the ability to calculate the optimal build orientation and layer height for each geometry. These build options will be the default choice,unless specified by the user.The default orientation is called “Optimal Build” and the default layer height has an asterisk

HOW IT WORKS: FDM

Build orientation and layer height can have a substantial impact on part quality, build speed and price.

  • For FDM, each STL file is analyzed in 6 different build orientations.
  • Support volume and runtime are estimated at each build orientation.
  • The optimal build orientation is based on the orientation with the least amount of support volume
  • Default layer height is based on overall part size.

EXAMPLE PART: HANDLE.STL IN ABS-M30

Bounding Box Size: 2.30 x 3.91 x 1.26 inchesDefault layer height for ABS-M30 = 0.007 inch

Note: some materials can be built in the full range of layer
heights 0.005, 0.007, 0.010 0.013 inch. While
other’s are limited to only one or two layer heights.

6 Build orientations analyzed and the price of each at layer height of 0.007 inch


picture1

picture2

picture3
Orientation 1(Preserve)$144 Orientation 2 (-180 Y)$144 Orientation 3 (90 X)$309

picture4
picture5
picture6
Orientation 4 (Optimal Build) (-90X)$300 Orientation 5 (-90 Y)$207 Orientation 6 (90 Y)$210

Layer Height and Price:In this case,ABS-M30 material can build in 4 different layer heights; 0.005, 0.007, 0.010 and0.013 inch. See layer height options for all FDM materials.Here are the prices at each layer height for each build orientation for the same file:(The quoting engines recommended build orientation and layer height is bolded)

picture1 0.005-$261
0.007-$144
0.010-$87
0.013-$68
picture2 0.005-$261
0.007-$144
0.010-$87
0.013-$68
picture3 0.005-$521
0.007-$309
0.010-$181
0.013-$148
picture4 0.005-$498
0.007-$300
0.010-$178
0.013-$144
picture5 0.005-$350
0.007-$207
0.010-$124
0.013-$97
picture6 0.005-$358
0.007-$210
0.010-$125
0.013-$98

You have the option of choosing a different build orientation and layer height

CONSIDERATIONS FOR CHOOSING BUILD ORIENTATION AND LAYER HEIGHT

Aesthetics

If aesthetics are critical to the final use of the part, you will want to reduce the amount of
stepping or build layer lines. In general smaller layer heights improve the amount of stepping or layer lines. But part geometry and build orientation can also affect aesthetics.

Example part:Handle.stl in ABS-M30

The example part above is built in three different orientations. Note the difference in the visible layer lines in each build orientation.

A: This orientation has the least amount of visible layer lines
B: There are some visible layer lines on the downward and upward facing surfaces
C: This orientation builds with the most amount of visible layer lines

FUNCTIONALITY

Build orientation has the biggest impact on part functionality and feature strength. However, a thinner layer height can improve strength to certain features and geometries.

In the examples below you can see how build orientation affects feature strength. In general, when extruding material, the parts will be stronger along the layer lines vs. between layers

func_img1

Horizontal orientation strengthens the features along layer lines.

func_img2

Vertical orientation weakens the features layer to layer.

WALL THICKNESS FDM MATERIALS

The wall thickness on various features of your part should dictate the best layer height. The quoting engine does not have the ability to detect and measure wall thickness, so the user must make the best choice

This chart defines the Minimum Acceptable and Recommended Minimum wall thickness for each material and layer height.

Overall wall thickness should be greater than or equal to the recommended amount, but thinner wall sections greater than or equal to the acceptable minimum are achievable. Wall thickness is geometry and application dependent. We recommend designing load bearing surfaces with recommended thickness or greater.

Material layer heights and wall thickness chart

FDM Thermoplastic Layer Height Wall Thickness
Acceptable Minimum
Wall Thickness
Recommended Minimum
inch mm inch mm inch mm
ABS-M30
  • 0.005
  • 0.007
  • 0.01
  • 0.013
  • 0.127
  • 0.1778
  • 0.254
  • 0.3302
  • 0.016
  • 0.024
  • 0.032
  • 0.036
  • 0.4064
  • 0.6096
  • 0.8128
  • 0.9144
  • 0.029
  • 0.041
  • 0.053
  • 0.059
  • 0.7366
  • 1.0414
  • 1.3462
  • 1.4986
ABS-M30i
  • 0.005
  • 0.007
  • 0.01
  • 0.013
  • 0.127
  • 0.1778
  • 0.254
  • 0.3302
  • 0.016
  • 0.024
  • 0.032
  • 0.036
  • 0.4064
  • 0.6096
  • 0.8128
  • 0.9144
  • 0.029
  • 0.041
  • 0.053
  • 0.059
  • 0.7366
  • 1.0414
  • 1.3462
  • 1.4986
ABS
  • 0.005
  • 0.007
  • 0.01
  • 0.127
  • 0.1778
  • 0.254
  • 0.016
  • 0.024
  • 0.032
  • 0.4064
  • 0.6096
  • 0.8128
  • 0.029
  • 0.041
  • 0.053
  • 0.7366
  • 1.0414
  • 1.3462
ABSi
  • 0.005
  • 0.007
  • 0.01
  • 0.127
  • 0.1778
  • 0.254
  • 0.016
  • 0.024
  • 0.032
  • 0.4064
  • 0.6096
  • 0.8128
  • 0.029
  • 0.041
  • 0.053
  • 0.7366
  • 1.0414
  • 1.3462
ABS-ESD7
  • 0.007
  • 0.01
  • 0.1778
  • 0.254
  • 0.024
  • 0.032
  • 0.6096
  • 0.8128
  • 0.041
  • 0.053
  • 1.0414
  • 1.3462
PC
  • 0.005
  • 0.007
  • 0.01
  • 0.013
  • 0.127
  • 0.1778
  • 0.254
  • 0.3302
  • 0.016
  • 0.024
  • 0.032
  • 0.036
  • 0.4064
  • 0.6096
  • 0.8128
  • 0.9144
  • 0.029
  • 0.041
  • 0.053
  • 0.059
  • 0.7366
  • 1.0414
  • 1.3462
  • 1.4986
Nylon 12
  • 0.007
  • 0.01
  • 0.013
  • 0.1778
  • 0.254
  • 0.3302
  • 0.024
  • 0.032
  • 0.036
  • 0.6096
  • 0.8128
  • 0.9144
  • 0.041
  • 0.053
  • 0.059
  • 1.0414
  • 1.3462
  • 1.4986
PC-ABS
  • 0.005
  • 0.007
  • 0.01
  • 0.013
  • 0.127
  • 0.1778
  • 0.254
  • 0.3302
  • 0.016
  • 0.024
  • 0.032
  • 0.036
  • 0.4064
  • 0.6096
  • 0.8128
  • 0.9144
  • 0.029
  • 0.041
  • 0.053
  • 0.059
  • 0.7366
  • 1.0414
  • 1.3462
  • 1.4986
PC-ISO
  • 0.007
  • 0.01
  • 0.013
  • 0.1778
  • 0.254
  • 0.3302
  • 0.024
  • 0.032
  • 0.036
  • 0.6096
  • 0.8128
  • 0.9144
  • 0.041
  • 0.053
  • 0.059
  • 1.0414
  • 1.3462
  • 1.4986
PPSF
  • 0.01
  • 0.013
  • 0.254
  • 0.3302
  • 0.032
  • 0.036
  • 0.8128
  • 0.9144
  • 0.06
  • 0.07
  • 1.524
  • 1.778
ULTEM 9085
  • 0.01
  • 0.013
  • 0.254
  • 0.3302
  • 0.032
  • 0.036
  • 0.8128
  • 0.9144
  • 0.06
  • 0.07
  • 1.524
  • 1.778
walk_img1

Section A
is small
enough where the
acceptable minimum
could be achieved

Section B
is a larger
section that requires
stability and strength, the
recommended
amount or
greater would be
preferred

The example part below is a combination of thin walls and functionality. This part was built in a medium layer height (0.007in.) and the majority of the part had wall thicknesses of 0.024 in. Even though, the part builds fine, some feature are easy to break and don’t stand up to the end application.

By thickening critical areas to our “Recommended” minimums(from 0.024 to 0.041)it allows for an additional raster fill internally which helps provide more strength. The same is true for feature such as pins and bosses, if the strength of the feature is critical, then the thicker the feature the better.

walk_img2walk_img3

LAYER HEIGHT

Consider the following guidelines when choosing the best layer height for your geometry:

Part requirement Smaller Layer Height Thicker Layer Heigh
Functionality simple-blue-tick-hi
Aesthetics simple-blue-tick-hi
Build Speed simple-blue-tick-hi
Small Wall Thickness simple-blue-tick-hi
Large Wall Thickness simple-blue-tick-hi
Low Price simple-blue-tick-hi

Guide to Quality STL Files

An STL file is a format compatible with additive manufacturing software used to generate information needed to produce 3D models. The STL format approximates the surfaces of a solid surface or scanned model with triangles. For a simple model,such as the box shown below, surfaces can be approximated with twelve triangles, two on each side. A more complex surface has more triangles (see gear below).
Even highly complex files should be under 20MB in file size

quality_img1
guide_quality2
quality_img3

Almost all of today’s CAD systems are capable of producing an STL file. The process is often as simple as selecting File,
Save As and STL. Read more about how to save your CAD as STL:

SEVEN KEY OPTIMIZATION SETTINGS

The following settings affect the way your parts will look and perform when produced. Optimizing these before file conversion
is important because STL files cannot be edited, changed or made smoother after uploading to the quoting engine

  • Angle, deviation and chord height
  • Wall thickness
  • Multiple shells or nested parts
  • Tabbed areas
  • Surfaces
  • Inversed normal
  • Edges

ANGLE, DEVIATION & CHORD HEIGHT (FACETING / SMOOTHNESS)

The angle, deviation and chord height affect smoothness of the part.Faceting is determined by the relative coarseness of curved areas of the adjoining triangles. The most common variables are deviation or chord height, and angle control or angle tolerance

Following are three examples of various STL faceting outputs deter
mined by varying angle, deviation and chord height


angle.png
Coarse Faceting (poor):When the faceting is too coarse you can see flat spots on curved surfaces. The flat spots in the.stl file will show up when the part is produced. Coarse faceting is almost always caused by the angle setting being too high, or the deviation/chord height settings being too large, or a combination of both

deviation.png
Excessively Fine Faceting:Fine faceting can cause delays in processing and uploading because of the file size. Increasing the resolution does not necessarily improve part quality. This is caused by the angle settings being too low, or the deviation/chord height settings being too small,or a combination of both

chord.png
Good Quality Faceting(best):The happy medium between the two extremes is good quality faceting, just detailed enough so that features build to the file dimensions, while being simple enough to maintain a manageable file size.

WALL THICKNESS

Often wider is better, especially to avoid unexpected holes, gaps, missing pieces or flimsy walls.
Make sure to measure wall thickness before ordering a part.

n the image below,red indicates the slice curve or cross-section of the STL file and green is the tool path. One of the walls is so thin that a tool path is not calculated. In the other thin
region a tool path can be calculated; however, it’s important to note that the outcome will be a flimsy or fragile region. In addition, this pinched area may be built as a hole in the part.

filmsy

If you use PolyJet technology, you can create parts with thinner features. Most thin walls will build, but may be somewhat fragile and are susceptible to damage during support removal, testing and handling.

Refer to the Material Layer Heights and Wall Thickness Chart above for minimum and recommended minimum wall thicknesses.

MULTIPLE SHELLS, NESTED OR TABBED PARTS

To ensure accurate quoting and quick delivery for multiple shells, nested or tabbed parts, you should always save each individual piece as a separate STL file. If files are not separated, they often appear as one part which slows the production process costing you time and money.

shells

Multiple parts in one file

shells2

Nested parts in one file

An example of a tabbed part is a model airplane kit. Each individual part is connected together by tabs that when twisted remove individual components

It is always best to send files as independent parts and follow-up with Paradigm 3D before placing your order

INVERSED NORMALS, EDGES AND SURFACES

Often, clean STL files are referred to as being “water-tight”. This means that there are no missing surfaces, surfaces that
overlap, inversed normals or bad edges.

Typically most “solids modeling” CAD applications such as SolidWorks, Inventor or ProE,consistently
produce clean water-tight files.CAD applications based on “surfaces”, such as Rhino, or STL’s that come from scanned data often have moreproblems.

edges

In the example above, the red highlighted area shows the major errors. And visually on the part, those areas are highlightedin yellow. You can easily find errors in your STL file by using a STL
viewing tool. Unfortunately, most CAD programs do not allow you to view your final STL file, so you will likely have to install one separately. All viewing tools provide visual information, but some also provide you with visual information on where areas of concern are within your native file

edges2

Example of Rhino file created with surfaces, then exported to STL

Please contact Paradigm 3D with any queries.
Phone: +971 43793935
DSO Light Industrial Units Building (LIU),
Unit #4, P.O. Box 341209,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Email: print3d_email