3D printing technology provides a rare combination of design flexibility and reproducibility. Without the use of pricey molds or heavy-duty machining gear, you can create your own unique 3D model and turn it into a functional item in only a few hours.
Not all 3D digital models, however, convert well to 3D printed things. Some may be more difficult to execute than others. Even so, there are still some methods that you can use to vastly improve minute details and the overall finish. Read on to learn some of the top tips for 3D printing fine details in models.
Reduce Supports by Following the 45-Degree Rule
When it comes to 3D printing, overhanging features may not seem like a big deal because support structures often readily solve the problem. Many 3D printing experts, on the other hand, view the insertion of supports as a last resort. They waste filament, and removing supports can also damage the final print or leave uneven surfaces. You can make a few conscious decisions to decrease the need for support structures if you’re developing your own model. Remember that adding supports may also limit the amount of fine detail that you can exhibit on a print, so keep this in mind!
Consider Adding Anchors To Avoid Supports
One of the more innovative approaches is to include anchors in your design. There is no one-size-fits-all solution; it all depends on your creativity. Anchors are not a novel idea in the creative world. Sculptors have often used hidden supports to keep their creations—often made of much heavier metals or marble—from collapsing.
Understand Bridges and the Concept of Droop
A bridge is a horizontal structure with no support below that connects to other sections of the model at its terminal ends, as its name implies. This process varies with different filament types and nozzle sizes, so learning about your printer’s and filament’s limitations is worthwhile. The worst thing that can happen to a bridge is for it to collapse under its own weight. You will very likely need to add support if droop occurs. If you are looking for an extremely detailed bridge structure, consider adding limited supports underneath.
Orient Based on Resolution and Strength
3D prints generated with FDM technology include visible layer lines by default. This appearance is an unavoidable consequence of the FDM printer’s reliance on a relatively wide nozzle. However, the thickness of these layers can alter the resolution along the z-axis. The size of the nozzle, on the other hand, determines the resolution on the x- and y-axes.
We hope you have enjoyed our recap of the top tips to help you print fine details! Keep these in mind in the future for extremely detailed and resilient prints.