Free Shipping over $200 | Orders ship out at 2pm EST and PST - Monday-Friday

3D Printing Tip #1: Designing Better 3D Printed Holes

November 15, 2019

The quick 3D printing tip series will feature different "hacks" you can use to get better 3D prints! Each tip will showcase a common problem that comes inherent to 3D printing and a solution for it. These tips will be bite-sized pieces of information that are easy and quick to implement. 

This hexagon and hole design (above) is used to create clamping points on your 3D printed part. It is a method of introducing threaded holes to your design by means of a nut and a bolt! It allows you to securely and reliably join two different parts together (ex. two-part enclosure, or a two-piece mold). 

Here it is printed twice, once using the method that will be discussed in the post and another time without. You guess which is which... 

Problem: Printing holes in mid-air without support results in bad surface finish, poor tolerances and additional post-processing. 

Solution: Modify the design to allow for straight line bridging before the cylinder starts.

It sounds complicated but it is very simple! 

Let's talk about what this design takes advantage of. Cura will instruct your 3D printer to extrude perimeters first and then do infill. When you have a hole in the air without supports (as seen on the right-hand side), that circular feature has nothing concrete to bond to and the molten filament will droop and bond to whatever it can. On the left, we can see a part that was optimized to take advantage of the fact that perimeters are created first.

Here is a step by step with visuals. On layer 1, the printer will create a straight perimeter that is bridging the distance between the empty section of our model. On layer 2, we create another step for our circle to be extruded on. Finally, on layer 3, we start creating our hole. This way your bottom surface will look much better and get rid of the drooping filament! 

I've used Fusion 360 to create my model. You want to make sure to cut at least as much as the layer thickness you will use later on in Cura, otherwise, this method won't work! 

In conclusion, we can get really clean surfaces even without supports by understanding the path generation that Cura creates. You can now apply this simple fix everywhere to stop using supports and stop post-processing your parts. 

Also in News

Audi Sport Accelerates Design and Production Processes with trinckle Software and UltiMaker 3D Printers.

June 18, 2024

When faced with the challenge of rapidly creating nearly 200 new tools to produce the Audi E-Tron GT at the Audi Sport Böllinger Höfe facility in Heilbronn, Germany, traditional methods fell short. The conventional process of designing and outsourcing production of these essential components often took weeks to months, causing delays and inefficiencies in the assembly line. Learn how Audi brought UltiMaker S Series 3D Printers in house to produce customized fixtures.

Continue Reading

Join us next month at FABTECH 2024!
Join us next month at FABTECH 2024!

May 21, 2024

We're excited to invite you as our special guest to the upcoming FABTECH expo! Join us from June 11th to 13th, 2024, where we'll showcase Formlabs' latest release and offer live demos of our 3D scanning products and software—giving you the opportunity to experience everything firsthand.

At FABTECH, you'll have the chance to speak with our team of experts about the latest in 3D printing technology, as well as a special team from Shining3D, a leader in 3D scanning solutions.

Continue Reading

Exclusive Webinar: Unleashing the Potential of the Bambu X1 Series
Exclusive Webinar: Unleashing the Potential of the Bambu X1 Series

May 10, 2024

Get ready to revolutionize your 3D printing experience with the Bambu Lab X1 series in our exclusive webinar. Learn all about the game-changing Automatic Material Systems (AMS) technology and AI failure detection, and explore the key differences between the X1E and X1C. Register now and discover a wide range of possibilities with the Bambu Lab X1 series.

Continue Reading