You must gather all the needed software requirements before you start to 3D print to have a good guide during the process. Examples of some essential “ingredients” to guide you are;
- CAD software to make a 3D model. Remember, it is also possible to use an existing model if you do not need to create a new one.
- Slicing software
- Software to control your printer.
This article will discuss how to design for 3D printing.
Definition of a Slicer
A 3D slicer is a program that turns 3D models into a language understood by the printer. An example of slicing software is Ultimaker Cura, which cuts models into different layers to be printed individually.
Best CAD Software to make 3D Prints
CAD stands for Computer Aid Design, and it enables you to make a 3D model from scratch. CAD software is available in different forms, and each has its benefits. Below we mention the best software to make 3D prints;
- Fusion 360- suitable for designing mechanical parts
- 3ds Max- applied in all forms of 3D model creations like designing video games
- Blender- open-source to create 3D models
- Solidworks- helps to design parts for industrial use
- Catia- excellent design software to create surfaces and engineering parts.
Designing 3D Parts
Some practices will give you the best results from your printer when designing for 3D printing. Design portions for 3D printing will enhance your print success, reducing your costs significantly. Below we discuss how to design 3D parts;
Consider the Volume
Remember, 3D prints can only be as big as the printer’s build capacity. Ensure you know its dimensions, then make a printable part within the chosen dimensions. It is possible to get a CNC instant quote with a touch of a button.
Consider the Nozzle Size
It is advisable to consider wall thickness, height, and nozzle size when creating small features. Bigger nozzles will print better than smaller nozzles. However, this will be at the cost of a higher height and thickness for your models.
Have Hold Diameters in Mind
3D hole features should be bigger than 2 mm. It is advisable to make smaller holes than you intend to and use a drilling operation in the post-process.
Shun Sharp Corners
It is possible to model sharp corners in CAD. However, the printers might warp. You will also decrease the warpage’s likelihood by increasing its surface area.
What Software is Needed to Start 3D Printing
The software needed to start a 3D print depends on the needed workflow. You will require software that can slice all models provided you can access a 3D model. You can avoid the slicing step by installing 3D integrations in your CAD tool.
It is also possible to print without slicing software if you have access to a 3D file.
3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing, and it is the use of CAD to construct a three-dimensional object. 3D printing can refer to several processes that entail material deposition, among others. This technology has become rampant and is in high demand today.