Choosing the right material

  • PLA
    Rough surface. Quite stiff and half as flexible as PETG or ABS. Is easy to print and has a very nice end quality.
  • PETG
    Rough surface, strong & flexible but not as much as ABS. We find PETG as a rough termination but is strong enough to build durable prototypes.
  • ABS
    Half-smooth surface, prints details better than PLA, and is strong and flexible. Very hard to print, since it shrinks with the temperature drop, and may have layering issues. To print it the best is to have a closed printer that keeps the interior temperature warm enough to avoid shrinking.

During print

Fused deposition modeling 3D printers print parts one layer at a time. As a result, if a feature is too thin, there’s a risk of the resin deforming or detaching, which means there isn’t sufficient material contact to connect it with the remaining body. That's why we recommend some minimun thickness and propose the following guidelines to proof that your designed object will be strong enough for the print and the post-print process. Even if a thin-walled part prints successfully, the fragile part still has to survive cleaning and removal of support material.

Minimum wall thickness

Supported walls

A supporting wall is one connected to other walls on two or more sides. If your design has supported walls, please make it at least 0.8 mm. We find that the walls need to be at least 1 millimiter to support a good structure. Of course, it also depends on the material used to print.

Unsupported walls

An unsupported wall is one connected to other walls on less than two sides. We recommend a minimum thickness of 1 millimeter.

Minimum embossed or engraved details

We recommend the height and the width of embossed or engraved details meet the minimum requirement of 1mm PLA/0.8 ABS in order for the printers to accurately replicate the details.

Minimum clearance between parts

Clearance is the space between any two parts, walls or electronic cases that need to connect and close. We recommend leaving at least 1 mm clearance for spaces between walls and cables. And at least 0,6 between parts that need to close like electronic cases. Not respecting the clearance can make a prototype to be broken when mounting after many hours of print. If your clearance is smaller than the indicated minimum, try making the gap bigger, or consider fusing the parts or features if their independence is unnecessary.

Exporting the 3D model as STL

Here the is a table where you can see how to export STL from this 3D model software:


Materials table

Filament Properties Table