Have you ever been in the situation where you’ve been sent a huge 3D print job requesting a ton of copies of a handful of parts, and you’ve struggled to figure out the right printer workflow to achieve maximum throughput on your machines to hit that deadline?
In today’s 3D printing video tech tip, we’re going to cover three things you can change in your workflow to achieve optimal printer throughput and never miss a deadline again.
The first tip, depending on the size of the parts that you’re printing. Most people think that they’re limited to the X and Y-axis of their printer to print larger quantities of parts. Not anymore. Stratasys Industrial 3D printers enable you to take full advantage of the Z-axis by nesting your parts safely, repeatedly, consistently, and reliably. For some technologies such as PolyJet and FDM, it’s a matter of starting your CAD software, making your model, multiplying on the Z axis, and adding an air gap for clearance. Other technologies such as Selective Absorption Fusion (SAF), you’re able to do that in your printer prep software, GrabCAD Print. In the video, you can see the Origin One printing sixty parts in a single nested tray overnight. This ensures tens to hundreds, to thousands of parts every year.
Use Less Support
Supports are annoying. It takes a long time to wait for the supports to dissolve in a wash tank. What if I told you that on most of these technologies you can use less support materials than you’re currently using and still end up with great parts that print a lot faster. It sounds made up, but it’s true. Most thermal sets and thermoplastics have an allowable self-supporting angle. For FDM parts, you can often limit your support generation to as low as 35 degrees, or even remove them in small sidewall holes using the Insight software. For other technologies like the Origin One, many of our materials can even get down to a 15-degree self-supporting angle due to their incredibly high green part strength.
Lower your Resolution
Everybody always asks me for the highest resolution, smoothest surface finish parts but do you know what we sacrifice when we print in really fine layers? Time. It takes a long time to create each one of these tiny little layers, so printing larger layers will achieve a shorter duration of printing time. And often we’re not even going to be able to perceive the difference between those layers with the human eye. Ultimately, while similar, the dimensional accuracy is going to be relatively identical to pre-bulk layer heights. So, if you need to increase your throughput, going to a lower resolution is actually going to increase your productivity.
One more thing. If you find yourself in a bind, and no matter what you try, you can’t finish your project sooner, you can reach out to TriMech Advanced Manufacturing Services team, and we’ll use our equipment to finish your project quicker.