15 Replies Latest reply on Nov 23, 2013 7:35 AM by Stamp 2 K 1

    STL question

    Stamp 2 K 1

      I've designed a part in solidworks and saved it to an stl file so I can upload it to a 3d printing company and have it printed. My problem is when the company runs my design through a program called netfabb they tell me that certain parts of my design are too thin for their printers. The measurements they give me are about half of what my actual dimensions are. For example one particular part of my design is 1.26mm thick, however when they load my stl file in that program it shows that thickness as only being .60 mm thick. Am I doing something wrong? Why would the stl file show the dimensions much smaller than the actual dimensions? You can see in the images below in my drawing it's

      1.26mm and the lower pic only shows as .66mm and .61mm..... Why the difference and is there another way to save this file for 3d printing through Solidworks 2012.

       

       

       

       

      SnapShot_131121_160433.jpgol847962-Capture.jpg

        • Re: STL question
          Jeff Holliday

          One thought - when you save the file as stl, there is a dialog box for "options". Click that and be sure the resolution settings are set high (approx 80%) to the highes settings for both "deviation" and "angle". This will make the file a good bit larger but the quality will be better and stl's zip down pretty well.

            • Re: STL question
              Stamp 2 K 1

              Thanks for the quick reply Jeff.... I did that and it does make the model quite a bit smoother but the dimensions are still smaller than the dimensions in the .sldprt format. Now they read a more consistent .63mm as opposed to .66, .61, .64 etc.....

            • Re: STL question
              Tom dunn

              How are you creating your .stl file. To me it sound like the 3d company is doing something wrong on there end. Are they aware you are using mm? When I save my files to use on our 3d printer all I have to do is hit save as and select .stl and the file is made. I know when I send the file to the printer I can select different scales. I made that mistake once and I have a very large and totally solid part to remind me. Tom

                • Re: STL question
                  J. Mather

                  Tom dunn wrote:

                   

                  .... To me it sound like the 3d company is doing something wrong on their end. ...

                   

                  They are not doing anything wrong.

                  (major dia-minor dia)/2 = wall thickness

                   

                  Wall thickness for this part is 0.63mm.

                   

                  (from the dimensions given - the wall thickness is definately not 1.26mm - this is basic geometry)

                   

                  The company is simply stating that their machine will not print a wall this thin (actually I am sure it will, but the part will be so flimsy that they know the customer will not be satisfied with the results.  We print thousands upon thousands of parts here.  The most common problem is trying to print features that are too thin (not suitable for the material/process).

                • Re: STL question
                  Chris Michalski

                  Are they referring to the wall thickness?  You have the DIAMETER dimensioned as 1.26mm different, but the wall thickness will be based on the RADIUS, so it will be half of the diametral difference.

                  • Re: STL question
                    Tom dunn

                    Well thank you English teacher J. Mather for pointing out my grammar mistake. I will make sure to not do that again! I would not want to go to the office and see the principle.

                     

                    3d printers do have different resolutions some print better that others. Yes a thin walled part will print thin. Mistakes can be made when sending the files to the machine.

                    • Re: STL question
                      Christian Chu

                      We have a 3D printer which can print .007" and .01" layer and if the thickness of the part is about 1.2mm, the part will have 2 thin walls instead of a solid wall. I think you'd better increase the thickness up to 2mm

                      • Re: STL question
                        John Disher

                        How tall in 'z' is you're cylinder?

                        A 0.63mm wall should be fine with a 19.05mm dia part.

                        It might be the orientation of your part in the the 3D printer's build box.