Apr - 2015

Minimize Print Fails with Proper Orientation


Here at the Spyder 3D World lab, we dedicate a fair amount of time refining our 3D printing techniques. With each print, our goal is to determine the optimal configuration that will reduce print time and minimize the chances of failure. There are a number of variables to consider while setting up your prints – many of which are only discovered after a long, tedious process of trial and error. There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” solution to difficult print jobs, but we have found that something as simple as the orientation of your 3D model (in relation to the print bed) can make all the difference.

Minimize Print Fails with Proper Orientation

  • Size – Consider the size of your 3D model when determining orientation. The side of your 3D model that touches the print bed must be able to support the entire design and maintain adhesion as the printer builds layers. For example, printing the Wall Pencil Holder (illustrated below) with the large flat surface on the print bed significantly reduced print time. There is a small flat surface at the base of the pencil holder, but printing the design from the bottom up dramatically increases the print time, because of the increased number of layers. In addition, the small surface area of the base is not likely to provide proper adhesion to the print bed, which increases the risk of print failure.
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    Wall-mounted Pencil Cup
    The Wall-mounted Pencil Cup can also be printed right-side-up, but the extra height will significantly increase print time.
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    Reduce Your Print Time
    By placing this design on the large, flat surface we were able to significantly reduce the overall print time.
  • Bridging – Because we chose to print the Swirl-Fin Vase with its opening attached to the print bed, the bridging technique was used to produce the flat bottom.
  • Gravity – Whenever possible, print going with the flow of gravity rather than against. We initially attempted to print the Swirl-Fin Vase with the base attached to the print bed, but it failed because the swirls moved against the flow of gravity.
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Flip It!
We flipped the vase to print starting from the top of the vase to the base since the spirals were “falling” as they were being printed rather than fighting against gravity to be printed upwards.
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Go With the Flow
We initially printed the vase starting from the bottom of the vase going upwards. Notice the distorted swirls near the base – this was a result of the swirls flowing against the flow of gravity.

Note: every printer has the ability to perform the bridging technique, but there are several factors involved in achieving your desired results. For more helpful tips on bridging, check out our Bridging Techniques article and refer to the settings that were used on our printers.

Download The STL Files Here

Download these designs and try the techniques illustrated above for yourself. Leave a comment below and let us know what you discover.

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