Lesson of the Week: Start Carving Arcs Out of the Outer Walls Of Your Prints
Posted by M3D LLC on
If you want to save on printing time and see huge boosts in print strength, we recommend carving arcs out of the outer walls of your prints.
For example, both structures above look like they could have similar strength, but the one on the right will actually be stronger due to the nature of 3D printing. Here is why:
The first reason is the natural tendency of 3D printing to create internal stresses caused by shrinkage. If there is a sharp angle, these stresses break and concentrate at the edge. If there is a curve, however, they can set in a way that saves tension in the middle and thus stresses spread more consistently throughout.
The second reason is that 3D printed parts tend to be brittle and overly rigid. The arc shape gives your printed part the chance to flex and give a little before cracking. It's a longer path.
The arcs are well fit for printing - they are gentle overhangs, and they reduce the amount of filament used, while not adding any additional time to printing. In fact, they should cut the the printing time down.
Please be sure to only apply this concept to outer walls, not inner (i.e. do not create Swiss cheese holes) or prints will take much longer because of the increased number of print walls.
Hope this advice is useful. Cheers, and happy printing!