Design Guide – Dimension Elite

To get the most out of our 3D printing services, it’s important to start with a well-optimized 3D model. This design guide outlines the basic capabilities of the Dimension Elite and what to keep in mind when designing certain features.

Features

Select the features you would like to learn more about.

A supported wall is one that is connected to a supporting surface on at least two sides. The minimum recommended wall thickness for the Dimension Elite printers is 1mm. Supported walls smaller than this may warp or otherwise not print to specification.

im1

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts

d1
In our tests, the Dimension Elite had the tendency to thicken walls that were less than
1mm in specification.

An unsupported wall is one that is connected to a supporting surface fewer than two sides. The minimum recommended wall thickness for the Dimension Elite printers is 1mm. Unsupported walls smaller than this may warp or otherwise not print to specification.

im2

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

d2
In our tests, the Dimension Elite had the tendency to thicken walls that were less than
1mm in specification.

‘Engraved’ features are features that are imprinted or recessed in your model. Details less than 0.4mm in thickness may become distorted or invisible.

im3

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

d3
In our tests, the Dimension Elite handled engraved detail well. However, very small features still showed variance.

‘Embossed’ features are shallow raised features on you model. Details lass than 0.4mm in thickness may become distorted or invisible.

im4

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

d4
In our tests, the Dimension Elite had the tendency to thicken walls that were less than
1mm in specification.

Depending on their orientation, the Dimension Elite may distort small holes. The recommended minimum diameter is 0.7mm. Holes printed on the XY plane may be prone to vertical distortion more than holes on the ZX/ZY planes.

im5

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

d5
In our tests, the Dimension Elite printed small holes on the Z-axis with a small amount of error. All holes in the vertical and horizontal axis consistently printed about 0.1 – 0.2 mm smaller than specification.

Any feature whose length is greater than twice its width is considered a ‘wire’. Wires printed vertically are especially fragile and susceptible to deformation.

im7

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

d7
In our tests, the Dimension Elite printed accurately to the specified diamter for wires with a diameter greater than 1mm. Wires below 1mm specification were extremely prone to breaking and had some distortion.

An overhang is any part of your model that sticks out horizontally (parallel to the build plate). Because the Dimension Elite has a separate support material, these types of overhangs are easily doable and have no deviation from the intended dimension.

im8

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

d8
In our tests, the Dimension Elite performed acceptably on overhangs.

Not all unsupported overhangs will be at an angle parallel to the build plate. The angle of an overhang will affect the resulting print quality.

im9

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

d9
In our tests, the Dimension Elite performed very well on all overhangs. This is a result of the support structure the machine uses to print these parts.

A horizontal span is any unsupported bottom surface that is connected to a supporting structure on at least two sides. After a certain length, some distortion will still occur.

im10

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

d10
In our tests, the Dimension Elite performed very well on all horizontal spans. This is a result of the support structure the machine uses to print these parts.

No 3D printer is perfect, and , as such, it is important to include a bit of tolerance when parts are intended to fit together. With the Dimension Elite, we recommend making a hole 0.2mm larger than the part intended to fit in it.

im6

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

In our tests, the Dimension Elite had the tendency to print holes smaller than the specification. A 9mm round/square plug requires a 9.2mm hole.

Of you want to print a part with moving components, it is important to leave a certain amount of clearance between the parts that are intended to move. ‘Horizontal’ refers to the idea that, in an axle/housing pair, the assembly is printed parallel to the build plate.

im12

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

In our tests, the Dimension Elite required 0.8mm of clearance in order for a horizontally-printed axle to be able to rotate inside its housing. 0.6 is able to rotate, however, there is significant friction between the axle and its housing.

Of you want to print a part with moving components, it is important to leave a certain amount of clearance between the parts that are intended to move. ‘Vertical’ refers to the idea that, in an axle/housing pair, the assembly is printed perpendicular to the build plate.

im12

Click on the image to see detailed illustrations and photos of the printed parts.

In our tests, the Dimension Elite required 0.4mm of clearance in order for a vertically printed axle to be able to rotate inside its housing. It should be noted that, due to the vertical print orientation, these types of parts were extremely fragile, especially under torsion.