3D Printing – Dimension Elite

As a part of the services at the 3D Lab, we have two Dimension Elite printers. They work on an “additive manufacturing” principle by selectively applying material in thin cross sectional layers.

During the fabrication process, the extrusion head heats the plastic filament to approximately 255 degrees Celsius. Flow is precisely controlled by two extrusion nozzles, one nozzle supplies the support material and the other model material. Model material is used to construct the part. Support material is used to anchor the part to the build plate and provide a landing for overhangs. Fabrication can take anywhere from an hour to several days depending on part geometry, density, and size.

When parts are removed from the build plate, most of the support structure can be chipped away from the part using simple hand tools. Remaining support structure is removed overnight in a thermal bath of sodium hydroxide at 70 degrees Celsius. Parts with interlocking surfaces or deep recesses may require additional time.

RP_prints_06

Dimension Elite Details

Machine Specifications

Build Size:
8 x 8 in
203 x 203 mm
Layer thickness:
.178 mm or .254 mm

Materials

The only material that the Dimension can print the final model with is ABSplus plastic. Below you will find some of the properties of this material.

ABS Plus
Specific Gravity
ABS plus is available in many colors. At the Lab we print parts in black, white, ivory, red, orange, maize, and blue. Parts can only be made with one solid color. If a print has multiple parts in two or more colors (for example: one blue and another maize), separate setup fees will be applied.

Pricing

For printing on all production 3d printers, there is a $20 setup fee. After that, it is based on the amount of material used, which varies based on the size and infill of the print. On the Dimension Elites, the cost is $0.17 per cm^3 for model material and $0.32 per cm^3 for support material.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Dimension best for?

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What is infill?

When a part is made the infill can be sparse, strong, or solid. This determines what pattern is used to fill the inside of the part. A part with sparse filling will look the same as a part with strong filling but it will be weaker, less dense, and use less material. Since it uses less material, this also can significantly reduce the costs of printing if your part is large.

Is part strength uniform?

The strength of a part is not the same in all directions. A part is stronger if force is applied parallel to the layers than if force if applied perpendicularly.
Layers

Why is there a $20 set-up fee?

The $20 set-up fee covers the costs other than material used including: the build plate (which has to be replaced for each build) and pay for the staff running the machines.

Can I bring my own material?

The printers are made to use only one material so no other materials are allowed in them since it would damage the printers.

Can it print transparent parts?

Transparent material is not available so transparent parts cannot be printed. However, the ProJet is able to print with VisiJet M3 Crystal, which produces parts that are translucent. Learn more about the ProJet.

Can I print parts with only the soluble support?

The printer cannot print parts with only the support.

Can I print parts without soluble support?

The support is always for the base of the material. This helps level the base and makes it possible to remove the part after it is printed. (Otherwise it would be melted to the base and impossible to remove without breaking.) Based on the design of the part, it may or may not require any additional support. It depends on whether there are any overhangs or holes in your part that require support.