Ready to start designing for the Carbon DLS™ process? Use these design guidelines to begin creating products for DLS production. When you’re ready to get parts made, contact us to start leveraging the power and flexibility of the Carbon DLS process.
Carbon DLS lets you design the best parts for your product, without worrying about moldability or machinability. Like every 3D printing process, DLS has its own best practices; follow these principles to get the best results in your applications.
Follow the steps below to determine whether your part is a good fit for the DLS process and identify aspects of your design that might need revision.
1. Evaluate: determine whether your project is well-suited to DLS printing.
2. Design: consider the 3D printing process you’ll use as you design your part.
3. Optimize: improve print outcomes by refining your design.
Begin by using these basic guidelines to determine whether your part is a good fit for Carbon DLS.
Will your part fit in Carbon’s 3D printers? For efficient production, consider how you’ll fit multiple parts in the build volume.
What mechanical characteristics do you require for your parts? What traditional thermoplastics would you usually specify?
Does your part need to perform well when used with any of these common chemicals?
Once you have determined that your part is a good fit for the Carbon DLS process, the next step is to review your part’s features. Refer to the recommended feature sizes below to ensure your part’s printability.
Overhangs, unsupported angles, and unsupported wall thickness will inform the print orientation and support strategy for your part.
Are your features properly sized for successful printing?
To compensate for overcure, horizontal holes should be oversized ~0.04 mm.
Measured relative to the platform (XY). Unsupported angles over 40 degrees are safe for all materials.
Bridges should span no more than twice the recommended overhang distance.
Interior corners: ~0.5 mm minimum
Exterior corners: ~0.5 mm + wall thickness
Print mating parts in the same orientation.
Walls at minimum thickness should be kept short.
Refine your design using these guidelines to ensure dimensional accuracy, excellent surface quality, and overall performance that meets your requirements.
Consider these recommendations as you design your part.
Adjust export settings in your CAD software to make a smooth model.
Add fillets or chamfers
Add 2-3 mm vents or re-orient part.
Islands must be supported or connected to part in order to prevent print defects.
Make wall thickness uniform, or keep changes in thickness as gradual as possible in order to minimize print defects and prevent warping during baking.
Change orientation, or redesign to reduce part height and/or create stability.
Use Carbon’s print preparation software to add supports to your part design.
The accuracy of every 3D printing process depends on several factors, including material characteristics, part geometry, operator practices, and post-processing techniques. The Carbon DLS process offers excellent accuracy and repeatability, within tolerances as tight as +/-40 μm, but this depends on the factors listed above and may require some optimization to achieve consistent results in serial production.