Designing for DLS Process

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.

DLS Design Quick Guide

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.

Table of Contents

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.

Evaluate

Begin by using these basic guidelines to determine whether your part is a good fit for Carbon DLS.

CARBON 3D PRINTER BUILD VOLUME DIMENSIONS

Will your part fit in Carbon’s 3D printers? For efficient production, consider how you’ll fit multiple parts in the build volume.

M2
L1
X
Y
Z
189 mm
(7.4 in)
410 mm
(16.1 in)
256 mm
(10.1 in)
118 mm
(4.6 in)
326 mm
(12.8 in)
460 mm
(18.1 in)

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF CARBON MATERIALS

What mechanical characteristics do you require for your parts? What traditional thermoplastics would you usually specify?

Resin
Ultimate Tensile Strength
Elongation at Break
Tensile Modulus
Shore Hardness
Impact Strength
Heat Deflection Temp
Comparable Thermoplastic
Biocompat-ibility
2 Part Resins
35.0
100.0
900.0
75.0
120.0
Nylon
25.0
200.0
700.0
40.0
85.0
3.0
3900.0
12.0
15.0
230.0
15% glass filled Nylon 6
350.0
20.0
SEBS TPE
250.0
30.0
Commercial TPU (Shore A Hardness: 70)
300.0
30.0
Commercial TPU (Shore A Hardness: 70)
40.0
100.0
1700.0
15.0
60.0
ABS
35.0
25.0
1200.0
30.0
50.0
Medical-Grade ABS
80.0
5.0
2800.0
45.0
130.0
20% Glass-Filled PBT
1 Part Resins
30.0
30.0
1400.0
30.0
45.0

CHEMICAL COMPATIBILITY OF CARBON MATERIALS

Does your part need to perform well when used with any of these common chemicals?

Class
Chemical
CE 221
EPU 40
EPU 41
EPX 82
RPU 70
RPU 130
SIL 30
Household Chemicals
Bleach (NaClO, 5%)
E
E
E
E
E
E
Sanitizer (NH4Cl, 10%)
Distilled Water
E
E
E
E
E
G
Sunscreen (Banana Boat, SPF 50)
Detergent (Tide, Original)
Windex Powerized Formula
Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2, 30%)
Ethanol (EtOH, 95%)
E
E
E
E
E
G
E
G
P
E
E
G
G
E
E
E
E
G
G
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
G
G
G
F
F
F
F
P
P
P
G
Industrial Fluids
Engine Oil (Havoline SAE 5W-30)
Brake Fluid (Castrol DOT-4)
Airplane Deicing Fluid (Type I Ethylene Glycol)
Airplane Deicing Fluid (Type I Propylene Glycol)
Airplane Deicing Fluid (Type IV Ethylene Glycol)
Airplane Deicing Fluid (Type IV Propylene Glycol)
Transmission Fluid (Havoline Synthetic ATF)
Engine Coolant (Havoline XLC, 50%/50% Premixed)
Diesel (Chevron #2)
Gasoline (Chevron #91)
Skydrol 500B-4
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
F
F
E
E
P
E
E
E
E
E
G
E
E
E
E
E
G
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
P
E
E
E
P
F
P
P
P
P
P
E
G
P
Strong Acid/Base
Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4, 30%)
Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH, 10%)
E
F
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
P
F
P
Note: Due to variability in part geometry and level of exposure in actual use, it is required that adequate validation is done for production applications
Key
Rating
Gain*
Description
E
Excellent
< 5%
The solvent is unlikely to degrade the material during prolonged exposure
G
Good
5% - 15%
The solvent is unlikely to degrade the material during short-term exposure
F
Fair
15% - 30%
The solvent will likely degrade the material during short-term exposure
P
Poor
> 30%
The solvent will likely attack and aggressively degrade the material when exposed
* Percentages are percent weight lost after a 1 week submersion per ASTM D543. This is only a value of weight lost and not representative of changes in dimension or mechanical properties.

Design

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.

RECOMMENDED FEATURE SIZES

Are your features properly sized for successful printing?

Chemical
RPU 130
MPU 100
FPU 50
CE 221
EPX 82
UMA 90
EPU 40
Wall Thickness - Unsupported (mm)
Wall Thickness – Supported (mm)
Maximum Overhang (mm) – M2
Maximum Overhang (mm) – L1
Unsupported Angle from Horizontal (deg)
Hole Size XY (mm)
Maximum Bridge (2x overhang) (mm)
Hole Size Z (mm)
Positive Feature Size XY (mm)
Positive Feature Size Z (mm)
Engraving Depth / Embossing Height (mm)
Text Size, Engraved / Embossed (mm)
RPU 70
EPU 41
SIL 30
2.5
2.5
2.5
2.5
2.5
2.5
2.5
2.5
2.5
2.5
Clearance Between Mating Parts (mm)
1.0
1.5
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.5
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.0
3.0
2.0
3.0
2.0
3.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
2.0
2.0
3.0
2.0
3.0
2.0
3.0
1.5
1.5
1.5
4.0
4.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
2.0
2.0
2.0
30
40
40
35
40
40
30
40
40
40
0.5
0.5
0.9
0.5
1.0
0.6
0.9
1.0
1.5
2.0
0.6
0.5
0.8
0.5
0.7
0.9
0.8
0.8
1.0
2.0
0.4
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.75
1.0
0.2
0.3
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.3
1.0
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.4
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.5
3.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
3.5
0.4
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.8
0.4
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5

DESIGNING OVERHANGS, HOLES, AND MATING PARTS

HOLES

To compensate for overcure, horizontal holes should be oversized ~0.04 mm.

UNSUPPORTED ANGLES

Measured relative to the platform (XY). Unsupported angles over 40 degrees are safe for all materials.

BRIDGES

Bridges should span no more than twice the recommended overhang distance.

FILLETS

Interior corners: ~0.5 mm minimum
Exterior corners: ~0.5 mm + wall thickness

MATING PARTS

Print mating parts in the same orientation.

WALL THICKNESS

Walls at minimum thickness should be kept short.

Optimize

Refine your design using these guidelines to ensure dimensional accuracy, excellent surface quality, and overall performance that meets your requirements.

HANDLING UNVENTED VOLUMES AND ISLANDS

Consider these recommendations as you design your part.

LOW RESOLUTION MODELS

Adjust export settings in your CAD software to make a smooth model.

SHARP CORNERS

Add fillets or chamfers

UNVENTED VOLUMES & BLIND HOLES

Add 2-3 mm vents or re-orient part.

SLICE ISLANDS

Islands must be supported or connected to part in order to prevent print defects.

Non-uniform, rapidly changing or stepped wall thickness

Make wall thickness uniform, or keep changes in thickness as gradual as possible in order to minimize print defects and prevent warping during baking.

TALL THIN PARTS

Change orientation, or redesign to reduce part height and/or create stability.

ADDING SUPPORTS

Use Carbon’s print preparation software to add supports to your part design.

  • Check overhangs and unsupported angles using the Overhang Detection feature
  • Place supports no closer than the recommended overhang distances from part walls and other supports
  • Ensure that slice islands are supported
  • Use the Advanced Supports feature to ensure first-print success
  • Reinforce supports that are longer than 76 mm. Fences can use bar supports as reinforcement.

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