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3D printing technology is growing in popularity both among companies that use professional 3D printers to produce specialized parts and among companies that place individual orders for the production of prototypes.

In both cases, users must consider the level of precision they expect from a 3D-printed object and understand how it is achieved.

In this article, you will find the necessary information that will allow you to understand the 3D printing technology and its potential.

What are 3D printers used for?

3D printers are widely used in various industries, from mass production of industrial parts to individual orders for the medical industry.

The number of possible applications increases every year, and thanks to the growing popularity of this production method, experts from various sectors are discovering new possible applications in their businesses. Project implementation is becoming increasingly affordable, both for companies and individual clients.

At Cubic Inch, we focus on the use of 3D printing for companies to improve their production processes, reduce costs, and expand the offer for their clients. We have already completed various projects in which accuracy played a key role.

Projects where precision is the biggest challenge

The precision of 3D printing is always an important aspect when working on projects for any industry. Some projects require accuracy down to +/- 0.05 millimeters.

One of the projects that required pinpoint accuracy was for Aether Biomedical, a medical company. Our client specializes in providing patients with personalized prostheses designed to fit the body perfectly, ensuring maximum comfort of use.

In this project, it was crucial to carry out accurate quality checks, where the error limit was +/—0.1 mm, which is 0.2 mm less than the standard error margin. To obtain such high accuracy, prototypes must be created, which, after meeting these conditions, become a model for the production of the final product.

Additional tests mean additional time. That’s why implementing projects requiring such high accuracy may take several days longer than standard orders, with a maximum limit of nine days.

Another demanding project on which we had the opportunity to work is serial production of component parts, where each part must fit together precisely so that their assembly is quick and smooth. In such cases, a low error tolerance is also necessary, thanks to which we are sure that the manufactured parts will meet the customer’s expectations.

What affects the accuracy of 3D printing?

Many factors affect the accuracy of 3D printing, but there are a few most important ones.

  • Technical capabilities of a 3D printer.

Generally, if the accuracy of the printout is particularly important to us, it is worth following a simple rule when choosing equipment for our project: the more expensive the 3D printer is, the greater the accuracy of the prints will be.

In the case of the Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology in which we work at Cubic Inch, the accuracy of the products is at the highest level available on the market. As a rule, the maximum error tolerance is +/- 0.3 mm. Of course, the quality comes at a cost. MJF printer’s price starts and $100K+. 

  • The quality of the surface, layers, and arrangement of parts in the chamber.

Logically, the higher the surface quality, the smoother and more detailed the prints are. The arrangement in the chamber also plays a key role because the lower parts of the printout are smoother, and the upper parts, which are formed last, often curl slightly. This must be taken into account when creating the project.

You must remember that the 3D printout is layered, so in the case of, for example, a project with an angled hole, it will not be fully round. In such cases, it is often better to print the hole with a smaller diameter and then drill it to the desired size. This way the hole will be perfectly round.

  • Experienced professionals specializing in servicing specific models of 3D printers.

Professional equipment is not enough to ensure the highest precision. You also need a team of experts who can properly operate the equipment, supervise its operations, and conduct regular printer maintenance. Such comprehensive knowledge of the equipment requires extensive training as well as years of experience in practice.

Our team consists of many qualified experts who have been working with advanced HP Multi Jet Fusion technology for years. Our experience and know-how, built over time, enable us to fulfill our clients’ orders with the highest quality and precision.

How can the accuracy of 3D prints be increased?

If we use the highest-quality equipment and have professionally developed designs, but we still strive for even greater accuracy in our prints, there are several ways to do this.

  1. First, to verify the accuracy of the manufactured parts, it is worth printing a few prototypes first, which will allow you to refine the design.
  1. Secondly, a correctly printed part can be processed using 3D printing technology, allowing for the final improvement of the product.
  1. The third solution is to recalibrate the 3D printer to provide maximum detail, taking into account the characteristics of a specific project.

All of the above mentioned methods require specialist knowledge of the equipment and experience in similar implementations.

At Cubic Inch, we have the highest-class equipment and a professional team. We print measurement printouts at least once a week to check the margin of error of our products. Our team’s goal is to achieve an average dimensional tolerance of +/—0.15mm, but we never exceed +/—0.3mm. On special request, we provide very detailed designs with a maximum error of +/—0.1 mm.

Last but not least

The accuracy of production in 3D printing technology depends on many factors, from the quality of the equipment to the way the parts are arranged in the chamber.

It is best to use the services of professionals to ensure the high precision of products made using 3D printing technology. Our team offers services at the highest level available market and is happy to take on new challenges! We encourage you to contact us to discuss the details of your project.

Krzysztof Freelancelots

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