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Design Considerations for Rapid Prototyping

Below are some useful links that can serve as a guide to help you design your parts for rapid prototyping. There are only a few basic guide lines to follow to achieve the best possible part file that you can. If you have any question if your part will grow or not please ask your project manager and they will be able to answer any question you may have.

Living Hinge

Typical SLA materials do not work well with living hinges. A typical solution would be to simulate the living hinge on the assembly by attaching a piece of tape to the part. If the functionality of the living hinge is crucial to the prototype we can utilize urethane casting techniques or LS Nylon Materials. If needed, we can use a infiltrate on the nylon to increases the number of cycles that can be completed on the part. Please contact a project manager for details on this process. Living Hinge

Points, Knife, Edge, and Thread Design

On occasion parts are designed with points or knife edges in them.  Current SLA technology cannot produce these parts.  They will round them off to a feature size of .020 inches.  The most common place is featured if he found it in thread design. We advise that you do not include threads in the design unless they are a course and on large diameters. It is advisable to use taps or dies to create and thread features. These features will be much more functional than if they were designed into the CAD file.  Points, Knife, Edge, and Thread Design

Minimum Feature Size

The minimum feature size for SLA part is typically .020 inches.  However there are many variables to take into consideration when designing these features.  Some of these variables are wall thickness, feature orientation, feature function, and machine that the part will be grown on.  If you have any questions or concerns about any features of your SLA part please bring this to the attention of your project manager and he will abide you accordingly.

Hollow Parts

Creating a hollow part is a good technique to use to cut down on the volume of the prototype.  This is important because volume is one of the main factors that play into the price of the prototype.  A part with a lower volume can be created quickly and more cost effectively.

For more information on hollowing techniques please contact your project maanger
Hallow Parts

Faceting & Stair stepping

Faceting and stair stepping happens on every SLA Model. This occurs because the SLA model is grown in layers. If the layers are further apart (.010") you will notice heavier stepping on your parts. If the layers are closer together (.004") then the stair stepping will be reduced and not be as noticeable.

Another factor that effects the surface finish of the SLA model is Faceting. This is controlled by the output settings on your 3D CAD software. If you export a coarse setting the part will appear to have many triangles over the surface Coarse Image , however if you export a part with fine faceting the file may be to large and unmanageable Fine Image . The key is to fine the balance that will take into consideration features and part size to give you the best possible file.

Text & Logos

Text and logos follow the same rules as small features do. If your text and/or logo is a important part of the prototype please let your project manager know. The reason is that some times the best orientation for the part to grow is not the best for the logo. When possible keep spacing between letter around .020" and try to use common fonts such as "arial" "tahoma" or "veranda" because these are design to print clearly even at smaller sizes. Please consult your project manager if yo have concerns about your text growing. Text & Logos

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