Join Ryan Kittleson for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding why thickness matters, part of 3D Printing on Shapeways Using Maya.
If you have a model that was made for animation, the thickness usually doesn't matter. However, when you get a model 3D printed, thickness is probably the biggest technical concern that you have to deal with. If a model is too thin, it'll be fragile and break. If a model is too thick, it can use unneccissary material And the cost will be very high. In this video I'll go over the main issues surrounding model thickness. So let's go on to the shapeways website where we can get detailed information on thickness requirements.
Let's go to the make cell tab and under materials let's click on comparison sheet here we can see a breakdown of all the materials that are offered and their stats. When you're preparing a model for 3D printing, you need to know which material that you're preparing it for. For example, you can see that the white, strong and flexible material requires a thickness of at least 0.7 mm. However, let's go down to stainless steel, And you can see that the minimum thickness is three millimeters so much thicker.
So how thick should you make your model? Well that depends on a lot of factors. Every model is different. In general I recommend shooting for the minimum thickness because it's good for most situations and it will save you material and money over making the entire object solid. This is especially true for expensive materials like silver. However, there are a few situations where a model should be thicker than that. If the model has any long thin structures, like a tail, for example.
You may want to give it some extra thickness in those very thin areas to make them stronger. Also, if you know that you'll only be printing one copy of a model, with an inexpensive material, it might just not be worth your time to hollow it out and add thickness. Now let's scroll down to the ceramics materials. These materials are great, and it's actually interesting because it's the one material That doesn't save you cost if you make it hollow. These are actually cheaper if you print them solid.
There's one other instance where you might want to make things thicker than the minimum thickness. Let's go up and search for spring. So here you can see some objects that are springs. Let me just click on this one. So in order for these springs to be springy, they need to be at certain thickness. Now, the minimum thickness for the white, strong and flexible material is 0.7 millimeters. However, if you make the spring that thickness, it'll just be too weak.
So you'll probably want to make it thicker, more like two millimeters. Then it'll have a nice springiness to it. So as we get into thickness in this chapter, keep in mind that it's always relative to the intended use of the object and the material with which it will be printed.
- What is Shapeways?
- Setting up Maya for 3D printing
- Checking model scale
- Understanding why thickness matters
- Adding precise thickness
- Strengthening thin structures
- Fixing common mesh problems
- Exporting models with texture maps
- Making a wireframe model
- Publishing to Shapeways