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Recommended wall thickness for 3D printing

August 16, 2022

When designing 3D printed parts, one of the most important considerations is wall thickness. Although 3D printing makes prototyping easier than ever in terms of cost, speed and DFM (Design for manufacturing), you cannot completely ignore DFM.
Therefore, the following provides some guidelines for 3D printing wall thickness to ensure that your 3D printing is actually printable and has a reasonable structure. Therefore, you can design prototypes, produce 1 quantity, and finally produce 100 or more than 10000.
Wall thickness recommendation

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The thickness of part features designed for 3D printing is limited.
The following table lists the minimum thickness of each material we recommend, and the minimum thickness.
We have successfully printed the parts to our ultimate minimum thickness, but we can only guarantee that the parts can be successfully printed to our recommended minimum thickness or above.
According to our recommended minimum value, the thinner the part, the higher the possibility of error during printing. Anything below the limit minimum is actually not printable.
Why are there restrictions
During and after printing, a variety of constraints need to be considered.

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During printing
The 3D printer prints one layer of parts at a time. Therefore, if a feature is too thin, there is a risk of the resin deformation or peeling, which means that there is not enough material contact to connect it with the rest.
In addition, just as you need a solid foundation to build a stable structure, if the part is being printed but the wall is too thin, the resin may bend before drying or curing. Therefore, the thin wall will bend, resulting in warpage of the part.

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After printing
Even if thin-walled parts are successfully printed, fragile parts still need to be cleaned and the supporting material removed before they can be considered successful.
The cleaning method includes spraying water and removing residues, so many thin parts break at this stage. In addition, in order to print such thin walls, additional support materials are usually required. After cleaning, the supporting material disappears and the components will become more fragile.
Minimum wall thickness and resolution
We often see some confusion about the difference between the minimum wall thickness and the resolution. Sometimes we are asked, "if the resolution of a material is so high, why can't the wall be so thin?"

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As long as there is enough thickness to provide structural support, the detail and accuracy of the design depends on the resolution.
The resolution is regarded as the precision that the part is designed for printing, which is very similar to the dimensional tolerance. Take a hollow sphere as an example. The minimum wall thickness determines the thickness of the housing so that it can be printed without collapsing under its own weight.
Resolution determines the smoothness of curvature: low resolution will show visible "steps" and roughness, while high resolution will hide these aspects.