When contemplating 3D printing for prototypes or end-use applications, there are several aspects to consider to guarantee the parts are sturdy enough for your purpose. We’ll look at the choices that have the biggest impact on part strength, then give you some of the top tips to help you get stronger FDM 3D prints.
In most cases, you’ll need to provide an infill percentage when purchasing 3D printed parts. The infill percentage indicates how thick the model’s interior will be. The options span from 0 percent, which is a completely hollow model, to 100 percent, which is a completely solid model. Because it supports the model’s interior, infill has the biggest impact on compression strength.
It may seem that a completely solid model is the best option for strength. However, choosing a value greater than 60–70 percent has very little impact on part strength and is usually not worth the extra cost and print time. Increasing the infill, especially for larger models with huge interior voids, can significantly impact both cost and print time. It’s crucial to assess whether the advantages of your application exceed the disadvantages.
The shell thickness, a lesser-known variable, also has a considerable impact on part strength. The thickness of the part’s outside surfaces is called shell thickness. Most 3D printing services utilize a standard thickness of roughly 1.0–1.5 mm, but increasing this setting will significantly improve your components’ tensile and impact strength.
The strength of your pieces is likewise influenced by the substance they’re constructed of. PLA, ABS, and PETG are the most common plastics used in 3D printing. When selecting the best material for your parts, it’s crucial to think about the forces they’ll be subjected to. PETG is the strongest option for parts that require tensile strength to resist forces tugging on the object, followed by PLA. The least effective material for resisting this type of force is ABS. PETG has a better bonding between layers and is stronger than other materials, making it an excellent choice for thin parts with high strength needs.
These top tips will help you get stronger FDM 3D prints! It can be hard to make a truly strong 3D print. But taking advantage of your knowledge of filament and knowing which type of 3D printer to use can help you get the quality you want!